After doing a remarkable job on a shoe-string budget at Watford, the talented Sean Dyche was harshly shown the exit door but quickly picked up by Burnley – replacing a certain Eddie Howe.
And despite them being tipped for the drop, Dyche led the Clarets to automatic promotion.
Relegation followed a year later but it wasn’t through a lack of effort, more due to the club’s sensible but way of dealing with their finances.
But the Clarets look set to challenge again this term and, if they do achieve a second promotion in three years, will be better equipped both on and off the pitch next time.
Would Sunderland want him? He’d be on a long list but not at the top. Although talented, Dyche is also a bit unfashionable and his relegation will count against him. He’d have access to more funds on Wearside but the fact he hasn’t had the chance to spend big (except Andre Gray) in the past, the board could be worried about backing him.
Would he want it? I’d probably say no. Dyche knows how hard it is to stay in the league after experiencing it for the first time last season despite having a tight-knit group of committed players. Sunderland’s squad is at the other end of the spectrum with apparent problems in the dressing room so getting them together will be no quick-fix. As well as his loyalty, he has a desire to prove he can get Burnley back to the top tier, where Sunderland most likely will not be next season.
Would he be the right fit? Probably. He would form a bond between the players and restore their respect for themselves and the fans. He would also not look to jump ship if the club were to go down and would, unlike many on the list, relish the prospect of getting them back to where they think they belong. His mix of attacking but organised and physical football would also please the home faithful.