Over the last 2259 days Sunderland has had 9 managers, that averages out at around a new manager every 9 months, and people question why Sunderland need manager stability and why we should stick with a Jack Ross!? Over the next 6 posts, I’ll look at the managerial merry-go-round and what went wrong/right, (okay, mostly wrong!)
After narrowly losing to Man United, (those were the days!), on 30th March 2013, Martin O’Neil was sacked. For whatever reason MON didn’t work out ~ time for a bit of stability………
As always, it’s a game of opinions and hindsight is a wonderful thing….
Paulo Di Canio
PDC was clearly as mad as a box of frogs…..
But, he questioned;
~ Player power
~ Ill discipline
~ Commitment and professionalism
He was clearly fucking bonkers, but he lived and breathed Sunderland in his short reign. He dedicated every minute to the club, even living with his coaching staff in downtown Cleadon Village. Perhaps not so mad after all??
After losing his first game at Chelsea, (when they were good), a 3~0 win at Sid James Park, followed by a 1~0 over David Moyes Everton, (what a good job Moyes has done with Everton?? More on that miserable scotch loser in instalment 3/4)
PDC wore his heart on his sleeve, I was one of the 800 or so who went to see us lose 6~1 at Villa in a live Monday night game. By the end the match, we perhaps had 300 left in the ground. Obviously getting dicked 6~1 on live TV is not a good thing? But….. PDC forcing the players, (verbally and physically), to not slope off the pitch and come and acknowledge the fans ~ followed by seeing how much PDC was hurting was in a perverse way a really proud moment! Sadly his lunacy just tipped the balance of normality and soon enough he was gone…..
Dress code 8/10
PDC gone, we welcome Gus as the new Sunderland manager.
Quite early on in his tenure, we are playing Southampton ~ the defenders start passing the ball to each other, an unnerved crowd are understandably edgy. Moving forward, Gus completes changes the way we play ~ keeping the ball is a good thing. After a trip to Wembley ~ Gus masterminds a miracle escape. The day we won 1~0 at Old Trafford, was the day it all came together! He had taught bang average players to keep the ball and play football.
Sadly, a beautiful relationship turned sour very quickly post Christmas the following season. A hapless, gutless performance at Bradford Park Avenue in the FA Cup on Valentines Day, followed by 4 goal hammerings at home off Villa and Palace saw his reign come to a natural end.
Like PDC he saw it that we smashed the Mags 3~0 at the Wongadome.
Rating ~ 7.5/10
Dress code 2.5/10