Rangers must be really bad if Coleman snubbed them for Sunderland; Five big concerns for new boss


Chris Coleman should land on Wearside today to be unveiled as the new manager of Sunderland. Yesterday's two-apiece draw with Millwall showed even the lift generated by the imminent arrival of a new boss won't be enough to instantly improve the club at the bottom of the Championship. 


So, Chris Coleman "snubbed" Rangers in order to take charge of Sunderland? The Ibrox outfit must be in a really bad way if the former Wales boss opted to test himself on Wearside rather than Glasgow on the evidence laid out from yesterday's 2-2 draw with Millwall. 

Here's a quick guide to Chrissy's new club and the issues he'll face at Sunderland. 

Check out Mika, the other two goalkeepers are terrible

How Sunderland managed to replace the England goalkeeper with two as bad as Ruiter and Steele is beyond most people's comprehension; but whatever Simon Grayson's hidden strengths may have been during his brief tenure at the Stadium of Light, an eye for a 'keeper was not one of them. 

Robbin Ruiter came over all Tony Norman yesterday to allow Millwall to somehow score from two lame free kicks. Coleman may decide to restore Jason Steele to the starting XI at Aston Villa on Tuesday but we can already predict how he'll fare. 

Moyesy's Mika has become something of a joke. The Portuguese goalkeeper has yet to make a league start but he can't be any worse than the two clowns currently vying for the first team jersey. 

Build the team behind Grabban - he's all you've got up front

Simon Grayson may still be privately bemoaning the fact he wasn't handed the funds to sign a targetman in the summer and in a fit of pique during his time here, his Sunderland side continued to lump balls at Lewis Grabban in the hope that the 29-year-old would one day win a header. 

Grabbs has now scored 8 goals in twelve Championship games and has hit 6 in his last five outings. The man on loan from Bournemouth is scoring for fun at this level and Chris Coleman will be all too aware that his only alternative strikers are the currently injured James Vaughan and Josh Maja. 

Build the side with Grabban as first name on the teamsheet and arrange it to his strengths. 

Give the support some attention - nothing but the hardcore left

Even with a new manager set to be unveiled, apathy amongst the wider Sunderland fan base will be hard to shift. 27,000 were inside the Stadium of Light yesterday, the number swelled by a healthy Millwall contingent. 

The home fans attending games are down to the hardcore and enticing the stay-aways back will take attention and - obviously - results. Too many 'observers' in the press have been quick to knock the Stadium of Light fans this season despite the now history-making dreadful run of Wearside showings which have brought us to this point. 

Yesterday's crowd lurched from the fed-up to the optimistic as the game ebbed and flowed. Only Burton have conceded more goals at home and with 7 shipped in the last three, 6 scored and just two points gained following Sunderland is actually pretty exhausting right now. 

Coleman needs to get the fans onside quickly and pay no attention to the whisperers who have assailed previous managers with some legend of ferocious home fans who are a figment of their imagination. 

An impending injury crisis?

Sunderland will certainly be without Lamine Kone and Billy Jones for Tuesday's visit to Villa and Didier Ndong, Jonny Williams, James Vaughan and Duncan Watmore are also all likely to be out. The Black Cats squad isn't deep enough to handle a significant injury crisis 

However, with every permutation attempted by Grayson and now Stockdale so far this season pretty much failing, Coleman will be forced to experiment a little this week and blind luck has as much chance of stumbling across a coherent Sunderland line-up as the previous incumbents in the dugout have. 

League One remains a very real possibility

At least it wasn't a zero return but Sunderland are now four points from the Championship safety zone. Saturday's game was one which should have been won but, face it, Millwall are clearly one of the worst teams in the division and despite their own supporters insisting they don't expect to be a in a relegation battle come the end of the season, they most likely will be. 

Sunderland really need to win two or three of the eight games remaining in 2017 just to keep their heads above water. That elusive victory - the first since August - still looks unlikely as ever, with only a trip to Burton and home games against Reading and Birmingham looking like 'could wins' from upcoming fixtures.

Coleman faces away games at top-six Villa, Wolves and Sheffield United before the new year. We will have done well to be on 20 points by the time 2018 comes around. 



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