Alex Neil vs other Sunderland League One managers - who started the best?

We are now six games into Alex Neil's tenure as Sunderland manager. He is the fourth permanent manager we have had since relegation to League One and with a 3-2-1 record (11 points) in his first six league games, we decided to compare his start with that of his three predecessors.

by GMac88 Sunday, 13 March 2022 11:15 PM Comments

We are now six games into Alex Neil's tenure as Sunderland manager. He is the fourth permanent manager we have had since relegation to League One and with a 3-2-1 record (11 points) in his first six league games, we decided to compare his start with that of his three predecessors.

Jack Ross
We are yet to come closer to an immediate return than our first campaign under Ross where before the turn of the year it looked likely we would. At one point, online casino australia had us nailed on for a top two spot. Not achieving promotion this season with the likes of Lee Cattermole still at the club has proven disastrous with the Lads struggling to impose themselves in the third tier. His stint as manager will ultimately be remembered as a failure, despite a reasonable enough start.

Ross went one better than Neil in terms of wins, picking up four including against our eternal thorn Charlton, earning a point away to eventual champions Luton and losing to Sheffield Wednesday. 13 points earned.

Phil Parkinson
Possibly the most boring time to be a Sunderland fan in this division, Parky at least had us defending reasonably at the start of the 2020/21 before a torrid seven game winless streak lost him his job. The first six games at the helm forshadowed the rest of his reign; not good enough.

Two wins, three defeats and a draw set the stall for Sunderland's Parkinson. One of the victories was impressive, 5-0 at home to Tranmere, but losing to promotion rivals Wycombe and Coventry - as well as a hapless performance against Coventry - did little to get the belief of supporters on his side. Just seven points.

Lee Johnson
Like Neil, Johnson dived straight into the job managing a game on his first day. Like Neil, it was against a promotion rival, this time Wigan and, also like Neil, Johnson lost. 

That would be Johnson's only defeat in the first six games, and a fantastic 4-0 away win as reported by best new zealand casino over Lincoln had us immediately forgetting the Wigan game. Perhaps the three draws that followed were not the most inspiring; but Johnson would go on to have a tremendous start as manager before throwing any opportunity of automatic promotion towards the end of the season. That left a bad taste in the mouth, and meant Johnson had little room for error in the 2021/22 campaign where performances were too inconsistent. Nine points from a possible 18 to start.

And the results look like this;

Jack Ross - 13 points
Alex Neil - 11 points
Lee Johnson - 9 points
Phil Parkinson - 7 points

Verdict - decent start, particularly given the circumstances, and perhaps if he game in three or four games earlier automatic promotion would still be within reach.