On Wednesday, following a string of bad results, Sunderland AFC sacked manager Steve Bruce after a string of poor results. Bruce did well to get the Wearside club into the top half of the table last season, but recent results have been poor despite Bruce having a decent squad at his disposal. They sit in 16th place with two wins from 13 games, with a home loss to Wigan Athletic being the straw that broke the camel's back for the Sunderland board.
SB Nation's Sunderland blog Roker Report writes that Steve Bruce was a good hire when he was brought to the club, but that the Black Cats now deserve better.
For a long long time, Sunderland were seen as a yo-yo team. Niall Quinn and Roy Keane saw to it that we got into the Premier League and remained there (with a little help from Ricky Sbragia). A proven Premier League side.
Steve Bruce came in later as the best calibre of manager we could attract at the time to a team which was perennially near the darker end of the Premier League with aspirations of achieving more.
Bruce went on to take us to tenth. By hook or by crook, tenth is tenth, and a solid achievement. He brought in a much higher class of player, however it seems now that we're ready for the next logical step. Someone who can take us to the top ten once more, and keep us there consistently.
The next appointment could be a key one in our future, if we're to avoid regression. I hope Ellis Short knows what he's doing.
Sunderland are a much more financially secure and much more talented side than when Bruce came in. With their new hire, Sunderland will likely look to a manager with a history of leading clubs into the top half, not a manager who has done a lot with a little in the Championship and Premier League relegation battles.
For more on Bruce's firing and Sunderland AFC, check out SB Nation's Sunderland blog Roker Report.