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“After those remarks,” a BBC pundit thinks the 42-year-old manager’s door at Sunderland is not “readily-open.”

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According to Nick Barnes, there would not be a “ready-open” path for the 42-year-old to lead Sunderland during the summer.

Sunderland is ready to name a new manager in the summer after dismissing Michael Beale earlier in the season.

After the Sunderland owners returned to the Championship in 2022, this will be their fourth permanent manager.

Until the end of the season, Mike Dodds will remain in charge, but he has already lost his first four games, and Sunderland has lost their past six in the Championship.

This is the first time the Black Cats have dropped six straight games since 2006.

Alex Neil connected to Sunderland comeback
Following his departure from Sunderland at the beginning of the 2022–2023 season, the 42-year-old led Stoke City to promotion from League One, a position he has since lost.

Neil recently discussed his stint at Wearside on the NFL Debate, saying that his departure was due to a contract dispute.

He declared:

“When we were promoted, I wanted to start talking about staying longer, getting a better deal, and being a part of the club’s future plans because that’s where I saw myself. In their eyes, I had signed my contract, and that was the contract I was bound to. In terms of “we want you to be the one who takes us forward in the next few years,” that didn’t, in my opinion, demonstrate any faith in me or in security. That served as the fundamental element guiding all that followed.

Additionally, BBC pundit Nick Barnes responded to Neil’s remarks and the rumored return to Sunderland by saying:

“He thought the club didn’t give him enough credit for what he accomplished in his short time at Sunderland, [after] the Wembley final.”

Barnes went on:

Isn’t there a recognizable pattern here? After it was revealed that they had likely spoken to an Italian coach, Tony Mowbray’s trust was betrayed, and he found himself in a situation where he felt, perhaps, underappreciated as well.

Ultimately, Barnes said:

“I don’t think the door would be easily open for his return, after such remarks by Alex Neil.”

Stoke City v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship

The management resume of Alex Neil, which includes Stoke City

In 2013, Neil secured his initial managing position at Hamilton Academical.

Since then, he has held managerial positions at Norwich City, Preston North End, Sunderland, and Stoke City. With Norwich, he has achieved promotion from the Championship, and with the Black Cats, from League One.

Neil has managed 466 games with a 41.42% win percentage, although his most recent stint at Stoke was his poorest; after 22 victories in 66 games, he was fired in December with a 33.33% win percentage.

Maybe Sunderland’s owners are developing a reputation for being hard to please.

In particular, this season has highlighted Kyril Louis-Dreyfus and Kristjaan Speakman.

As a result of a number of poor managerial choices and what now appears to be a series of terrible transfers, their standing as owners and sports directors, respectively, appears to be suffering.

There is undoubtedly room for reconciliation, even though Louis-Dreyfus and Speakman continue to enjoy a reasonably high level of popularity among supporters.

And they may atone for those mistakes in the summer by adding a capable coach—Still, for example—and then supporting the new coach in the transfer market.

However, the thought, “What if Neil never left?” might never go away. He was performing admirably for Sunderland in the Championship, and Sunderland might not be in this situation now if he had stayed on.

Although Neil might make a comeback to football very soon, after an eventful year and a half, expect him to take a rest.

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