A week is a long time in football. So, what does that make 107 days? Purgatory? To some, maybe.

Sunderland promised to take time with their next head coach appointment in the wake of Michael Beale's departure on February 19th, but there's now growing unrest among the Black Cats faithful, online at least.

While social media is not always the best gauge of fan sentiment, the public snubbing from Will Still last week did nothing to quell any anger last week.

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Having agreed a deal with the Belgian coach to take over the reins at the Stadium of Light, Sunderland were shocked to hear that Still would turn down their offer in favour of Ligue 1 club RC Lens. Missing out on their long term target.

Why the French club hasn't yet appointed him as their new boss is anyone's guess.

Supporters are right to feel aggrieved by the time it's taking to appoint a new head coach - the silence from those calling the shots is deafening - but it's also worth looking at why it's taken so long and what comes next. Had the Ligue 1 club not picked up the phone last week, the Black Cats would have had their man.

While the 107 day statistic is right to mention, the club did not hide away from the fact that Mike Dodds was in his role until the end of the recent campaign. In theory, their hunt for a successor to Beale ramped up just over a month ago. 

The club's stance was always to wait until the summer to appoint a new head coach, but as we're seeing now, that approach brings it's own risks - the Championship managerial merry-go-round.

Back in February, there were, as it is now, no clear front runners for the vacant position, with the club's stance that more candidates would be available in the summer. That proved to be the case with Still's departure from Reims leaving the club with an apparent open goal to get their man, but as is the case in football, it proved far from simple.

The difference from February to present day, is Sunderland are not alone in their quest for a new head coach with competition rife. Burnley lost Vincent Kompany to Bayern Munich last month, while Enzo Maresca's departure from Leicester City to Chelsea leaves the Foxes in search of a new boss.

Carlos Corberan is among the front runners to take over at the King Power Stadium, potentially leaving the West Brom job vacant, while the Clarets are yet to appoint a new head coach.

Norwich City and Hull City have both fired and hired new bosses since the end of the Championship campaign, with the aforementioned Still a contender at Carrow Road at one point before appointing Johannes Hoff Thorup. Tim Walter the man replacing Liam Rosenior at the MKM Stadium.

As things stand, it's very much a coach's market. Prospective bosses are in no rush to make a decision given the possibility of opportunities arising elsewhere, but there comes a time where the Black Cats must put their eggs into one basket.

So, where do Sunderland look next?

We Are Sunderland: Former AZ Alkmaar boss Pascal Jansen has held talks with Sunderland over the vacant managerial position.Former AZ Alkmaar boss Pascal Jansen has held talks with Sunderland over the vacant managerial position. (Image: PA)

We Are Sunderland understands Pascal Jansen has had contact with the club at one point during proceedings, but it's unclear whether he remains in the frame after the recent Still saga 

Unless there's a dramatic change, Rene Maric remains on course to make up Vincent Kompany's backroom staff at Bayern Munich. Liam Rosenior and Paul Heckingbottom both remain in the market for a new job, with Sunderland having spoken to the latter of the two earlier on in proceedings.

A decision may not be imminent, but one thing that's clear, the Black Cats can ill afford a wall of silence from the decision makers for much longer.

We haven't heard from Kyril Louis-Dreyfus or Kristjaan Speakman for some time, with the latest club comment on the search for a new boss arriving on the day of Beale's departure: "We will be updating our supporters further as and when significant developments are made."

Since then, nothing. 107 days of silence.


Interim boss Mike Dodds faced the brunt of questioning from the media regarding the ongoing search during his temporary stint in charge, perhaps unfairly.

The silence has opened the door to questions from the fanbase and further scrutiny over the succession planning at the club. Although players are on holiday at this time of year, there has been little speculation linking the Black Cats with signings, the uncertainty around who'll be in the dugout no doubt playing it's part.

The club's hierarchy have been given grace by the fanbase, but patience is wearing thin. They must address the ongoing search if an appointment is no closer to being finalised, even if that is to just quell emotion online. After all, they promised transparency and communication on arrival.