The international break could not have come at a better time for Sunderland.
The Wearsiders fell to the bottom of the Championship after losing 1-0 at local rivals Middlesbrough on Sunday – but at least now they have time to mull over the potential replacements for the recently departed manager Simon Grayson.
Sky Sports reported that Paul Hurst, who has taken pre-season relegation favourites Shrewsbury Town to the top of League One, has thrown his hat into the ring. And former Sunderland striker Ally McCoist, who has been out of work since leaving Rangers three years ago, has emerged as a possible frontrunner, according to the Sunderland Echo.
The report, however, adds that there is a new name in the frame in fresh faced Luton Town coach Nathan Jones. The 44-year-old’s coaching career may amount to nothing more than a short stint as assistant to Chris Hughton at Brighton and a year-and-a-half with The Hatters but there’s a reason why Jones is considered one of the most exciting young managers in England.
Inexperienced but exciting
Jones led Luton to fourth place in League Two last season, only losing in the play-off semi finals to Blackpool. And he is well placed to go one better this time, guiding the club to third place and just two points off the top after 16 games played.
But it’s not just Luton’s points tally but the figure in the ‘goals for’ column that have Sunderland supporters overlooking the manager’s young age and inexperience. Luton have plundered 34 goals in 16 League Two games in 2017/18 – making them the most prolific team in the entire Football League.
A disillusioned Sunderland fanbase who have been forced to endure some dire football in recent years should be enthused by the prospect of a forward-thinking, progressive and attacking manager taking over at the Stadium of Light.
Jones certainly isn’t cut from the same cloth as David Moyes or Sam Allardyce. And in Lewis Grabban, James Vaughan, Aiden McGeady and co, Sunderland have talented attacking players capable of far more.