After achieving just one point from the five Premier League games he has been in charge so far this season, Paolo di Canio has been relieved of his duties at Sunderland.
The fiery Italian has not been a success at the Stadium of Light since taking over from Martin O’Neill in March. He kept them up, but only by finishing one place above the drop zone in 17th. When he took charge of the club they sat in 16th place. And they won just twice in the Premier League under his stewardship.
The board have decided to take the decision to sack him, which leads to the question of who will replace him?
Former West Brom and Chelsea boss Roberto di Matteo is the favourite with the bookmakers. He’s a free agent so Sunderland would not need to pay compensation to another club, and he would continue the Italian influence which was started under di Canio, but in a rather more mundane manner! He’s best priced at 6/4 (Betfred) to take over at the Stadium of Light.
Three more out of work managers are the next three in the betting, former Brighton boss Gus Poyet (9/2 Ladbrokes, SkyBet, Bet365), ex-Stoke manager Tony Pulis (6/1 Coral) and former Scotland and Aston Villa boss Alex McLeish (14/1 Betfred) are the others to have their name thrown in the hat.
Di Matteo looks to be the overwhelming favourite for the job. Strangely, he has been without a club since leaving Chelsea in November last year having led them to Champions League glory the previous season.