Neil Graney says...
The p**s taking party was supposed to be over, yet everywhere you look the club is crumbling.
The whole club has the classic characteristics of any recent corporate failure. The owners came in and the initial boost in morale was effective, but since then, they have severely underestimated the club, its fans and the challenge of bringing success.
The owners thought a few drinks with fans and talk ins would be enough to keep them sweet. They’ve adopted simple business practices in an attempt to replicate how they’ve been successful elsewhere, that hasn’t worked due to the size of the club and the expectation attached to it.
I understand the cost-cutting but they seem to have taken the soul of the club away too.
Methven has left before it became untenable. He’s probably thinking he can enjoy life elsewhere and make his money without the grief. He’s given up, his excuses don’t wash.
On the playing side, the appointment of Phil Parkinson is another example of small-minded approach to the club. Donald admitted himself he was appointed based on references within football - how about showing some bravery and appointing someone you want, rather than a recommendation?
The team has regressed considerably under Parkinson. His style of football is awful and the team selection on Saturday was atrocious. He had 10 days of training to come up with a team so defensive it was evident he was going to bottom-half Gillingham for the draw!
The players need to take responsibility but it’s pretty clear they don’t believe in Parkinson’s methods. As for McGeady and Maguire and McDonald’s - where’s the self awareness? You’ve both been dropped, you’re both out of form and not contributing. Have a bit of heart and professionalism and fight for the club.
Where are the leaders? Where’s the rallying cries? The club is sleepwalking into the oblivion.... some leadership is needed all over the club.
Where we go from here? Who knows... but this season is nearly over before Christmas. I wouldn’t trust Parkinson to buy me a decent pint, never mind spend money in January. Also, any decent players in the right mind would look at the club and say ‘thanks but no thanks’. Major changes are needed, this week could be so very grim. Apathy reigns.
David Holloway says...
What in God’s name is happening at our club? It feels like the whole place is falling apart.
It's easy to list the things that are wrong, we know what they are.
My concern as much as the performances on the pitch is the feeling that the whole club is rudderless and lacking any form of coherent and consistent plan or direction.
I have been a big supporter of the Stewart Donald regime, but I am struggling to continue that support. The restructuring of the club had to be done. It had to be rebuilt from almost scratch and become self-funding. That was the plan and in my view it was the correct one.
However, when you knock something down you need some solid foundations to build it back up. By now I would have expected a club management team to have been established, yet two key people have left. Who is running the club day to day? We don’t know. Is this progress from what we witnessed at the end of the Short years?
Where is the football philosophy? Jack Ross was appointed to start something new. Ross had a reputation as a young coach, intelligent and thoughtful and good passing football was the blueprint. It didn't quite work, so what did we do? We changed direction and appointed an experienced old hand from the lower leagues with a reputation for long ball.
Another reminder of the flip-flopping so prevalent in recent years.
I look at the first team and see ill-disciplined players who are going through the motions. I see younger players bought in for cash, yet they are no better than academy players. I see free transfer players at the end of their undistinguished careers and I see strikers who we have over paid for but who are past their best.
So I fear that none of the lessons have been learned. We are making the same mistakes as we have done over the last few years, but we are making them in league one not in the Premier League.
The club seems to be a shambles, top to bottom and that makes me feel quite sad.
Phil Butler says...
Well... Where to start. The club’s well and truly up sh*t creek without a paddle. The recruitment has been non-existent since at least this time last year (or let’s be honest since about 2010), we have a manager completely out of his depth, trying to play a style of football which not only makes you want to put pins in your eyes but is also clearly not getting the best out of a group of players who were already underperforming before he arrived, and have regressed dramatically since he arrived.
I have to say that the resignation of an out-of-touch member of the board who can most politely be described as a PR disaster, although some would argue he was a man who showed occasionally the contempt with which he held Sunderland fan, doesn’t concern me in the slightest. Good riddance.
If only good riddance is something I could be writing about the current manager and coaching staff who were brought into the club to get us promoted, but if it wasn’t for the financial situation of Bury and Bolton in the summer would have Sunderland hurtling towards the relegation zone. At least his references are good.