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Sunderland Unveil New Head Coach Michael Beale

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Fan Letters: “All we are saying is give Beale a chance!”

“Why should we doubt the owner’s ability to make another positive appointment?” says RR reader Stephen. Got something to say? Email us:

Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

All we are saying is give Beale a chance. There’s a song there somewhere!

The last two coaching/manager appointments we have made have proved pretty good. Both Alex Neil and Tony Mowbray came from off the radar. Their experience was decent, their records okay, but they must have interviewed well to beat off numerous applicants. Both worked out really well and changed the club around completely, and started the whole revival thing off. So why having made these last two appointments should we doubt the owner's ability to make another positive appointment?

All owners have faults, ours being a disinclination to spend money on overpriced, mainly journeymen strikers. Don’t get me wrong I’d love to see us sign Brighton’s young Irish centre forward, who I think is sensational (his name escapes me for the moment), but I know it’s never going to happen.

We need to be in for those players from a young age and develop their talent which, after all is what KLD and Speakman are trying to do.

By appointing Beale and keeping Dodds on the staff it will give us a chance to progress further, so as the Beatles once chanted….


Stephen Jameson

Ed’s Note [Gav]: I agree that the leadership have made enough good decisions and progress in recent years to warrant our patience and trust. They sacked Johnson two weeks after he had us top and replaced him with a guy who organised us and got us promoted... and then when it was time to move on from him, they brought someone in to settle things down and solidify our position in the Championship. Now, we’re bringing in a coach who is more willing to work with young players and has a reputation as a high quality on the field technical coach. I can see the sense in all the moves made to date.

I’m not exactly bouncing off the walls with excitement about the appointment but I’m not really sure that any of the names linked with us would have elicited that kind of reaction from me. I can see the sense in the appointment, even though his failure to impress people up in Scotland is a slight concern (although, Rangers fans told me Amad was shite and that proved to be untrue too, so I’ll take what they think with a pinch of salt).

Rangers v Aberdeen - cinch Premiership - Ibrox Stadium Photo by Jane Barlow/PA Images via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Step right up, folks, to the greatest show of footballing nonsense going, Sunderland. In the red corner, there’s Tony Mowbray, shown the door faster than you can say ‘Ready to go.’ And who’s that they’ve dredged up as his replacement? Michael Beale. You might remember him from... well, nowhere particularly memorable or successful. The head data-driven decision makers at Sunderland, led by the likes of Speakman and KLD, have been peddling their ‘high-performance culture’ spiel again. But let’s be real – there is nothing high performance about this club right now.

They’ve been linked with promising young coaches like Will Still and Kim Hellberg. Names that spark a glimmer of hope. But no, they’ve taken a wild swing and landed on Beale. It’s the kind of decision-making that makes you wonder if they’re picking names out of a hat. And speaking of decision-making, let’s talk about the stroke of genius that is inviting 6,000 unwashed for the first derby in seven years?

And then there’s the board, the puppeteers of the circus. Steve Davison, take a bow for your part. It’s the kind of no-spine decision making that has you questioning whether Michael Beale was actually his idea. As for the so-called data-driven approach to manager recruitment? Please give me a break from the constant jargon. It looks more like they’ve been swiping left and right on Tinder for coaches and after getting zero matches, they eventually settled for a ‘Super Like’ from Beale because, well, they’re desperate.

I am starting to see Sunderland more like a scene from a Monty Python sketch rather than the club I have always loved. With the departure of Mowbray, the arrival of Beale, and decisions that have fans and myself scratching their heads, it’s a club that seems less focused on climbing out of the championship and more on maintaining its spot as the banter club of English football. Strap in – it’s going to be a bumpy ride, and not the fun kind.

Jake Smith

Ed’s Note [Gav]: What exactly have Still and Hellberg ever done in management that makes them such outstanding candidates? Still became a meme for being unqualified for the job he was in, and Hellberg... who? One year at IFK Värnamo... wow. They might well be excellent coaches for all I know but nobody can tell me they jump off the page, or any of the other candidates for that matter. Whether Beale is going to be any good is one thing, but I’m not quite sure the apparent alternatives were actually any better.

Sunderland Unveil New Head Coach Michael Beale Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Firstly, a Happy Christmas to you all and thank you for providing such a pivotal platform for us fans to openly air our views all season.

However, I fear it is not such a happy Christmas for us as fans. The imminent arrival of Michael Beale has stuck in the throats of a huge many of us and I am afraid the hierarchy are just not interested one bit in how we feel.

I have been very sceptical of the owners for a long time, as I believe the model they have will ensure at best, a club that flatters to deceive as better players are sold and inadequate replacements brought in. In Michael Beale, they have a “yes man.” A Coach who will simply try to put round pegs in square holes for the suits. People talk about his winning ratio at Rangers, but come on, let’s get real here. I could go to either Rangers or Celtic and have relative success managing either of them. They have absolutely zero serious contenders up there.

No, I am afraid we have to finally understand that to the owners we are a business, pure and simple and I have no doubt that when our business usage expires in his eyes, he will be off, leaving us floundering around in the Championship.

Oh, and please, before anyone churns out the fact we were in League 1 for an age, I am fully aware of that, but we all knew that we would eventually claw our way out. It is the here and now, plus the future that I am interested in, and I am convinced this is going to get worse here on in.

Peter Milton

Ed’s Note [Gav]: I’m just not getting this immense sense of dread that it seems many others are. As for them not caring about how the fans feel - isn’t it the case that Francisco Farioli was all lined up to replace Mowbray in the summer until it leaked out, fans got angry and they decided against it? He’s now flying in Ligue 1 with Nice. Maybe listening to what a select group of the fans want isn’t best for business after all.

Whether things get worse from here or not... well, we’re about to find out. None of us have the ability to see into the future and I’m fairly certain the owner isn’t taking decisions he thinks are going to tank the club. They sacked Mowbray because the relationship wasn’t working and they’ve replaced him with a bloke they think they can work with.

Sunderland Unveil New Head Coach Michael Beale Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images


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