Sunderland fans react to speculation Kevin Phillips could replace Simon Grayson

Simon Grayson, manager of Sunderland looks on during the Sky Bet Championship match between Brentford and Sunderland at Griffin Park on October 21, 2017 in Brentford, England.

Sunderland legend Kevin Phillips has been installed as one of the early favourites to succeed Simon Grayson at the Stadium of Light.

Simon Grayson, manager of Sunderland looks on during the Sky Bet Championship match between Brentford and Sunderland at Griffin Park on October 21, 2017 in Brentford, England.

So, after 18 games, 15 of them in the Championship, Simon Grayson has gone. It was a 3-3 draw with basement boys Bolton Wanderers that sealed his fate as Sunderland manager, meaning the crisis-ridden Black Cats are now on the lookout for a ninth new boss in just six years.

As The Chronicle point out, however, Sunderland do not have the funds to pay any compensation, meaning Grayson’s replacement will either be a manager out of work or an untested, inexperienced ‘name’ appointment that carries a huge deal of risk.

BetVictor installing ‘Super’ Kevin Phillips as the 4/1 frontrunner suggests the latter is most likely. The former Sunderland hero, Premier League Golden Boot winner in 1999/2000, is a highly respected coach but has never taken on the top job yet in his post-playing days.

21 August 1999:  Kevin Phillips of Sunderland celebrates after scoring a penalty against Leeds United during the FA Carling Premiership match at Elland Road in Leeds, England. Leeds won 2-...

And there would hardly be a tougher place for the former Derby County and Leicester assistant to start than a Sunderland side riddled with debt, without any funds for January transfers, under pressure from a disillusioned fanbase and stuck with an owner who is desperate to sell.

The term ‘poison chalice’ may be a little dramatic but Phillips taking the Sunderland job would be something akin to a teetotaller entering the world of alcohol via a shot of Russian premium vodka.

Kevin Phillips one of the Leicester City coaches during the pre season friendly match between Mansfield Town and Leicester City at the One Call Stadium on July 25, 2015 in Mansfield,...

Understandably, Sunderland fans have been left divided by Phillips potential return to Wearside. He’s a club legend but now is not the time for sentimentality.

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