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Sunderland need to bring back Mick McCarthy to lead rebuild

The 59-year-old managed the Black Cats for three years back in 2003.

Jake Jackman



Photo: Getty Images

Sunderland have had an awful last few seasons and that culminated on Saturday in relegation from the Championship.

The Black Cats become the first team to suffer back-to-back relegations from the Premier League since Wolverhampton Wanderers across the 2011/12 and 2012/13 campaigns.

The Midlands club have since managed to rebuild and they will be returning to the top-flight next season after a six-year absence.

It might feel like an unrecoverable position for Sunderland, but there are a few examples in recent history of teams dropping to the third tier before coming back as a stronger outfit.

Wolves are the latest one, while Southampton managed to achieve the same not too long ago.

The most important thing for the Black Cats is that they use this as an opportunity to completely rebuild the club and they will need an experienced manager to lead that this summer.

Chris Coleman has come across well in the media since taking over at the Stadium of Light, but the results on the pitch haven’t picked up and a change in the dugout will provide the club with a completely new start.

(Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images)

If the job does become available, it will take a certain type of manager to want to take it.

The rebuild won’t be easy and the financial implications of a double relegation mean that the right approach will need to be taken.

One name that jumps out as a great candidate is Mick McCarthy.

The former Ipswich Town manager has had success at the Stadium of Light before and he will be looking for a new challenge.

During his previous spell at the club, he managed to rally the club after relegation and get them back up to the Premier League at the second attempt.

He was eventually dismissed for a poor season in the top-flight, but, overall, he performed well.

His fiery style of management looks to be a perfect fit for Sunderland in their current state.

Their fall through the leagues has been due to many factors, one of which has been a lack of passion and application from the players.

McCarthy won’t be afraid to jettison a lot of the squad and start a completely fresh chapter in League One.

Although emotion shouldn’t often affect decisions made in the board room, it can be a positive to bring in somebody that has a connection to the club.

(Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images)

Sunderland have completely lost their soul over the last decade and they need to have people at the club that care.

McCarthy would love to be the manager to rebuild the club and he has a point to prove after his Ipswich tenure finished on a sour note.

The best response to his critics would be to take another job and prove his credentials again. The job at Sunderland looks to be a perfect fit, both for McCarthy and the club.

Sunderland have become used to losing during the last ten years and a long line of managers have failed to change that mentality.

Throughout his managerial career, McCarthy has a win percentage of 38.8% and is a proven quantity in the Football League.

It may not be the ‘sexiest’ of appointments, but he would certainly stamp his authority on the squad and he is the best man for the job.

Jake is a journalist based in the South East. He is a Newcastle United fan and has a keen interest in Dutch football. Jake can be found on Twitter here - @jakejackmann.

Leeds United

Leeds United round-up: De Bock interest, O’Kane to Charlton and managerial shortlist

A selection of the latest news and gossip from Leeds United.

Mathew Nash



De Bock option

Laurens De Bock has an option to head out of Leeds United before the end of the month. The Belgian has struggled to have an impact at Leeds since arriving in January.

The left-back has now dropped down the pecking order at Leeds, with youngster Tom Pearce and summer signing Barry Douglas overtaking him.

According to Voetbal24, he could be heading to Israel. Beitar Jerusalem are said to be keen on the player, where his former manager Guy Luzon is currently working.

IPSWICH, ENGLAND – JANUARY 13: Eunan O’Kane of Leeds United leaves the field after being sent off during the Sky Bet Championship match between Ipswich Town and Leeds United at Portman Road on January 13, 2018 in Ipswich, England. (Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images)

O’Kane wanted

Leeds United midfielder Eunan O’Kane could still be heading to Charlton Athletic. The Irish international has been frozen out at Leeds and is expected to leave Elland Road before the end of the month.

League One Charlton, managed by former Leeds midfielder Lee Bowyer, have been linked with a move earlier this month.

Now, as reported by the Yorkshire Post, the Addicks will continue looking for his signature over the next week or so.

Managerial shortlist

Leeds’ managerial shortlist before the start of the season had a number of top names present. Speaking to Gazzetta dello Sport, the Leeds chairman Andrea Radrizzani confirmed that the likes of Antonio Conte, Claudio Ranieri and Roberto Martinez were all considered for the manager role at Elland Road.

Leeds eventually appointed Marcelo Bielsa and his impact has been dramatic and immediate in West Yorkshire.

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Leeds United

Leeds United should consider sending Yosuke Ideguchi to KAS Eupen

The Japan international looks unlikely to play a major role at Leeds this season.

Mathew Nash



Leeds United’s excellent start to the season has been largely down to the management of Marcelo Bielsa. The Argentine has worked wonders with his new players. He even brought in the likes of Mateusz Klich from the cold, with aplomb.

However, another player who spent the second half of last season loaned out elsewhere was Yosuke Ideguchi. So far, the Japanese international has not received a chance under Bielsa.

It looks as though he might be sent out on loan before the end of the month, but interest from these shores looks scarce.

VALLADOLID, SPAIN – FEBRUARY 03: Yosuke Ideguchi of Cultural Leonesa warms up prior to the LaLiga 123 match between Valladolid and Cultural Leonesa at Estadio Jose Zorrilla on February 3, 2018 in Valladolid, Spain. (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

Last season he spent time with Leeds partner club Cultural Leonesa. The two teams have a strong link through director Ivan Bravo and the Aspire Foundation.

But Cultural was a waste of time for Ideguchi. He barely played and they were relegated to the third-tier. The Spanish side are not, however, the only Aspire team in Europe.

KAS Eupen of Belgium’s top-flight also have a connection with Bravo and Aspire. If Leeds want to help Ideguchi get better, perhaps sending him here is a better shout.

Not only would he playing a similar style of football to that in England, but he would be doing so under one of the best central midfielders to play the game in England.

BRUGGE, BELGIUM – JULY 29: Yuta Toyokawa pictured in action during the Jupiler Pro League match between Club Brugge and KAS Eupen at Jan Breydel Stadium on July 29, 2018 in Brugge, Belgium. (Photo by Vincent Van Doornick/Isosport/MB Media/Getty Images)

Claude Makelele is the manager at the club. The former Chelsea star would undoubtedly have a lot of knowledge to pass down to a young midfielder.

He would also have the added advantage of a Japanese team-mate. Yuta Toyokawa joined the club in January, amid controversy surrounding an apparent move to Leeds. He is a similar age to the Leeds misfit. Having him around could help the pair settle in their new surroundings.

If Leeds cannot find someone in the UK to take on Ideguchi, then sending him to Eupen looks like being the next best thing.

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Leeds United

Marco Bielsa is already setting records at Leeds United, with last season’s team

The turn around at Elland Road in the opening weeks of the season has been remarkable.



Marco Bielsa
Photo: Getty Images

Four games into his Leeds United tenure and Marco Bielsa is already setting records with his new team.

After a 2-1 victory over Rotherham on Saturday, the Argentine head coach becomes the first boss at Elland Road to win the club’s first four games at the start of a domestic season, in all competitions.

The standards being set by the 63-year-old since his arrival have been somewhat remarkable with the playing style he has quickly been able to implement proving mesmerising, even to those who are typically opposed to the club.

But, perhaps the most impressive quality about the performances Championship fans are witnessing, is the fact Bielsa has set this record with practically the same team that took to the field, and could only achieve a 13th place finish, last season.

At Elland Road this weekend, the starting XI only contained one summer signing, which just goes to demonstrate the impressive work Bielsa has carried out with the players over the summer period.

Already being referred to as a ‘ready-made Premier League side’, after years of heart break at Elland Road, there will now be a genuine believe that the Whites can return to the English top flight come the end of the season.

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