Well, well, well... Saturday was fun wasn’t it? 364 days since our last home win - two managers later - and Josh Maja’s debut goal took us out of the relegation zone, putting the pride right back into Wearside with a simple toe poke in Fulham’s bottom corner.
I don’t want to take any credit away from the players, who all worked so hard at the weekend, but there’s a huge reason for that change in mentality we saw on Saturday and that’s our (current) favourite Welshman - Mr Chris Coleman, the new leader of the red and white resurgence.
Following the resignation of Sam Allardyce, and the subsequent horrific appointments of David Moyes and Simon Grayson, an apathy has washed over the club which has sank Sunderland faster than the titanic.
The sacking of former Preston North End boss Grayson on Halloween was a particularly low ebb - an ebb so low that we outright dreaded just what came next as tensions between fans and Ellis Short reached what was surely breaking point.
A three week search for a new manager seemed never ending, but just as the uninspiring name of Ally McCoist began to looming dangerously closer, we moved for Coleman - a decision seemingly made completely out of the blue.
A manager with true calibre and character in equal measures; his appointment was met with fascination by the British media as they looked for answers as to why he would take on a club on it’s knees and suffering serious financial restraints. Why, they wondered, would a manager like Chris Coleman, with his know-how and his reputation take on a job that David Moyes, Simon Grayson and many more before them had found was a career killer with his reputation at an all time high?
The answer was easy - he knew the sheer size of this club, it’s potential and what he can turn us into. He saw that the juice would be worth the squeeze. He knew if he got this one right, then there’s not many better places to be in club management. And, boy, are we starting to see the fruits of his risk-taking.
But before we bask in the glory of the wonderful Welshman’s impressive start, let’s look at exactly why he’s succeeding where others didn’t.
I didn’t do enough due diligence on Sunderland.
I got the chance at Manchester United, which is well documented. I had a great time in Spain. I came back and made a poor choice in the club I chose.
It’s only been the last job where I feel it wasn’t a good move and I didn’t enjoy the experience.
These were the words of David Moyes, as he attempted to mask his sheer failure at the job - because he simply refused to work with the hand he was dealt. It was much easier to pretend that lack of funds, injuries or questions from female reporters were to blame.
Who are we to expect anything other than abject failure? We’re only little Sunderland after all.
A man who had such contempt for the club, he somehow managed to make even the most passionate of fans apathetic, wonderfully deflecting his utter incompetence to bring anything other than complete depression to the club - because, simply put, it’s easier to say we were the “impossible job” rather than owning up to the fact he wasn’t good enough to make a fist of it. He just didn’t get Sunderland. His character and demeanor was just too damn poor for a club like ours.
He’s a loser. A bitter man, and a loser. A managerial charlatan. A coward.
Then you’ve got Simon Grayson, bless him. He was just sodding useless, wasn’t he? A manager so bad he was receiving phone calls from Mick McCarthy to reassure him he wasn’t shite. He was awkwardly likable, but ultimately flawed. His rambling, mumbling insistence that he could do the job sounded more like he was trying to convince himself rather than us.
When he was asked how he was going to stop the rot, he would often sound like he was reading from a cue card. He claimed to have an understanding of what the club needed and a confidence in his own abilities, but often looked like a man who was aware that the task was far, far too big for him. I don’t need to remind you of his quotes, he was simply out of his depth. Bless him.
So managing Sunderland is the impossible job, the poisoned chalice, the career-killer - so say the national newspapers. Nobody could manage Sunderland successfully, yet five games into the Coleman era and something is happening, this club is starting to roar again.
It is going to be a big challenge. I am going to need all the supporters, players, staff, everybody to come with me on this.
Sooner or later it will start turning. Then it is such a big club that when we gather momentum, it's hard to stop.
These phrases uttered by Chris Coleman are undeniable evidence that he 100% understands what we are about. The size of the club, the potential and the community that exists inside of it. No talk of the problems that came before, no mention of how ugly and downtrodden the club was feeling - only what we could be.
He knew the scale of the task but spoke of the challenge - not only that; he revelled in it. He knows the huge potential this giant of a football club is sitting on. He knew that, if he got the Sunderland job right, he’d be sipping from the holy grail of football management.
A huge club with a passionate, vocal fan-base believing you is something any manager worth his salt should be salivating at the thought of. This was never the impossible job, and it was never a difficult task getting this club to have some belief and fire inside of it. Just ask Peter Reid, Sam Allardyce and Roy Keane. All you need is character.
We’re proud to say we have you on board, Mr. Coleman.