“Oh no not Big Sam,” will be heard throughout Wearside tonight as the news filters through about Roy Keane’s exit at Sunderland.
Within an hour of the news of Keane’s departure at the Stadium of Light Sam Allardyce had been installed by the football odds compilers as the favourite to take over the reins.
His potential appointment certainly won’t be met with the enthusiasm of Keane’s back in 2006 and his ill-fated spell up the road at Newcastle is hardly good viewing on his CV.
Allardyce joined Newcastle with a glowing reputation from his terrific spell in charge at Bolton but his spell in charge at St James’ Park ended after just eight months after the Geordies voiced their displeasure at poor results and his uncompromising style of play.
The usual suspects are also quoted on the list with Alan Curbishley, David O’Leary, Alan Pardew and Terry Venables all mentioned, but none of those candidates get the pulse racing.
Chairman Niall Quinn could have well done without looking for a gift-wrapped manager for Christmas. But he needs a replacement and fast and there are very few candidates out there with the credentials to be successful in the top flight.
Keane threatened leaving after the weekendÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s humilation by Bolton – suggesting he would walk away if he thought it was in the best interests of the club. And after his ghost writer Eamonn Dunphy said this week that Keane Ã¢â‚¬Ëœhad lost the plotÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ – the writing was on the wall for the Irishman.
He was criticised by the fans earlier this season after Sunderland’s Carling Cup draw with Northampton and although there weren’t mass calls for his head at the weekend, the fans’ attentions had switched to verbally attacking some of the players and Keane simply seems to have had enough.
It’s a sad end to a two-and-a-half-year spell in which Keane guided Sunderland to promotion and a 15th-placed finish last term before deciding to call it quits.
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