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South Shields v Sunderland Pe-Season Friendly

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The Sunderland of 2023 is ruthless - much like modern football

“Sunderland’s hierarchy has shown no mercy in moving the club towards the next step of redevelopment, something which is now commonplace in football,” writes Paddy Hollis.

Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

It’s been just a few days since Sunderland broke the news that Tony Mowbray had left his role as Head Coach - a decision that has shocked many within the game, but for a lot of fans, it’s a decision that has been edging closer for some time now.

The swift removal of Mowbray may be looked upon as cut-throat, and on the one hand you can see why. In 9th position and just three points off the playoffs, the decision to remove him can be seen as harsh using this metric.

Yet on the other hand, five defeats in nine games and a manager who had clearly become disgruntled at the way the club works was always going to end up in just one way. For the first time in a while, it feels as though the club have acted swiftly to prevent a long run of poor form plaguing us.

In a month that sees us face three of the top six, you can’t really blame them.

Sunderland v Huddersfield Town - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Sunderland’s hierarchy have been ruthless with the sacking of Tony Mowbray - and it’s just what we as a football club need. Gone are the days when managers would limp from one week to the next and never look like turning our fortunes around. Mowbray showed that his lack of a Plan B was going to be his downfall and only picking up one point from a run of games against three sides in the bottom six was underwhelming, to say the least.

The approach we have to removing a head coach clinically has no room for sentimentality, yet that is the way with modern football.

By acting quickly to remove a head coach, we are showing that we are keeping in pace with the cold and unforgiving nature of the sport in 2023.

Tony Mowbray has left with good stock and having done a great job on Wearside, what would have soured this would be if he was given the home games against West Brom and Leeds to turn us around, come out with no wins and then given the boot, leaving a bitter taste in his mouth and that of our fans at the SoL.

Leicester City v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship Photo by James Holyoak/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The ruthless manner of the sacking does, when you sit back and contemplate, make a lot of sense.

We’ve given the new man around a month to get his feet under the table before the transfer window opens and although the model has recruitment in the hands of Speakman and co, it would be good to give the new coach some time to settle in before the ingoings and outgoings begin.

The model has us set up in a way that players can be interchanged without disrupting the setup, and it’s the same with the Head Coach.

The way Neil left last season could have derailed our entire season, but the club’s new way of working acted fast to bring in a man who was right for the moment.

Just over 12 months on, we need a repeat of this and given the quick-fire nature of Mogga’s sacking, I’d not be surprised if we had a new man in the dugout by the time West Brom come to town on Saturday.


Pause for thought


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