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Roker Roundtable: Is Parkinson the man to lead our third attempt at promotion from League One?

The EFL’s decision to finish the League One campaign gives an opportunity to take stock and prepare for next season - but is Phil Parkinson the man to lead us into our third consecutive season in League One? Let us know your thoughts.

Tranmere Rovers v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One Photo by Lewis Storey/Getty Images

Do you think Phil Parkinson is the right man to lead our third attempt at promotion from League One?

Jack Howe-Gingell says...

I won’t start with a lie - I never wanted Phil Parkinson. Nothing personal against the man, but I was always of the belief that we needed someone of profile and still do.

The fact we are facing a third season in this league is unacceptable, and his dismal early run, coupled with a bad run of results towards the end, confirmed my fears.

We need to take this opportunity to grasp a clean break, and get someone in who can boost the club - similar to Roy Keane’s appointment in 2006.

Maybe Kevin Phillips would fit the bill? He has a good amount of coaching experience now, and his links to the club would surely be an asset. The club needs a big personality, or someone with strong fortitude, to cope with what is a fairly high pressured job. They need to be clear that promotion is the aim, and that Sunderland need to return to the upper echelons of English football,

Obviously, the issues with board and the club as a whole also need addressing, for us to progress unhindered, but no one really wanted Parkinson to begin with and it has hardly been a success story since then - Parky out.

Sunderland v Derby County - Sky Bet Championship - Stadium of Light
Is Kevin Phillips the man to replace Phil Parkinson?
Photo by Owen Humphreys/PA Images via Getty Images

Phil West says...

At this moment in time, I am somewhere in the region of 60%-40% in favour of keeping Parkinson and giving him a second crack at launching a promotion bid. With managers like Neil Warnock and Mick McCarthy currently ‘on the market’, and fan unrest growing, I can understand the clarion calls to dispense with Parkinson’s services and look to bring in somebody else, but with a summer to work with the squad and some good recruitment, I do believe Parkinson could get this club promoted.

As a Roker Report colleague noted, Parkinson’s time at Sunderland has consisted of two valleys of poor form, along with the peak of a much-improved run of results that allowed us to regain some ground in the promotion race. A shocking start did him no favours whatsoever, and playing catch-up is always an extremely perilous business. As autumn gave way to winter, he did look somewhat clueless and befuddled as to what was going on, and you did get the sense that his tenure might be extremely short. The turnaround over Christmas and New Year, therefore, was both surprising and extremely welcome.

In terms of negatives, Parkinson’s stubbornness, particularly regarding Charlie Wyke, held the team back for a while, and he was also extremely reliant, perhaps overly so, upon Lynden Gooch to provide some attacking spark. On the positive side, the team is visibly fitter and stronger than they were when he arrived, and we are at least trying, if not always succeeding, to play football that is more positive and attack-minded.

For me, he does deserve the benefit of time, but if Parkinson does remain, however, he will need to get the team off to an absolutely blistering start to the 2020/2021 campaign. Jack Ross was never truly forgiven for the double Wembley failure of 2018/2019, and if Parkinson is to keep himself in a job, he will need to oversee some cracking results and performances in those first ten games of next season, otherwise the exit will, and should, be looming large for him.

Sunderland v Sheffield United
Would Neil Warnock or Mick McCarthy consider taking on the Sunderland job?
Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

Gary Engel says...

What I am about to say may be purely a pessimistic observation or sound like sour grapes. But in all honesty, if the vote had gone our way today, who believes Sunderland would have been in the Championship next season?

We are no better than we were a year ago, with less confidence and a worse record. That doesn’t suggest a side likely win the three matches required, including one on the hallowed turf. If we couldn’t do it in two times of asking last year at Wembley - we certainly wouldn’t manage it this time. To me, that says it all!

I’m behind the Lads but we need confidence that we can win when it matters, until then we won’t win promotion in whether we have a dozen matches to play or an entire season - sorry Phil!

Sunderland v Fleetwood Town - Sky Bet League One
Phil Parkinson
Photo by Alex Dodd - CameraSport via Getty Images

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