Michael Beale’s job as Sunderland manager is already believed to be under threat, and an “incredible” individual is reportedly being lined up as his potential replacement.
Michael Beale under pressure at Sunderland
The 43-year-old replaced Tony Mowbray in the Stadium of Light hot seat earlier in the season, in what was seen as a surprise decision by many. Mowbray guided Sunderland within touching distance of the playoffs in the Championship last term, and was threatening to do the same last time around, prior to his dismissal.
Beale’s time as the Black Cats’ new boss has been fairly disastrous to date, with performances and results nowhere near good enough, not least in their 1-0 defeat at home to Hull City last Friday. That game saw the supporters turn on the Englishman, with some already seeing enough from him to suggest that he isn’t the right man to take the team forward.
His time at Rangers ended in disappointing fashion, and while there was hope that he could be an upgrade on Mowbray, that certainly isn’t looking like the case at the moment.
Sunderland eyeing Will Still for the summer
According to an update from local journalist Michael Graham, Sunderland see Reims boss Will Still as an option to replace Beale as manager, should he be relieved of his duties, but the change will most likely come in the summer.
“Said it before, but if Beale goes I think it’ll be Dodds until the end of the season. Then suspect back in for Will Still in the summer.”
It does feel as though the tide has already turned too much on Beale in a short space of time, with only a miraculous turnaround saving his bacon at this point.
While clearly a good coach down the years – Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard once said “it would take me 15/20 years to become as good as Michael Beale as an on-pitch coach” – the former Rangers manager looks out of his depth as a manager at this level, and Still could be such an exciting option instead.
He is only 31 years of age, but Newcastle United boss Eddie Howe has lauded him, saying “the success he’s had has been incredible”, and the fact that he has guided Reims to sixth place in the Ligue 1 table currently speaks volumes about his qualities in the role.
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Granted, there would be a risk element when it comes to Sunderland appointing Still, with his age and inexperience a question mark, but he could be the transformative long-term addition Kyril Louis-Dreyfus is searching for, known for utilising a 4-2-3-1 formation and being forward-thinking on the ball in all areas.