Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Move to Sunderland a major gamble for Chris Coleman

David Nugent in Editorial, English Championship 18 Nov 2017

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Chris Coleman has quit his role as Wales boss after six years and looks set to join Championship strugglers Sunderland.

The move looks like a very brave one from the former Blackburn Rovers boss. The 47-year-old is reportedly set to sign a deal worth £750,000 a year in the north east.

Coleman has never hidden his desire to return to club management at some point in his career. However, his choice of club may well surprise many, especially after his successful spell as Wales boss.

Sunderland a club in a massive mess

To say that Sunderland is a club in a mess would be an understatement. The Black Cats had long flirted with relegation, but last season they finally suffered the inevitable drop to the Championship.

The north east club had sold most of their quality players and gradually the Black Cats sunk lower. Last season’s team were simply not good enough to play in the Premier League.

Last season’s boss David Moyes had very little resources to work with and the team went down with a whimper.

Simon Grayson joined the club in the summer and attempted to bring in players familiar with the Championship. Unfortunately, the highly rated Grayson lasted just 16 games, as his side struggled for points.

The north east team recorded just one win in the league under Grayson. The former Preston boss had thrived in his previous managerial roles. However, the mess at Sunderland was just too big for Grayson to clean up.

Accustomed to difficult situations

Only time will tell if Chris Coleman is the man to turn things around on Wearside. It is a major task for any boss, let alone a boss who has a mixed record at club level.

Coleman did a fantastic job as the boss of his national team and is quite rightly regarded by many as Wales best-ever boss. The Dragons making it to the semi-finals of Euro 2016 is their biggest achievement in modern football.

The 47-year-old may be going into a difficult situation at Sunderland. However, Coleman is accustomed to dealing with difficult situations.

Chris Coleman took the Wales job on the back of the tragic death of friend and former teammate Gary Speed. The Red Dragons were showing the sprouts of recovery under Speed.

Coleman slowly but surely improved the team and that lead to the major achievement at Euro 2016. The former Blackburn and Fulham boss will need all of his managerial skills to turn things around at the Stadium of Light.

One of the favourites for relegation

Sunderland are currently three points from safety in the Championship table. The Black Cats are far from dead and buried in the second tier. However, at the minute the north east side are one of the favourites to suffer relegation at 13/8.

A second relegation in as many years would be a disaster for the club. From Premier League to League One in a few seasons is unthinkable, but that is a very real possibility.

Everybody connected with the club will hope that Chris Coleman’s arrival will inspire a major turnaround in the team’s fortunes.

For Coleman, the decision to take the job in the north east is a major gamble for the former Wales boss. The 47-year-old has built up a good managerial reputation as Wales boss.

However, as David Moyes and Simon Grayson will testify Sunderland is the sort of job that can almost ruin a managerial career. However, it is also the sort of club with massive potential, which will be why Coleman has taken the job.

If the Welshman does turn things around at the Stadium of Light then he will massively enhance his managerial reputation.

Can Chris Coleman turn things around at Sunderland?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Nugent


David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The 33-year-old has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.

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