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Is Parkinson is the right man to lead our third attempt at promotion from League One? (Part II)

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.

Shrewsbury Town v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One Photo by James Baylis - AMA/Getty Images

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

Reece Davies says...

So many edges to this sword.

What are the barriers for Parky? squad size, quality of squad, ownership situation?

Fact remains though, he has a 37% win rate. With the ridiculous nature of the points target it only condemns his performance further. There have been too many occasions this season when his team have not performed and Sunderland’s league position (lowest in history) has suffered as a consequence. Based on this solitary fact, he has to go!

We find ourselves at another managerial crossroads and to be honest I’m not sure Donald has the minerals to roll the dice for another change, anyways.

The question really is, though, is it even worth getting rid of him? Club’s for sale, half the current squad out of contract and the owner has gone AWOL. Who else would want the job, never mind who do we want?

Sunderland could yet have another pre-season of no manager, no full first team and no direction or style of play which can help us achieve promotion. Can we really afford that?

While Parkinson’s future remains unclear, at least Parkinson has shown glimpses that he can put a run together and if he had a striker like Maja (poor Jack Ross had the same issue), I feel Sunderland would be promoted by now. Fact of the matter is that this squad needs work and the owners and recruitment team to to sort their act out and throw Parky a bone.

However, he has had enough time with this squad to get the best out of them and yet, for some reason, there are not many players he has managed to achieve this with. Maguire, Gooch, O’Nien and Willis are arguably the stand out players. Is this Parky’s doing, or just that those are the players of the ilk that will play for the shirt?

I think the issues are bigger than the manager and will not, given the new EFL regulations, change even if we bring someone else in.

My heart and head screams for Phillips to come in because I think he has done the rounds at clubs where he can offer so much. But what will he have to spend on this squad? Or what wage structure will he have?

That being said, I’d only get rid of Parky for the likes of a Kevin Phillips; only this kind of appointment would pacify supporters until the new season kicks off. If we’re going to do it, it has to be very soon. Sunderland have this season to get out of this league, otherwise the writing is on the wall. This club cannot hold its weight in in tier 3 without the support of parachute payments.

Which ever manager is installed come the start of the 20/21 season, they have their work cut out for them.

Sheffield United v Sunderland AFC - Carabao Cup Third Round
Does Phil Parkinson have the same issues as Jack Ross at Sunderland?
Photo by George Wood/Getty Images

Michael Dunne says...

To say Phil Parkinson’s time at Sunderland has been underwhelming would be a massive understatement.

From his arrival until Doncaster away in late December, Sunderland’s run of form was wretched to say the least. We looked a team devoid of ideas, creativity and confidence. Our form was that of a team facing relegation, and the detachment between the players and fans was glaringly obvious for all to see.

At that point, I wanted Phil Parkinson gone. Out the door. Credit where credits due, the man handled the pressure with tremendous dignity and never really appeared stressed. Maybe he had a plan?

It appeared that way as we picked up win after win and finally looked like we had a system and style. A way of playing we can at least identify. Parkinson had us in a great place up until that Coventry game at the end of February. I was really pleased with how everything was going on the pitch.

Off the pitch, his signings were overall questionable. Not because of their ability or what they could bring, but his apparent stubbornness to utilise the players he brought in.Since the Coventry game, Phil Parkinson’s stubbornness has let him down in my opinion. Some may call it loyalty, others blind faith. I am the latter.

Parkinson was showing a rigid approach that was going to be our downfall. We weren’t playing well pre-Covid. I feared that we were going to drop again. Our form was poor and we lacked a manager with the right ability and inspiration to get us promoted.

Inspiration. This is the word I consistently use. Would he inspire me as a player? No. Does he inspire me as a fan ? Not really. Phil Parkinson comes across as a really nice man who genuinely is working very hard to get us promoted. I just fear he lacks the key ingredient that this club needs.

As I’ve said before, we need a man who can lift the club, city and it’s people. We are in doldrums and unless things change, this is where we are going to stay.

Start afresh - again - in the summer. Get new owners, bring back Mick McCarthy and for god’s sake, please get out of this bloody league.

Sunderland v Ipswich Town - Sky Bet Championship
Would Mick McCarthy be willing to take the Sunderland job on?
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Matthew Foster says...

Phil Parkinson’s record at Sunderland is like a sandwich with a delicious filling that’s in between two slices of mouldy bread.

And whilst we will never know if he could have steered Sunderland to either a promotion or play-off place with the remaining games, I think this is perhaps the right time to make the change.

We need a character, somebody who can reinvigorate whoever is left after the outgoings, and hopefully get us off this League 1 merry-go-round.

I have no strong feelings towards Parkinson, but I think we need some changes at the top and above him also (I’m looking at you Stewart).

But I do suspect that, without a change in ownership and given the length of his contract, he won’t be going any time soon!

Shrewsbury Town v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One
Phil Parkinson’s Sunderland record is like “a sandwich with a delicious filling between two slices of mouldy bread” according to Matthew Foster
Photo by James Baylis - AMA/Getty Images

Malcolm Dugdale says...

In a word, no. He failed to achieve the one thing he was asked to do, namely to improve on the performance of Ross. He has to go, and we need a new slate starting ASAP.

His only period of good performance was surrounded by long spells of poor form. To me this hot streak was achieved when he stumbled on a formation and team selection that could both defend and attack, rather than it being something he strategised on and created.

Once opposition teams sussed out the tactics they easily countered them, and the total lack of an alternate strategy or approach, as well as the abhorrently late and pointless use of options on the bench, say to me he doesn’t have enough to do the job, even with a full season.

Stewart and Jim (or the new owners, if they arrive) need to start again from the ground up. We need someone who can fire up the club, attract and inspire the players and get this job done.

If Parkinson is still in the hot seat when we restart later in 2020, a fourth League 1 residence is way more likely than not, in my view. Sadly, we did another great job with Phil’s contract, awarding him well over 2 years, so it will cost us another mint to move him on.

We really don’t learn do we, but we must start to do so, from now.

Bye Phil, thanks, but no cigar.

Will Stewart Donald have the conviction or the funds to start again with a new manager at Sunderland?
Photo by Richard Sellers/PA Images via Getty Images

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