Next Sunderland Manager Odds: Still Favourite For The Role
A season that promised so much is turning into one of missed opportunity at Sunderland.
Hopes of automatic promotion have evaporated as the club sit 10th, nine points off the playoff places.
Sunderland have confirmed that Mike Dodds will take interim charge until the end of the season following the departure of Michael Beale as head coach after the club's 2-1 defeat at Birmingham.
This has resulted in the best betting sites opening a market on who may take over on a full-time basis in the summer.
Beale had his work cut out from the get-go at the Stadium of Light due to the fact he replaced the broadly popular Tony Mowbray.
He did not win over the supporters with some of his early comments, and things only got worse since then.
The Black Cats lost back-to-back games and Beale was sacked in the wake of his loss to Mowbray’s Birmingham City after he snubbed a handshake offered by one of his players, Trai Hume.
The former Rangers boss had only been in the job for a couple of months. Let’s take a look at the contenders to replace him.
Time Continues To Stand Still For Still
It is surely only a matter of time before Will Still lands a job in England. Born in Belgium to British parents, the 31-year-old has done a magnificent job at Ligue 1 side Reims, who sit ninth in France’s top flight at the time of writing.
Still is the 6/4 favourite with football betting sites to be the next permanent manager of the Black Cats.
In a recent interview, Still made his intentions clear that he wants to return home to England and that he would be happy to take a job in the Championship for an ambitious club.
They don't come much more ambitious than the Black Cats, who have 11 matches to force their way into the playoff places.
Could Keane Be Keen On A Sunderland Return
Former Sunderland boss Roy Keane is listed at 2/1 to make a return to the Stadium of Light.
The Irishman may be eyeing a move into the club game despite his links with the vacant Republic of Ireland manger post.
Keane was the frontrunner for the Sunderland job after Lee Johnson was sacked in 2022, but a deal fell through and Alex Neil was appointed.
The Sunderland board admit appointing Keane would have been fun and they may regret letting Keane slip away then. It might be in their best interests to do all they can to make it happen this time round.
If the club contacts Keane about the vacancy, Keane will have the upper hand in negotiations to take him away from his TV pundit roles for Sky Sports and ITV.
Parker Fits The Bill To Bring Stability
Scott Parker is 5/2 with football betting sites to be the next man through the door at the Stadium of Light.
We quizzed former Black Cats defender Phil Babb in an exclusive interview with Gambling.com regarding his thoughts on the current situation at Sunderland.
"It's a difficult one. I can't say delusions of grandeur, but I think promotion has got them wanting to challenge again," Babb said.
Babb advised a more measured approach: "Settle down and just stabilise, have a good run in the Championship, maybe have a sniff of the play-offs. But if not, then next year you would look at that."
Parker, with his successful track record at both Fulham and Bournemouth, embodies this idea. Having secured promotion from the Championship twice before, he seems a natural fit to potentially start afresh next season.
While his stint at Club Brugge may not have gone as planned, given ample time, Parker's managerial qualities are sure to shine through.
He is presumably itching for another chance on the touchline and the size of Sunderland could attract him.
Lampard And Cooper Among Candidates
Frank Lampard (3/1) might have to drop into the Championship for his next role, after an unsuccessful return to Chelsea when stepping in as interim boss.
Lampard led Derby Country to the playoff final in the second tier, but he still has something to prove as a coach.
Steve Cooper (4/1) is another manager with a promotion on his CV - and his was more impressive than most.
Nottingham Forest were in danger of going down to League One when he took charge; by the end of the same season, they were celebrating a place in the Premier League.
Cooper was a fan favourite at the City Ground and carries a more than decent reputation into his next role.
Babb highlighted the need for the new manager to forge a strong connection with Sunderland supporters: "It's absolutely vital! If you ain't got the fans, the first thing they are going to do is chant your name and out.
"Eventually, the board does listen, so to not be engaged with the fans as a manager is probably one of the worst things you can do."
Meanwhile, Paul Heckingbottom struggled at Sheffield United earlier this season.
However, he arguably exceeded expectations by leading the Blades to promotion to the Premier League in 2022/23.
At 7/1 with betting apps, Heckingbottom looks like decent value.
Neil And Gerrard Are Two Dark Horses For Role
Alex Neil guided Sunderland to promotion to the Championship back in 2022 via a play-off final triumph.
He went on to take over at Stoke City, where things didn't go to plan, with the Scotsman eventually being sacked.
Neil is rumoured to be open to a return to Sunderland, but it may not go down as well with the Black Cats fans.
After botching the appointment once already by recruiting Beale, Sunderland, for their part, would probably prefer someone who the fans would at least favour – that’s why Neil is a dark horse at 4/1 with new betting sites.
Steven Gerrard (8/1) would be an interesting shout, given the fact he's had mixed fortunes so far in his managerial career.
However, it is impossible to know whether the current Al-Ettifaq boss would relinquish his lucrative contract in Saudi Arabia for a role in the Championship.
Neither Dodds Nor Rooney Likely To Land Job Full-Time
Wayne Rooney and Mike Dodds are outsiders for the Sunderland position.
The latter may already be at the helm in the north east, but given the fact that he has no experience as a full-time head coach, he is likely to be replaced in the summer.
Since replacing Beale, Dodds has lost both games in charge of the Black Cats, which has seen his odds drift from 12/1 to 25/1.
As for Rooney (14/1), it would be a shock if Sunderland were to approach him given how badly things went at Birmingham.
The former England striker is unlikely to get another Championship job any time soon.
* Reminder: These are hypothetical odds provided by industry experts.
Stay In The Loop With Free Bets, Insider Tips & More!
Live Betting. Sports Promos. Sent Weekly.