Our very own Gerard Watson recently wrote at length about he
feels that it’s a myth
that Sunderland are doomed to their second relegation in a row. Yet as far
betting tips go, Sunderland remain among many experts’ choice for
relegation – and after just one win all season, it’s easy to see why.
Some of us got our hopes up when the board appointed Chris
Coleman as manager. But does the Welshman really have what it takes to help us
avoid the drop? Let’s assess his chances…
Considering the general impression that Sunderland AFC is rotten
to the core, it’s impressive that owner, Ellis Short, and Chief Executive,
Martin Bain, were able to lure Coleman to the Stadium of Light.
The appointment certainly makes sense for the Black Cats and
the thinking is clear: if anyone can help us, Coleman can. After all, Coleman has
achieved the impossible before. As manager of Wales, he took his national side
to the semi-finals of Euro 2016 with a side made up of Championship players,
Premier League also-rans and one world-class player in Gareth Bale.
Despite narrowly missing out on World Cup qualification,
Coleman had plenty of job options, including remaining as Wales’ manager. With
this in mind, Coleman’s appointment is definitely something of a coup for the
Working with a
Coleman made it clear that he won’t be able to “splash the
cash” in the January transfer window. That’s all well and good because after
his Wales experience, Coleman obviously knows how to work with limited options.
But at Sunderland, the new boss has the advantage of being
able to expand his squad to some extent. In an interview with the Sunderland
Echo, he said that a goalkeeper was a priority and that he was looking to bring
Liverpool’s third-choice keeper, Danny Ward, to the Stadium of Light on loan. It’s
obvious the boss has a clear plan to steer us away from the drop.
The Welshmen clearly loves a challenge, and whether we’re “rotten
from the inside” or not, he certainly has a lot of work to do – starting with
There have been serious rumours about dressing-room unrest
ever since Paolo Di Canio was manager. The players were apparently furious that
the Italian questioned their work ethic and lifestyles. There were also claims
that Gus Poyet “lost the dressing room” before his sacking in 2015.
Last season, David Moyes was also reported to lose faith in
his players’ attitudes, with tensions boiling over in his last week as boss.
But when Sam Allardyce
saved us from relegation back in 2016, he did so by getting into the
players’ heads. And Coleman also needs to show who’s boss right from the start,
as proper man-management is surely the key to getting us out of trouble.
Part of the unexpected success of Wales’ Euro 2016 lay in
Coleman’s rapport with his squad. According to reports, the Welsh lads loved
him and did everything to please him.
While we lost 2-1 against Aston Villa in Coleman’s first
game as boss, there were some aspects of our game to suggest we might be moving
forward. After spending just two days with the squad, Coleman managed to change
the style of play and ensure we kept more possession. The squad are already
listening to the boss and rightly so.
Robbie Savage recently said that he believes Coleman’s
Sunderland squad will “walk through brick walls” for their new manager. With
Coleman on board, there’s every reason to hope he’s the one to turn things