Time to unscrew the name plate on the manager’s office door again


To no great surprise, Simon Grayson has been sacked
after yet another wretched result, 3-3 at home to the Championship’s bottom club, Bolton Wanderers.

Nice guy out of his depth or decent manager with all the odds stacked against him by a basket case of a football club. Either way, Grayson is no longer Sunderland’s manager.

Having scraped two draws from two home games he said himself were important to win after the horrendous start to the season, Grayson found on Tuesday night that the patience of our absent owner and present but struggling chief executive had run out.

Another hopeless outing, SAFC unable to beat the bottom club and doing their level best to lose and take over at the foot of the table, left us within two games of managing a full year without a win at the Stadium of Light.

Here is how the club put it:

Sunderland AFC has this evening parted company with manager Simon Grayson.

The club would like to place on record its thanks to Simon and his staff for their efforts during their time at the football club.

Chief executive Martin Bain said: “Simon and his team have worked tirelessly to achieve the best for the football club during their time here.

“While we hoped that Simon’s experience in the Football League would help us to a successful season, results have not been good enough for a club of this stature.

“In order for us to improve upon our current position we believe a fundamental change is necessary.”

Assistant manager Glynn Snodin also departs.

It is clear the club had no serious choice, even if it is actually the principal cause of the malaise that Grayson was incapable of overcoming. One win in 15 games, so long ago we could be forgiven for having forgotten entirely, suggests a manager who has been on borrowed time for quite a while.

Jake: ‘get yer coat, Mr Grayson’

I liked Grayson’s honesty. I greatly sympathised with him as the second choice at best of our scintillating owner/CEO partnership, handed a few crumbs with which to do transfer business and then carrying the can for predictable failure.

But while feeling a good deal angrier about Ellis Short and Martin Bain, much as the latter’s hand is restrained by the want-away owner, I cannot fault the decision now taken. Grayson’s inability to instil the least discipline and organisation into his porous defence, his unimaginative style and his poor selections and substitutions really did begin to look like a cast-iron case for dismissal.

What on earth happens next is anyone’s guess. Which even half-decent manager would be daft enough to come to SAFC unless guaranteed resources that were denied to Grayson.

Our very modest cause for relief is that the change may come early enough in the season to give the new man a sporting chance of averting what currently looks inevitable.

And let us not forget the culpability of the players in the mess we are now witnessing. Not everyone is a bargain-basement no-hoper whose true level is a division or two lower. Grayson’s recruitment was poor, with only Lewis Grabban and intermittently Aiden McGeady and Callum McManaman making an impression. But Kone, Jones, Oviedo, O’Shea and Cattermole were playing in the Premier League only a few months ago. Even some of the others have been performing well below their best.

Simple instructions – don’t just hoof the ball high to a lone striker who cannot jump – seem to have been ignored. Two keepers have utterly failed to stamp the least authority on their goalmouths. As well as not being to win, the team cannot keep a clean sheet. Going behind at home has become routine; going ahead away serves merely as a cushion for when the home team retaliates.

These are sad, bad times to be a Sunderland supporter. We can but hope Short and Bain can somehow rise above their own shortcomings and the dire financial plight of the club and act wisely when making the decisions that could affect the long-term security of Sunderland AFC.

Ha’way the Lads. One piece of brighter news: we’ve actually climbed a place, to the nose bleed altitude of third bottom.

M Salut, drawn by Matt, colouring by Jake

Salut! Sunderland is written, illustrated and edited by – and principally for – supporters of Sunderland AFC. The site aims to be sufficiently literate and entertaining to appeal to people who do not follow SAFC but enjoy good football writing.

7 Responses to “Grayson sacked. But what do the masters of his misfortune plan next?” Subscribe

  1. Pete Sixsmith October 31, 2017 at 11:46 pm #

    A perfect assessment.

  2. AJM6730 November 1, 2017 at 12:05 am #

    He had to go. A different philosophy is urgently required whilst salvation is still possible, if in fact that is the case even at the end of October.
    Grayson seems to be one of the good guys, in all honesty but more than that is needed for even minimal success for our great club – and despite the efforts of the owner to shatter that history, we will rise again.
    Tomorrow is the first day of the rest of my life and the start of the fightback for my lifelong team.
    Keep the faith, we will recover.

  3. Drummer November 1, 2017 at 7:27 am #

    Grayson like Short , Bain and the players are was not up to the job. Unfortunately for him he was the only piece of the jigsaw the could be replaced. Who we get next is Bain’s job and unless the players up their game nothing will change . Pull your fingers out eh lads ?

  4. CSB November 1, 2017 at 8:59 am #

    A huge injection of pride, history and commitment is needed in the shape of the next manager/ management team to have any chance of avoiding the drop.

    The next manager will have to instill this into a faltering squad, not all bad pennies just unfortunate that they find themselves in this mess (mostly the youngsters).

    However there are established players at this Club who should be ashamed of themselves as so called professionals, but we need them to step up to the mark and be counted again because without it nothing will change.

    Once we are safe we can then afford the luxury of removing the culprits…..Short, Bain and some of the players.

  5. Jake November 1, 2017 at 9:14 am #

    Sitting in the manager’s chair at Sunderland is like sitting in the saddle of a wild bucking bronco, nobody stays on for long.

    • JEL November 3, 2017 at 6:37 pm #

      You might see the excitement of a bucking bronco, I see an old mule headed for the knackers yard.

  6. Marco November 3, 2017 at 4:16 pm #

    Sunderland have brought in several managers with good reputations over the past ten years. Martin O’ Neil, Dick Advocaat, Steve Bruce, David Moyes, Sam Allardyce and for the level he had managed at…yes even Simon Grayson, all highly thought of in the game before they rolled up on Wearside. Apart from Sam, they all left with their reputation in tatters. But, they cant all be duds can they? Since Steve Bruce, none of our managers has lasted little over a year.

    Each manager has his own ideas of how he wants to set up his side, how he wants them to play, what type of player he wants to bring in to implement his style, each manager inheriting a miss-mash of a squad of each previous managers partly assembled masterplan. Throw in a couple of Directors of Football along the way and you end up with the mess of a situation we found ourselves at this summer.

    Right now the players are being crucified by the home crowds for under-performing and rightly so, but if you have one manager after another year upon year, a chairman that clearly has no ambition for the club with a lack of direction or consistency shown from the top, you get what we are witnessing…. a fractured squad, with no unity, with players who would rather be anywhere else than playing in front of toxic crowds for a team that is next to rock bottom of the Championship. The fans have had enough, but take note, the team look like they have too.

    Grayson did have to go I agree, but long term, nothing will improve no matter which manager we bring in simply because Ellis Short is still here. And while Ellis is still here, no manager will receive the backing in the transfer market they need or be shown the patience that is required to turn the club around. If Ellis Short goes, we can begin to rebuild and move upward..not until.

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