The Robson Report: crucial time ahead for Poyet and Short

Jeremy Robson sees a ray of hope in what to date has been a lousy season. But to keep the hope alive he asks the owner to once again back the manager/head coach in the forthcoming transfer window.

Jeremy Robson: looking to the window
Jeremy Robson: looking to the window

Where does the hope come from?

We might be bottom of the league and struggling for victories. Well we are! There’s no might about it. What has to happen in both the short and longer term to assure a brighter future? It’s the bleak midwinter but there may be brighter skies ahead.

My biggest fear with the January transfer window looming is that Poyet doesn’t get the players he needs to save us from the drop. Ellis Short needs to back his man and give him what he requiress to bring in: a striker who recognizes the need to put the ball between the posts; an attacking midfield player who can do the same; a solid reliable and experienced centre half and a goalkeeper with a real pedigree. Throw a left back in there and you probably have Gus’s shopping basket ready for the checkout. Give the man what he needs to keep us up Ellis. Poyet needs to be convinced to buy in totally to the club and link his future to our own.

There’s an element of brinkmanship going on with any incoming transfers because they have to be players who are prepared to give Championship football a go for at least one full season. Quite who he is targeting we won’t know of course. The most obvious place to look would be to the Championship itself but that is a huge risk. He has to bring in players who can save our PL place but remain aware that we may not be a PL side come August. It’s a huge challenge but I still believe that Poyet is the best man for the club at this time. It’s just so unfortunate that he has had to follow in the immediate footsteps of a triumvirate of bad ones.

It’s vital that Short can keep Poyet at the club and to do that Poyet needs to feel that he is in control and has the opportunity to build his own team, unencumbered by Di Fanti. In the event that there are tensions and divisions between manager and Director of Football, then the latter needs to be sent down the road. A lot of our supporters possibly feel that after the influx of such poor quality players during the summer, that he should have gone already.

Everything that Ellis Short does in the coming months has to be geared towards keeping Poyet because despite results his influence has been profound. He is the best manager we have had in a long time and he needs to be given the time, resources and opportunity to do the job his way. At this point he hasn’t had the chance to field a single player of his own choosing but has still got more out of the existing squad than his predecessors. The biggest fear for me is not relegation but losing the manager who will bring us back to the PL in 2015 leaner, stronger, and far more competitive than the one that’s struggling so badly at the moment.

Ha’way the lads and Happy Christmas to all who visit Salut!Sunderland.


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13 thoughts on “The Robson Report: crucial time ahead for Poyet and Short”

  1. The difference with Swansea is fundamental though Keith. Martinez left them on the crest of a wave which was carried through by Rodgers who built on the previous good work.Laudrup has then gone on to do the same. In both cases the departures of Martinez and Rodgers were because their success has opened doors to bigger and better jobs at that time.

    It’s easier to build on success than to turn around a club that is sinking through years of previous mismanagement such as is the case with us. Swansea is a good example of building on what has been done before. None of our managers since God was a boy have gone on to do better elsewhere, and that is the difference. Poyet may yet buck that trend. I don’t accept that Mrs Doubtfire has done that yet and will judge that in about 18 months with him.

  2. It’s so telling that after seven years of premiership football we are tearing up the script and starting again. We have been totally mismanaged to the extent that we’ve had to sack managers and hope the ” Dichio bounce” saved us on three occasions. Luckily it did. The result though is that our squad resembles an archaeological dig,layer upon layer of poor signings that we can’t shift,while the sellable assets are sold to balance the books. It’s just rank bad management and I don’t blame Short to a degree for trying another way, the mans not a charity, but as I type we’ve just beaten Everton and the fight is very much still on. Poyet must be given the funds to succeed,in my view he is leagues ahead of both Bruce and the shell of O’Neill.Eliis Short mustn’t be gun shy after our recent managerial failures and back this man, he’s our best bet on years .

  3. Swansea for example have changed managers but by adopting a football phlosophy by which theystand firm have progressed. They have a strategy which the new man must embrace he can make his mark within that framework. At Sunderland a new manager means out with the old and in with the new. Start again from scratch everytime. This hasn’t worked and we have not progressed we looke for a new man but without any particular plan in mind or any vision for the future and this lack of strategic planning has been our downfall, managers need to be managed

  4. What is it that we need to learn Keith? When Bruce was appointed I thought it was a good move. It wasn’t. When O’Neill took over most of us thought we had landed the best possible man for the job. He was anything but, of course.

    Ellis Short took a gamble with the new regime and it has back fired horribly unless GP can save it. That was a daft move to allow someone with no knowledge of English game to land us us with a load of players of a similar stripe.
    It’s easy to criticise Ellis for that I know but what else could he do or have done? Most of us (including me thought he was right and supported him at that time).

    I think that club has actually tried to learn from what has gone before, but doing things differently hasn’t worked either. In O’Neill’s case it’s difficult to know why things went so horribly wrong, or more importantly the underlying reasons for it I think.

  5. No Jeremy you miss my point, it’s about the club not the individuals invovled, but if we can’t learn from the past we will continue to dissapoint the owner and fans. Our record is reasonable but not progressive and continually becomes regressive, it’s not about the past but learning from mistakes of which there have been many. Why do we go on making them?

  6. “I wasn’t a Bruce man but his record stands up against any other coach wr have had in the PL, we need consistency and stability, PDC & MON did not like certain players because of their previous loyalties”

    Here we go with the “S”:word again; stability. Stability is created by winning games and achieving consistency which in practical terms means averting the annual flirtation with relegation. In that sense Bruce’s record stands up against any other manager we’ve had. Bob Murray refused to sack a manager until relegation was achieved or at least avoiding it had become mathematically improbable.

    The only manager who achieved any sort of respectability but still got us relegated in the end was Reid. McCarthy, got sacked because they also got us relegated, and Keane got sacked because he was going to, same with Bruce, O’Neill and of course Di Canio, so what you say is correct about his record stacking up. The trouble is that there’s not exactly a lot to stack anything up against is there?

    I was watching some talking heads the other day including our one time striker (if I can call him that), Danny Dichio who seemed to think that he had made some kind of startling discovery when he said that he had studied the effects of PL managers sackings over the years and had discovered that sacking the manager before Christmas only resulted in the team finishing on average two places higher in the league than where they were when they made the managerial change.

    You know Danny, that really is the whole bloody point. Finishing two places higher can mean the difference between life and death; relegation of staying up and can also make a huge difference in terms of the money received for finishing higher up the league, which these days means millions.

    I’m not really getting your argument here Keith. Maybe your point is that we should have kept Bruce. If it is, then it’s very much a losing one. I know that my contention is just a theoretical one as we would have had to endure another 5 months of him to have it proven. O’ Neill’s Hawthorne Effect meant that we escaped and the same Hawthorne Effect under Di Canio repeated the Houdini act, The longer term impact seems to have been that each is worse than his predecessor, but looking at the players currently available there is only Bardsley and Colback that were at the club before Bruce. They have all assisted each other in their own individual failures.

  7. No matter who we are we can’t predict the future, but the past is the lantern that illuminates the path to the future, I wasn’t a Bruce man but his record stands up against any other coach wr have had in the PL, we need consistency and stability, PDC & MON did not like certain players because of their previous loyalties. Why? Cattermole although not perfect will die on the field for us as will Bardsley, yet when a new manager comes in their previousloyalties are question which has a negative affect on the Club, stability will eliminate this, keep our best players move on the less committed and we will move forward

    • Finishing positions under Bruce were better than most , as you say. But it was so strange, we would go for months without a win , go through a patch of decent results , then back on another nightmare run again.The sales of Henderson, Bent, Gyan, Cana did for him. If it was out of he’s hands he had a genuine grievance , if he pursued the sales or didnt fight to keep the players the mans a fool. The Bruce era will never be fairly evaluated now due to he’s constant slandering of the fans in he’s disingenuous interviews to he’s mates in the media. Shame, you’d think he would have being bigger than that.

  8. Thanks Phil.

    I understand your point Keith but I couldn’t give a monkey’s chuff about Mrs Doubtfire at Hull. The club was too big for Bruce and we will see where he ends up come April with that lot.

    I’ve just seen them squander a 2-0 lead with Elmo still crossing from the half way line and Graham putting in some comical moments which would suggest that the Wearside league might be a stretch for him. Quite how they have reached the points total they have with some of these players seemingly doing the same things they were doing for us is beyond me. Huddlestone is a class act and should have been wearing our colours instead of the Tigers. Great vision and delivery from the middle of the field and on set pieces.

    I still maintain that had we signed him and kept Meyler we may well have been further up the table.

  9. It all sounds so simple but the reality is that quality players are unlikely to be available in the January window and players who’ll come to us are unlikely to improve the squad, except perhaps as backup. Look at those who’ve come in recent years. Graham, N’Diaye, Bridge, Kyrgiakos, etc. hardly set the club alight. Perhaps a Championship striker currently scoring goals who might fit the bill is a chap called Connor Wickham. Maybe he can make the step up to the Premiership. Then again maybe not.

  10. Interesting, but were the last 3 managers disasterous, Bruce has done very well at Hull with ex Sunderland players, Elmohamady, Meyler, Graham and McShane, never the less I agree Poyet is the future, he needs support and we need ambition, a team building process takes time, but it takes longer if the players don’t buy into it and want to leave. Where would we be today if Mignolet, Bent, Henderson, Sessegnon and Gyan were still with us. It is immpossible to build without committment or belief. Short needs to stop cashing in our better players and managers need to assess their assets on merit and not move on those thet see as belonging to the previous manager. Keep our best players and strenghten is the future stability leads to success a simple formula but one we have been unable to embrace.

    • I think that the most important thing is to bring in players that Poyet believes will suit the system he wishes to play and are versatile enough to be able to cope with any tactical changes he may wish to make during games.

      It seems to me that in the past (particularly during the Bruce era) that players were assembled and then some thought was given to which system they could be assimilated into!

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