Another One Bites The Dust, leaving many Sunderland fans at the crossroads

Pete Sixsmith was not greatly surprised by news of Jack Ross’s sacking, especially after the woeful display at Lincoln City. He warns that the next decisions had better be the right ones …

In the 55 years that I have followed Sunderland, we have had 29 full time managers, nine caretakers and a Selection Committee.

Not one of those, ranging from big names like Lawrie McMenemy, Martin O’Neill and David Moyes down to relative unknowns such as Dennis Smith, Ken Knighton and Mick Buxton have done any better than get us to tenth in the top league.

It’s been 55 years wasted on a club that cannot get anything right and in which I have no confidence that they will get right for the rest of my rapidly diminishing lifetime.

The last of the 30 was Jack Ross, who left today. He came as a young manager with a strong reputation in Scotland who we had convinced that Sunderland was a better bet than Ipswich Town. He leaves after a miserable three months of this season, his reputation in tatters, while his former employers once again find themselves in total disarray.

It was, I suppose, inevitable. There were rumblings of discontent from the support after the opening game of the season and a couple of wins did little to assuage that. The defeat at Peterborough made things worse and the last four league games have added fuel to his more vociferous and outspoken critics on the terracing and on the screens.

The performance at Lincoln was appalling and indicated that the team he has put together will struggle against any side that has big strong central defenders and nippy midfield players – which is just about every other team in this league. It put serious doubts into my mind but I thought that there would be no change until the takeover was completed.

That also seems to be in doubt if social media is to be believed. If so, that could be terminal for the club and the support, many of whom will not continue to turn out to watch third level football for the next umpteen seasons as hopes and dreams fade as quickly as the patina that Ross, Stewart Donald and Charlie Methven brought to the club 18 months ago.

I thought that Jack Ross was a decent man who did his best. If it wasn’t good enough for some (many), so be it. Compared to some we have had in the past, he had dignity and courtesy in abundance but that does not create winning teams – and we do not have a winning team.

He will probably return to Scotland where both Edinburgh clubs are rumoured to be looking for replacements. We have to look for another manager and it is to be hoped that discussions have taken place over the last few days with possible replacements.

Sixer: ‘see what my pal Malcolm Dawson had to say about it. Just click my photo’

Mind you, which competent manager would want a job like this? And how much time would they be given? And what’s to stop elements of the support from turning on him within weeks?

It’s another crossroads for the club and for many of the older and more sensible supporters. The route we take from here will define how many of us stay on the journey.

9 thoughts on “Another One Bites The Dust, leaving many Sunderland fans at the crossroads”

  1. Absolutely gutted that Ross has gone because I really hoped, after the first 3 months, that we had a manager who could build a team and a club to go forward for many years. However, I think, reluctantly, that the decision is right.
    Look at the last few league games, particularly the last 3 away and it is clear that lessons have not been learnt from last season and we probably would not have gone up automatically under Ross as we would still have drawn too many games, if he managed to get them to actually try in away games, so we didn’t keep losing.
    I have no idea if Daniel Stendel is the right man, though he has a good record in our division, but I am absolutely clear that 2 names NOT to be considered are
    Roy Keane – struggled with premier league players who weren’t as good he was – clearly couldn’t cope with league 1 players – and I very much doubt that he knows much about league 1.
    Gareth Ainsworth – his Wycombe team is a complete disgrace, violent, cynical and cheat more than any other team in the league. I don’t want my team time wasting after 15 minutes, falling over after no contact to try and get people sent off, etc.

  2. Absolute disgrace the guy has done good yesterday before this was announced so called fans were calling for Daniel Tendel as the perfect replacement what the f– k he got Barnsley promotion but has been sacked because of their results this season howay man Has had far better results this term don’t forget we all think of ourselves as a premier league club and in a lot of ways we are , the best supporters in the land ,fantastic stadium, and academy the lasses have bounced back after being humiliated by the F A
    Sorry Stewart but you have called this WRONG , we do not have a premier league squad anymore and Ross has done extremely well to but together a team from PEANUTS and it is because of him we have got some of the players that we have.
    Look at Portsmouth this season fans down here have been baying for Jackets blood but as yet the board have stuck with him I don’t agree with all of Rosses tactics and substitutions or starting line ups but we do not see what is happening on the training ground each and every day he was in probably the hottest seat in football to be honest as some Sunderland fans are very unforgiving
    I do a 600+ mile round trip as a pensioner to come to home games and my brother who lives in Prague does regular trips to home games still, not only that brings 8 -20 Sunderland Checz fans with him so it is not cheap for us to support the lads . Ok the Lincoln result was was not good but being honest we are still in a good position in the league, look where Luton were this time last season , last year we went to Wembley Twice ok results did not go for us but how many other teams achieve something like this it is because of changing managers on a regular basis that we have no stability he should have been given longer he was a gentleman and a scholar who always took the blame HOW many of you are in a position with this responsibility and magnitude and getting knocked for things your workforce/ employees are doing wrong ????? !!!!!!:
    The Eternal Optimist following The Lads from wherever I have lived since seeing my first game on the 29/11/1958 as a four year old for his birthday present

    • Personally, I believe the people who ought to be questioning their own part in the way things have gone (but won’t) are those who have been openly and vociferously critical for months. They will say they are entitled to voice their opinions but will give no thought to how much effect constant criticism wears down confidence and enthusiasm, making any job that much more difficult.

      How long a honeymoon period will the next man get I wonder? Bring back Allardyce? Have all those calling for his reappointment forgotten that for the first few months he had an awful set of results?

      You and I must be about the same age Mel and the truth is in our 65 years we have seen the club win one major trophy and that when we were a second division club.

      The most successful managers tend to be those who are given time, and often those names fans call for don’t get the easy success expected. Think Lampard, Solksjaer or in our case Moyes, O’Neil and Advocaat second time round.

    • It’s a truism but clubs that change their managers as often as
      Sunderland tend to fail. There are exceptions, I think of Watford, but even there frequent sackings might be catching up with them. The only way to justify this sacking is promotion and a quick improvement in results. If not, how long before
      the next manager is called out? Finally, remember Ferguson at Man Utd and his first three seasons. The club stuck by him and he delivered. According to Donald, Ross has worked at restructuring the playing side and this id exactly what Ferguson did during those difficult early seasons.

  3. George Foster reminded us on on radio tonight that SAFC had only 5 mangers between 1879 and the 1930s. During this time we won the “Premier” league, the FA Cup and were World champions.

    Since the 1950s we’ve gone from the Bank of England club to bankrupt and Managers are lucky to last a year. No wonder we are in the 3rd Division as Managers are never given the time to develop the players in their style.

    Now we bring in yet another new manager to try and organise the previous regimes players as we wait for another clear out in January.

    And the social media trolls will soon be moaning again as we fail to win 6-0 every game.

    • A sad and poor decision in my opinion. I think we should have stuck with Ross. We have only lost two games so far, and have done well in Cup games.

      This will prove expensive too. New managers always want to bring their own coaching team in, and, as you say, will probably want a clear out of players in January.

      Of the possible replacements, I hope they go for Rowett or Hughton. Above all please, not Roy Keane!

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