Why he will get the job: O’Neill has been out of work since leaving Aston Villa before the start of last season and a return to management has never been too far away. At 59 he does not have loads of time if he wants to finally break into the tier of management marked Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea or even England. Sunderland represents a similar level to the Aston Villa he left and O’Neill, one of the best motivators in the game, would be guaranteed to have his side climbing free of the relegation zone. He also followed the club as a youngster.
Why he won’t get the job: Funds are fairly tight at the Stadium of Light – Asamoah Gyan is proof positive of that – so will O’Neill want to go to a club where he may once again run afoul of an American chairman? Also, there’s the aforementioned ‘stepping stone’ suggestion, and the danger that the Northern Irishman could be lured elsewhere if he manages to do what Bruce could not. That being, win football matches.
Why he will get the job: He’s a free agent looking to restore his reputation after leaving Fulham insisting the club lacked ambition/under the impression he’d be appointed at Aston Villa. He’s also done good jobs for Wales, at Blackburn and Manchester City, rather unfortunately losing his job at the latter for not being as swarthy as Roberto Mancini. Hughes is still young in management terms and would probably jump at taking over from his former Manchester United team-mate.
Why he won’t get the job: He did not come out of the Fulham farrago well, only the most naive of commentators would say he didn’t opt out at the first whiff of a bigger club coming calling. Sunderland can claim to be a bigger club that Fulham, but not by much, and Hughes might baulk at taking over a club with no discernible striking talent.
Why he will get the job: He’s won a La Liga title, two European trophies and an FA Cup. Not bad. He’s arguably better versed in English football than even that of his home country and, like Hughes and O’Neill, is currently unattached.
Why he won’t get the job: Benitez’ last two clubs were Inter Milan and Liverpool. While his record at the latter was not impressive (he was shown the door for not being Jose Mourinho after only four months of the season), he was popular among the majority of Liverpool supporters and will believe it’s only a matter of time before he returns to top level management. The top level of management is not to be found at the Stadium of Light.
Why he will get the job: He’s currently unemployed and he’s arguably the greatest manager in world football, aside from Sir Alex Ferguson.
Why he won’t get the job: Why choose cotton when you can have silk?
Why he will get the job: He has stated a couple of times that he’d like to manage again in the Premier League and, of all of Chelsea’s recent managers, he was the one that was sacked too soon. He won the double in South London, is popular in the dressing room and could attract some big name players to the North East.
Why he won’t get the job: Again, he’s just out of Sunderland’s reach and will next be seen taking over at Inter Milan when Claudio Ranieri inevitably gets the chop.
Why he will get the job: Tough one this – unfinished business perhaps? And he did get them promoted from the Championship relegation places.
Why he won’t get the job: His best achievement in football management seemed more and more like a fluke, the longer he stagnated at Ipswich. And if he hasn’t been picked up by another lower level outfit, he won’t be seen in the Premier League any time soon.