Phil West says...
I was very firmly in the ‘Parkinson Out’ camp, simply because post-Tranmere our results and performances nosedived and the entire picture was looking extremely bleak. He looked like a man who had secured the biggest gig of his managerial career, but was unable to adjust to the size of the task, or the demands placed on him as manager of Sunderland.
However, I am more than happy to hold up my hands and confess that I might have been premature in calling for him to be sacked. Whilst I think we can rightly exercise a modicum of caution regarding our prospects for the season, Parkinson seems to have more of a spring in his step and his methods do seem to be reaping rewards on the pitch.
If he was genuinely a man with a plan, perhaps he always knew that changing the style from the Jack Ross era would take some time, and that we would simply have to be patient. On current evidence, that appears to be the case.
In my eyes, Parkinson is now much more secure than he was a matter of weeks ago. Positive results and better performances will not only give the fans a boost, but they will hopefully fill Parkinson with the confidence and the self-belief to keep the club moving forward.
At the moment, he’s a perfect example of how quickly a manager’s fortunes can turn around, which in this case, is a very good thing.
Tom Albrighton says...
Whilst I’m not eating humble pie just yet, it’s not unreasonable to concede we may have all been somewhat hasty.
It’s no secret that Parkinson’s start was absolutely abysmal and rightly drew criticism from all quarters; quite simply it wasn’t good enough. The football was regularly described as turgid and without any clear plan or style other than smashing long balls. The system in place was one that was defensively minded at best and when someone is brought in to find ”an extra 10-15%” it simply was not good enough by any stretch.
Recent results have been a welcome change and due to the nature of League One means we aren’t a million miles off the pace again.
What has been a welcome change is a total flip to Parkinson’s style.
In recent weeks Parky has seemed to find a settled eleve, whereby key partnerships have started to blossom. A defined structure and roles for the players have seen their ability shine through whilst a shift to playing the ball primarily along the floor has suited our side far better than the long ball dross that was served up early days.
In turn, this has allowed various players who were once struggling to really cement their place in the side, like Max Power, who is really coming into his own.
It’s all a welcome change, the football has been brilliant to watch at times and has seen players really emerge from their shells. If Parkinson can continue with this style of football and the results continue to flow, I won’t be the only fan to delight in eating their humble pie.
I’ll have mine with custard, thanks.
Phil Butler says...
Whilst I’m not overdosing on humble pie just yet, Sunderland are only where they were when Parkinson came to the club, I will happily admit that I was too hasty in calling for him to be sacked before the New Year.
That being said, both references from fans of his previous clubs and the turgid boring excuse for football were far from acceptable during Sunderland’s poor run of form before Christmas, and I do stand by many of the comments I made during that run - that Parkinson had to push Sunderland further forward and show some attacking intent.
Thankfully, and it is to his great credit, Parkinson has done that - and managed to do what Jack Ross couldn’t in that he has kept us solid at the back as he did this.
In short, I’m not eating humble pie yet, but Phil Parkinson seems to have been cooking up a batch ready to distribute to my fellow doubters. And long may he continue.