There's a growing suspicion that Chris Coleman could 'do a Moyes' or 'do an Advocaat' and walk away from Sunderland in the coming weeks. Would it be such a bad thing?
No human being could really take much more of this maddening mess...
Chris Coleman looked a bit shocked in the aftermath of yesterday's latest horror. Few can blame him; Jason Steele's kamikaze race out of the penalty area wouldn't have looked out of place in one of the Sunday league fixtures taking place around Wearside this morning.
But surely each new embarrassment which befalls Sunderland AFC is another nail in the coffin of Coleman's long-term future at the Stadium of Light.
The Lads are proving they can put in an occasional performance like the one at Loftus Road yesterday - spirited enough - but ultimately undone by another moment of gross stupidity.
And that hair-tearing, frustrating makeup of the Sunderland squad would test even the most hardened, seen-it-all managers operating in the Football League, never mind one who was cosseted in an international set-up for half a decade.
The wise words of...erm...Simon Grayson...
In the wake of another step towards League One, I couldn't help but ponder the words of Simon Grayson in an interview shortly after Coleman was appointed at the Stadium of Light:
He’ll have seen it exactly as I saw it - that it’s a big football club and you feel that you’re the right person to be able to turn it around and that’s what he’ll try and do.
Nearly four months on, Coleman is beginning to look as if he's merely the latest slightly naive individual to rock up at the SoL and believe he can sort the mess out. Did the man fresh from Wales underestimate the size of the task and did his previous unshakeable self belief convince him he could do a job here?
Yes, yes it'll take time to do so and we shouldn't expect miracles but the current run of nine win-less matches has plummeted the Welshman's points-per-game number to one roughly comparable with Grayson's. So that's two of them so far this season who have tried and failed to "turn it around".
But, at what point does the jury sitting to pass judgement on Chris Coleman return its verdict? And more importantly perhaps, at what point does the man himself decide enough is enough and walk away?
Surely, he'll walk away...
When Coleman was appointed, there were plenty who lectured Sunderland fans that they ought to be grateful to the man for giving us a go - and there still are. Now, I dunno how many Sunderland fans you've met, but I don't know many who bow down and kiss the boots of those they're told to display gratitude towards. Even at our most embarrassing - i.e. NOW - there remains a certain core of pride in the Mackem make-up at least.
And, there is still a vocal section of the support who are absolutely adamant that the 47-year-old isn't to blame for any of this - though they will occasionally contradict themselves and acknowledge the mistakes he's made so far. Sunderland AFC creates victims after all - loads of them.
Personally, I'm just not getting him. I'm increasingly not getting the post-match verdicts and I'm not getting the constantly tweaked starting formations which are then abandoned most weeks to turn them into some other guise. I'm not getting the substitutions either - taking Joel Asoro of yesterday - anyone? And I'm not getting the continued persistence with O'Shea and Cattermole - a pair who have brought down eight previous managers during their lengthy spells at Sunderland.
I'm just not getting the total absence of any improvement - either in defence or attack and I'm not getting the increasingly contradicted missives to the press which, to me, pretty much suggest that there's little substance behind the style, nor coaching and tactical ability behind the front man routine.
So, all of that leads me to this conclusion - that either Sunderland is simply a lost cause or he isn't actually up to the task. If the former is true - if I'm Chris Coleman I'm walking out; and if the latter is true - if I'm Chris Coleman, I'm walking out.
There is no other likely outcome - surely.