This article is part of Football League World’s ‘Fan Perspective’ series, this content strand is where we deliver an opinion-based outlook from the perspective of a certain clubs fanbase on the matter at hand…
Phil Parkinson edged closer to securing the Sunderland job this week, after Reading appointed Mark Bowen, as per Chronicle Live.
The 51-year-old left his post as Bolton Wanderers manager in August, a club that he had done fantastic work at, considering the circumstances he had to work under.
Sunderland must get promoted this season. It doesn’t matter how pretty it is, whether the manager is hired short or long term, they just need to get out of League One.
When Jack Ross was sacked, the fingers are immediately pointed to Nigel Pearson, Paul Cook and Chris Hughton to take over the reigns. High-profile managers, perhaps too ambitious for a League One club. Although, Parkinson also has three promotions on his CV, but under circumstances that will be completely different to what he will encounter at Sunderland.
Parkinson took Colchester United to the Championship in the 2005/2006 season, a massive achievement for a club that wasn’t targeting promotion.
The best year of Parkinson’s managerial career is undoubtedly his campaign at Bradford City in 2012/13. The Bantams remarkably reached the League Cup final, despite being a League Two side, after defeating Aston Villa 4-3 over two legs. The Yorkshire-based side lost 5-0 in the final against Swansea City, but still, an outstanding achievement for a side ranked so low.
On top of that, Parkinson guided his side to the play-off final that year. A match they won 3-0 at Wembley, defeating Northampton Town and earning themselves a spot in League One.
Despite managing Bolton under a transfer embargo, Parkinson led them to a second-placed finish, amassing 86 points and ensuring them promotion back to the Championship. Bolton were relegated the following season, and Parkinson left his role at the club in August this year.
So, three promotions with three different clubs, no compensation as he is without a club, what’s not to like for Sunderland fans?
Well, there’s that pressure of managing such a massive club. Jack Ross failed to meet expectations, following in the footsteps of Simon Grayson and Chris Coleman. Is it a risk worth taking for Parkinson?
It would be a shrewd and smart appointment from Sunderland. Although Parkinson isn’t the type of manager to have his side playing attractive, attacking football, he gets results. If you offered any Sunderland fan promotion come May, they would take it. If that meant playing route one football, it doesn’t matter.
When Sunderland were relegated in 2017/18, the majority of their fans expected them to walk back up, playing brilliant football and winning comfortably most weeks. The reality has kicked in now, and they would just take promotion in any way they can get it.