Two weeks ago after 3-0 defeat at West Brom, Sunderland's board sacked Paolo DI CANIO. Kevin BALL was placed in charge the next day following the abrupt dismissal of Paolo Di Canio. Coach Kevin Ball reprises a role he previously held for 10 games following Mick McCarthy's 2006 departure but who is the player for almost all of the 1980's and the 1990's ? Born in Hastings, Ball began his career in central defence but eventually moved into central midfield. He started his preofessional career wit h Portsmouth in second division. From 1982 to 1990 he played 105 games for Pompey and one season (1987/88) in first division. Then in 1990 he moved to Sunderland who he made the best of his career. He played 389 games for the black cats in all competitions, scoring 27 goals. At Sunderland, he played in the 1992 FA Cup Final where they lost 2-0 to Liverpool. He was named Sunderland F.C. Player of the Year for season 1996/97, the year they were relegated from the Premier League. Now Ball is the black cat's manager but for how long ? On this question he's stilling philosopher : "The situation last time was slightly different to this time, but it did give you an experience, whether it be for one or ten games. I enjoyed it last time and I hope I feel the same way about this one as well".