“It Would Be Nice To Go Back” – Could This Former Sunderland Player Be In Line For Return?

Michael Beale has been sacked by Sunderland after just 12 matches, and there will doubtless be fervent speculation as to who might take over.

The Black Cats are still in the hunt for a play-off spot, sitting just four points behind sixth-placed Coventry City. However, since Beale’s arrival, they’ve slipped down the table, and have taken decisive action for the second time this season, following Tony Mowbray’s dismissal.

Former Sunderland striker Dwight Yorke might not be a name many fans would back for the role, but he’s eager to get into management in the UK. Yorke, who made 62 appearances for the club at the tail end of his career, has spoken previously of his desire to get into management, and threw his hat into the ring for the Sunderland job three days before Beale was fired.

“I would just like the opportunity to manage Sunderland,” Yorke said in an interview with Gambling Zone on Friday.  “I’ve played for these clubs and it would be nice to go back to Sunderland or Birmingham but it doesn’t mean that I’d rule out managing another club in the EFL. I have to be open-minded to the challenge I’d have to take on.”

Yorke has been hunting a route into management for some time – he was interviewed for the Sutton United job in 2019 and expressed his disappointment that Steven Gerrard got the Villa role, rather than him, a year or so later. In July 2022, he did get his chance in management, taking over at Macarthur FC in Australia, leading them to the first piece of silverware ever a couple of months later. However, after just six months in the role, he left and returned to the UK.

The Black Cats will begin hunting for their 12th permanent manager in ten years whilst also trying to juggle the ongoing challenge of returning to the Premier League after a seven-season absence. Early front runners include Reims head coach Will Still and former Nottingham Forest manager Steve Cooper, whilst Yorke doesn’t appear on the lists of possible new managers.

Writer’s View

Will Still is one of the front runners, a man who is known for getting into coaching through a love of Football Manager. It’s safe to say Jay from the Inbetweeners is more likely to rock up at the Stadium of Light as manager on the back of his achievements with Woking on the same game, than for Yorke to get the nod.

It might actually be harsh on Yorke, but he’s another of those managers who people don’t see as credible because he bemoans his luck in getting chances. If the 52-year-old is serious about getting into a job, then starting in League Two or the National League is the best route, or getting into a bigger club as a coach and impressing from within.

Sadly, with seven months in control of an Australian team that gets 3,500 supporters to their game sis not sufficient experience to take over a behemoth like Sunderland and the expectation that comes with the role.

 

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