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Opinion: The win at Burton Albion represents an olive branch we all need to grasp

Saturday’s win marks an opportunity for all involved with the club to start afresh - an opportunity we all need to embrace.

Aston Villa v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

Sunderland’s win on Saturday away at Burton Albion was a scruffy one if truth be told, but who honestly cares?

How long has it been since we’ve won a game by any means necessary? The players grafted, and ultimately found a way to win - it actually feels quite weird just saying it.

Chris Coleman’s attitude and charisma have seemingly inspired the squad to pick up their game in a matter of days, and that is an encouraging sign.

Of course, it’s early days and nobody is expecting some sudden resurgence resulting in instant success; however, the gritty victory coupled with the Welshman’s inspirational qualities certainly create a sense of excitement within many of us.

Furthermore, not only does Coleman’s arrival and the subsequent win at the weekend generate this palpable sense of hope-filled glee, but it also signals an opportunity for change in terms of attitude.

Anyone and everyone associated with the club now has an opportunity to start afresh - from fans to club officers. Coleman’s arrival gives us all the opportunity to reconnect with the club - provided we continue to move in the right direction.

Aston Villa v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship
Coleman has the power to rejuvenate this club.
Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

Charisma and charm are incredibly powerful qualities, and Chris Coleman is blessed with both. The lack of said qualities certainly harmed our last two managers, whose want of allure almost certainly prevented them from succeeding at a club that so desperately yearns for a dominant figure capable of rallying the troops.

The last name you could realistically argue as being enticing in his demeanor would be Sam Allardyce, and everyone linked to the club knows how good he was in his short time as gaffer. Before that Steve Bruce and Roy Keane were realistically the most successful managers after the Reid years, yet in all of those men just named there is a certain level of confidence that breeds fanaticism. Bruce obviously lost it in a major way, but the others seemingly still retain their self-assurance and swagger - something Sunderland seemingly crave.

Coleman certainly seems to have the it factor. The manner in which he celebrated in front of the Sunderland fans after the Burton win was absolutely cathartic; it really feels like there is already an emotional connection between manager and fans that has been missing in what feels like forever. Even his words after the game talking about building trust added to the newfound sense of hope.

I said to the players enjoy it for 24 hours because we’re used to coming out of the dressing room depressed, because we’re feeling down, hence my reaction with the supporters after the game. We’ve got to gain their trust again.


Of course, these sentiments have been said before, and we’ve all witnessed the downfall of many a manager. Yet, something feels very different about the situation in which we currently find ourselves. This newfound sense of enthusiasm and hope feels incredibly genuine, and not manufactured in any way, shape, or form.

We’ve all been guilty of being critical recently, but this could be the opportunity we need to reunite as one.

Chris Coleman could be exactly what we need in order to heal divisions within our club.

We have to give him patience and support as he undergoes this difficult rebuild, but if he can continue to create the kind of energy witnessed in the above video, then there’s no reason why we won’t back this side to the hilt.

It’s very early days, and of course winning against Burton isn’t exactly lifting a trophy, yet there’s something stirring just below the surface of this club that has the potential to be incredibly exciting.

We all need to put aside our differences and negative attitudes in order to back a man who seems more than capable of turning this club around.

Chris Coleman is an olive branch and I think we have to take firm grasp of the hope and excitement he seems to generate.

We bandy the phrase ‘Keep the Faith’ around a lot, but Chris Coleman looks to be cultivating it at a club desperate for change.

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