Sunderland Manager Odds: Will Still the clear frontrunner

Will Still has emerged as the clear frontrunner for the Sunderland job after his departure from Ligue 1 side Reims before the end of the season.

The 31-year-old shot to fame last season as the youngest manager in Europe’s top five leagues, but gained regular attention online for his lack of a UEFA Pro Licence, which caused the club to be fined for every game in which he managed.

He also stated that playing Football Manager had had a significant impact on his coaching career, and he made an instant impact at Reims before finishing his time there at the start of May with a 38% win rate.

Sunderland were without a permanent manager for the majority of the second half of the season following the disastrous appointment of Michael Beale, and after Mike Dodds was appointed interim manager the hierarchy kept their powder dry until the end of the season.

Still was strongly linked to the Sunderland job before Beale was appointed and is expected to be in the running once again this season as one of the brightest managerial prospects around.


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Next Sunderland Manager Odds

Here are the current favourites for the Sunderland manager’s job:

  • Will Still - 1/3
  • Bo Svensson - 8/1
  • Rene Maric - 8/1
  • Liam Rosenior - 12/1
  • Paul Heckingbottom - 12/1
  • Slaven Bilic - 12/1
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Sunderland Manager

Will Still Next Job

All odds correct from BetVictor as of May 21, 10.30am

Potential Next Sunderland Managers

Still is undoubtedly going to be a manager in demand this summer, with plenty of clubs keen to check out whether he is the real deal or not considering the impact he had when initially taking over at Reims.

Though he was initially brought in as a caretaker manager - hence the lack of qualifications - he was undefeated in his first five games, thus earning the full-time role. That run stretched into 18 matches before his first defeat and an 11th-placed finish, which they are on course to match this season.

But who else is in the running for the job at the Stadium of Light?

Bo Svensson

Reports emerged this week that Svensson was on the shortlist of candidates to replace Dodds in the dugout, having been out of work since leaving his previous role at Mainz.

While the Dane made an instant impression in his two previous roles - at Liefring and Mainz - that he has been out of work since November will be cause for concern for some Sunderland fans.

It is also worth noting that the success he enjoyed at Liefring should not be overplayed, as they are a feeder club to RB Salzburg and there arguably in a stronger position than other sides around them, while at Mainz he lifted them away from relegation in his first season before struggling to build on that.

The Bundesliga remains a popular finishing school for Championship managers so it would be no surprise to see another manager plucked from those shores - though he was a Denmark international as a player - but Svensson hardly has the CV of some of his counterparts.

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Bo Svensson

Next Sunderland Manager

Rene Maric

Maric might be a familiar name to some fans of English football, having been an assistant manager at Leeds under Jesse Marsch while in the Premier League.

He came with a promising CV having previously held a similar role at Borussia Dortmund and coming through the ranks at Red Bull Salzburg before then moving to Borussia Monchengladbach and then Dortmund, but his time at Leeds didn’t exactly go to plan, lasting less than a year as Marsch’s management proved a disaster at Elland Road.

Maric even claimed after leaving that he had disagreed with the direction Marsch was taking the club, and wasn’t able to instill some of his ideas in the squad before he eventually returned to Germany to take up a head coach role with Bayern Munich’s under-19s.

He is still held in high regard however, and there are reports that Leeds are keen to bring him back to the club to work under Daniel Farke while a promotion to Bayern Munich’s first team is also in the offing. A shot at his first managerial job could be the only thing to tempt him away from that.

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Rene Maric

Next Sunderland Manager

Paul Heckingbottom

Heckingbottom has been out of a job since he was sacked by Sheffield United earlier this season, but that shouldn’t be held against him as he was essentially punished for the brilliant job last season with the Blades.

Sheffield United had been struggling on their return to the Championship after a brief Premier League stay when Heckingbottom came in in 2021, but they finished fifth and then second under his stewardship, earning automatic promotion with a squad he was unable to keep hold of upon their return to the Premier League.

That they struggled so much having not been given a fair chance to prepare for this season is no slight on Heckingbottom, but it is worth noting that in previous jobs at Hibs and Leeds he struggled hugely, and he would find it hard to replicate the success he had at Brammall Lane.

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Paul Heckingbottom

Next Sunderland Manager

Liam Rosenior

Rosenior is sure to be a man in demand this summer after his surprise sacking by Hull, days after guiding them to seventh in the Championship having overachieved and even being nominated for Manager of the Year.

The former defender will turn 40 this summer and remains a promising young British coach who is well respected in the game, and should be seen as an attractive prospect to Sunderland fans and owners.

It would be considered something of a coup at this stage for Sunderland to beat off the other clubs to land the services of Rosenior, who was sacked after missing the play-offs because the Hull owner said he was unable to deliver the attacking football he wanted to see.

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Liam Rosenior

Next Sunderland Manager

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Will Jackson

Will Jackson

Sports journalist, formerly of PA Media, latterly a PR manager before moving into the content world with the group. Long-suffering Leeds United and Yorkshire fan, 'for my sins'...