Terrible appointments at Sunderland & Leeds? Only Pardew & the pits been worse than Coleman & Heck

This afternoon's opponents at Elland Road have a notable feature in common. No other club in England

by Will_White Saturday, 07 April 2018 11:56 AM Comments
This afternoon's opponents at Elland Road have a notable feature in common. Only three other clubs in England's top two tiers have appointed a manager during the course of this season who has achieved less than Chris Coleman and Paul Heckingbottom. 


One was a manager with some international renown who joined a failing side mid-season only to quickly restore his reputation as a mediocre club manager, the other was an up-and-coming boss battling to stay in the Championship with some plucky upstarts only to bring that relegation form to his new 'bigger' club. 

Chris Coleman and Paul Heckingbottom will face each other at Elland Road this afternoon with their on-paper form since being appointed proving to be the worst in English football's top two tiers bar three other lacklustre appointments. 

Barring the disaster that was Alan Pardew's short stint at West Brom, Paul Lambert's lack of impact at Stoke and José Morais continuation of Barnsley's battle against relegation, Coleman and Heckingbottom have a worse record than all of the 17 other Championship or Premier League managers who have been appointed mid-term this season

Coleman has achieved a thoroughly miserable 0.83 points per game since becoming Sunderland boss in November, whilst Heckingbottom's 0.90 since early February fares little better. 

Heckingbottom's poor start to life at Elland Road looks all the starker considering all of the other names in the table above look like overseeing relegation from their respective leagues. 

Alan Pardew was clearly a complete disaster at West Brom and was sacked after managing just four wins in 18 games after replacing Tony Pulis. Paul Lambert has done little better after an initial bright start at Stoke has given way to an eight match run without a win. 

Chris Coleman has only managed five victories in 24 at Sunderland whilst Heckingbottom's two wins in 10 is hardly anything to shout about. 

Leeds sacked Thomas Christiansen in February with his side tenth in the table. The Dane had achieved a modest but solid 1.46 points per game. 

Coleman's inability to do significantly better than his predecessor Simon Grayson - who had racked up a paltry 0.66 points per game - is also a notable 'achievement'.

So are the pair who lead their sides onto the pitch at Elland Road this afternoon merely victims of problems deep rooted at their clubs or are the pair just seriously under performing? 

Certainly Heckingbottom hasn't had long at Leeds, with the West Yorkshire club seemingly paying the price for some poor decision-making at director of football and board level this season. And Sunderland are English football's sheer definition of a 'basket-case' with successive managers unable to turn the tide of decline which has the club facing successive relegations. 

But, surely, expectations were that both could and should have done better so far since being appointed.