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Pulis best choice if Sunderland are to beat Premier League drop

| 25.09.2013

Roberto Di Matteo may be odds-on at 10/11 to replace Paolo Di Canio as Sunderland manager, but a strong case can be put forward as to why Tony Pulis would be a wise choice to be next in charge at the Stadium of Light.

Di Matteo does have some things going for him, notably the fact that he is Italian, which may make it easier to get along with director of football Roberti De Fanti and numerous other members of the coaching staff.

Meanwhile, he would also bring Premier League experience and an ability to enjoy a productive relationship with players, based on his time at Chelsea.

After Di Matteo in the betting to be next Sunderland manager is Gus Poyet at 4/1, but it is Pulis at 7/1 that the Sunderland board may do best to consider.

Pulis may not have won over many football fans with his direct style, but it was certainly effective at Stoke, as he transformed them from a relegation-threatened side in the Championship to a solid mid-table top-tier team.

In fact, looking back through Pulis’ back catalogue, he has made a habit of renovating teams from big strugglers to ones that are a lot more comfortable.

Gillingham finished fourth bottom of the then Division Three in the season before Pulis took charge and he immediately secured their promotion during the next campaign.

Portsmouth were in the bottom three in Division One in 2000 when Pulis was appointed as manager, but they recovered to beat the drop by five points.

Then in his first stint as Stoke manager, the club looked doomed when he stepped into the hotseat, but they somehow survived on the final day.

Survival is surely the most Sunderland can hope for at present and Pulis has still never suffered relegation, despite being in charge of numerous clubs which were fancied to face the drop.

Sunderland are currently 13/10 to be relegated this season, with only Crystal Palace a shorter price.

Pulis may not be the most extravagant or appealing choice among Sunderland fans, but his record speaks for itself.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.