Sunderland fans have spent the last two weeks wondering  who will take over from the past two spectacular failures.

David Moyes taking them out of the top tier as one of the worst teams ever seen in the Premier League, then Simon Grayson taking on the baton and leading them to 24th of 24 in the Championship.

Sky Sports have now revealed the inspired choice that Sunderland are said to have identified as the top of the list preferred new boss – step forward Paul Heckingbottom.

He actually spent four years as a player at Sunderland until the age of 22 without getting a first team game, before moving on to various lower league clubs such as Bradford, Darlington, and Barnsley, before ending up in the Conference with Mansfield and finally Gateshead in 2010.

The Mackems are looking at cheap and cheerful with no/very limited transfer funds to offer a new manager, Simon Grayson was a specialist at League One promotion and Heckingbottom achieved the same in his only management job to date with Barnsley, in the 2015/16 season.

Obviously with League One beckoning, Sunderland are trying to get ahead of the curve with their managerial choices.

Sunderland fans have had plenty to say about news of the next potential ‘exciting’ appointment – commenting via their ‘Ready To Go’ (and get a new manager ideal for League One) message board:

‘I feel a little bit sick.’

‘Relagated if true.’

‘Properly unispiring. Typical of the level of ambition shown since Short decided he wanted out, and since Bain has been chief exec.


‘Great, Simon Grayson lite. I think panic is starting to set in.’

‘If true it’s a big gamble considering our current predicament.

But I’ve been saying for a while I’d like us to try an up and coming type rather than someone who has failed regularly or who’s career is on a downward trajectory.’

‘Seems a really nice bloke who has done a great job with Barnsley. Speaks confidently and intelligently. Why so negative?

Although I think our job should still be very attractive, we will be lucky to get him in our current situation.’

‘He is NOW number one choice….wonder how far down the original list he is.’

‘I don’t think he was on the original list let alone a long way down it.’

‘Heckingbottom..he’s a Barnsley lad and has a good thing going there..why the hell would he leave to come here..apart from the obvious money like.’

‘Mmmm. Joining a club bottom of the championship with no money to spend for the foreseeable future. Why bother ?’

‘How have we gone from Allardyce and top half of the premier league form to fawning over Barnsley’s manager in such a short space of time?

What a mess.’

‘This is nothing more than shuffling the deckchairs on the Titanic.’

‘As time unfolds the penny starts to drop with some of our fans….no-one of any note wants the job under the conditions the owner will impose on him. That has to change first otherwise PH will just be the latest name to add to the list of failure.’

‘He has won one promotion to the Championship and been managing for a couple of years. His career has taken him nowhere near the Premier League.

He is very clearly not the man for the job.’

‘In case you haven’t noticed mate, we are nowhere near the premier league!’

‘Not sure what kind of ‘inspirational’ appointment people are expecting from a club rock bottom of the championship and with a terrible reputation.’

‘The most likely outcome here…..he’ll turn us down.’

‘Thankfully it doesn’t look as though it will be Redknapp or McCoist so he will get me support, but I am really shaking my head in disbelief this is the best we can attract!!!!’

  • Sid James

    What a Carry On with the Mackems

    • Leazes Ender

      You can say that again.

    • Rich Lawson

      Ooh Matron !,I thought he was dead,thanks be for our wonderful NHS. Nice to see you back Sid,Panto at the Empire this year ? ( Ellis as King Rat ! )

  • Kevin Brown

    It’s a tragic story,

  • Rich Lawson

    Only the unemployed or terminally egotistical are going to apply for this and probably even then just for the pay off when they hit League 1

  • Toonrobbybobson

    Penny dropping they arent a premier league team? Soon wont be a championship team either.

    Going into the Abyss Sunderland cant see them being anywhere near us for a long long time. They are such a mess.

    • Hughie_Gallacher

      Awful, isn’t it?

      • Toonrobbybobson

        Would have been nice to take 6 points off them in Prem haha.

      • Toonrobbybobson

        Id love them in the cup to remove that horrible record weve had lately because of our spineless former teams.

        • Damon Horner

          knowing our luck we’d still lose to late goal off their defenders back.

  • X,WHY,Y MAN.

    It might be a good idea for them to bring in a manager like him, “Horses For Courses”, And all that.
    It’s looking more likely that they will repeat their feat of dropping into the third tier for a second time in their history.
    If that happens then a manager like Heckingbottom is about all your going to attract in League One.

    • Rich Lawson

      ”Horses for courses” This looks like ”Beechers Brook”

      • X,WHY,Y MAN.

        Too true !

        • Mike

          only fools and horses?

  • Steve Pearce

    Aye Porter – we all know your’e a Makem….

  • mentalman

    why would heckingbottom go to sunderland, he is managing his local team and has no pressure on him, they are over achieving and most Barnsley fans support him and are happy with the way things are going, even if he got them relegated he’d still be in the job. Barnsley have a great set up and are in the process of a major take over so far more appealing than moving to Sunderland.

    • Steven Thynne

      Finally a geordie talking sense instead of bitching proper footie supporter

  • Geordiegiants

    I wonder if they are still looking beneath them 😭😂😭😂😭😂😭😂, cause they won’t find Rafa the mugs.
    Fncking inbred muppetts deserve everything coming to them.

  • joe mac

    Here, here!….what goes round comes round!….why dont they go for the best geordie manager they ever had….laurie mcmenemy!…..he took them down to the old third division so he knows what it takes!! LMAO!!!..

  • Viru leckworth

    John Carver would maybe take the job.

    • MadMag83

      He’d turn it down, below his level.

  • HappyToons

    There’s some comedy managers available…Gordon Strachan. ‘Steve Cram’ would probably do a better job than most that have been named.

  • Andy Mac

    Twitter message “It’s not surprising seeing the makems are Hecking bottom”

  • Mike

    i thought the last manager…wot was his name again? was doing a good job. of course the mackens were going to pss the league as they informed us at the start. but never mind i hope they keep putting up lets all laugh at newcastle.

  • Andy Mac

    I think the makems have to accept they have to get worse before they ever improve. I’ve said so many times that as the place is a sht hole and no one wants to live there, unless they’re paid a fortune of course, they should focus on the youngsters.

    They know Sunlun and wouldnt be upset living there plus their juniors always seem to get results against us so maybe a coach, with experience at youth level, is what they need ?

    However I’m pretty sure they’re “Rafa Beneathus” now ?

  • Turner

    I like the delusion of mackems, one comment allardyce and top half of the premier league form what? Was that when he was playing champ manager on his spectrum while sleeping with his sister who is also his cousin/auntie.

  • HarryHype59

    Short is a terrible owner and has wasted the TV cash! He makes our rotund owner look like Abramovich!

  • Mrkgw

    Hillarious. I’d have had some sympathy had they not behaved as they did when we were relegated. The first division looms.

  • Jezza

    These articles are becoming increasingly embarrassing to be truthful. It’s time to give up the “Mackem bashing” and just worry about our own team.

    • lukegte

      I’m with Jezza. Sunderland (and any success/suffering they endure) means as little to me as any other club

  • Steve Pearce

    Ha ha ha!

    An excellent choice of manager seeing you’ll be playing Gateshead in a couple of years….

  • Toon

    Not that we are obsessed with mackems or anything

  • NUFCDan

    Could easily have been us in this situation last season where it not for Rafa