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Roker Roundtable: “What are your thoughts on the sacking of Phil Parkinson?”

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Before a new manager gets a chance to settle in on Wearside, we ask our panel what their thoughts are about the sacking of Phil Parkinson as Sunderland manager.

Fleetwood Town v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One Photo by Ian Horrocks/Getty Images

Jack Howe-Gingell says...

Delighted with it, to be honest.

The football we have been playing has been pedestrian, lacking in invention and as slow as dial up internet.

I could only see us stagnating further under his purview, and wouldn’t have wanted him to have another transfer window to add dross like Danny Graham and Aiden O’Brien. This might also finally allow the younger players to flourish, who haven’t had a fair crack.

I also hope that as this sacking, although deserved from my perspective, seemed to come a little out of the blue that the takeover will not be far behind.

That leads on to my only concern - we have to get the managerial appointment right.

Gillingham v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One
Aiden O’Brien
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Getty Images

Malcolm Dugdale says...

Good luck with your future roles Phil, but I very much feel you were never the right man for this job.

Sunderland fans aren’t like other fans in this League, they expect the manager and the players to give their all for the club, the region and the shirt.

You were so focused (maybe obsessed) with what you thought would work, you left so many lines of potential improvement untested, you were actually the architect of your own demise.

I wish you well, and I do have some sympathy for you as the owners simply appointed the wrong man in October last year. Let’s hope the present and/or new owners don’t make that same mistake again, as we are way overdue leaving this League behind us.

Now let’s get the new man in and move onwards and upwards. HAWAY YHE LADS!!

Doncaster Rovers v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Phil West says...

Put simply, Phil Parkinson had to go, and I am pleased that he has. This season, like the majority of his tenure, has been an absolute grind. The football has been wretched, the results have been largely poor, and there was not a shred of evidence to suggest that promotion, whether automatic or via the playoffs, was going to be delivered under his management.

To that end, I am relieved that the decision has been made to let him go. The season is young enough to be salvaged, and we didn’t have any more time to waste with a manager who was clearly failing.

Going back to a year ago, and the doubts where there from a very early stage, because to me, Parkinson never felt like the right fit for the job. He was the pragmatist’s pragmatist. A man who, at the helm of clubs with lesser expectations, had often thrived, but as Sunderland manager, increasingly resembled the squarest of pegs in the roundest of holes.

This season, his team selections, substitutions and tactical approach were crushingly predictable, and his post-match interviews, largely devoid of any real passion, were a case study in the art of excuse-peddling and deflection, with his final post-match analysis containing a ridiculous reference to an allegedly sloping pitch at Fleetwood.

Jack Ross was often described, in profanity-laced tweets, as dour, bland, uninspiring and generally unsuited to this role, and Parkinson, ultimately, proved to be just as poor, if not slightly worse, in many ways. With him in the dugout, we have regressed in just about every area, goals were proving incredibly hard to come by, and the acceptance of mediocrity was becoming too glaring to overlook.

A year has, ultimately, been wasted, and whoever the next man is, they have to represent a significant upgrade on their predecessor. The stakes are too high, and the situation is too precarious to opt for another bargain-basement appointment.

Lincoln City v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One
Jack Ross
Photo by Andrew Vaughan - CameraSport via Getty Images

Reece Davies says...

Writing has been on the wall for this bloke all season, not to mention our dip in form pre-pandemic. Got to say, I didn’t want him in the first place so pleased he’s gone.

I tried to give him the benefit of the doubt and with that run after Christmas last year, I thought I’d have to eat humble pie. Let’s face it, the bloke is a dinosaur and completely out his depth at a club like Sunderland and the expectation of the fan base. He has failed to bring the best out of key talents at the club and his tactics don’t bring much to the imagination.

Sunderland v MK Dons - Sky Bet League 1 Photo by Trevor Wilkinson/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Fact of the matter is, the joy of football these days is hard enough but to drag yourself through 90 minutes of football as a Sunderland fan was dire under Parky. Hanging on to him longer would turn fans off completely and that bond was becoming harder to fix, game by game. Young talent is hard to come by and not blooding them and taking a risk when your tried and tested methods fail, was unforgiveable.

Sunderland have a chance to turn this around and must choose wisely with their next appoint. Those teams around Sunderland will be shitting themselves now this decision has been made because maybe, just maybe someone will play to the strengths of these players and give them a new lease of life.

We’ve been here before but we’re forever the optimists in red and white. Top 2 here we come.