This article is part of Football League Worlds ‘Player View’ series, this contend strand is where we put ourselves in the shoes of a given player, and offer an opinion-based outlook on the situation at hand…
Sunderland have appointed Phil Parkinson as their new manager this morning. The former Bolton Wanderers manager will take charge of their match at Wycombe Wanderers on Saturday.
The 51-year-old arrives with a proven track record, having won promotion with Colchester United, Bradford City and Bolton, and will be expected to deliver that at Sunderland too.
Parkinson had immediate success in management, winning promotion with Colchester, before having spells at Charlton Athletic and Hull City. His most memorable year in management was the 2012/13 campaign, when managing Bradford. Parkinson guided his side to the League Cup final, before winning promotion via the play-offs.
In his most recent role, Parkinson got Bolton promoted from League One after finishing second with 86 points. After a number of problems off the field, Bolton were relegated and he left his role at the club in August this year.
A new manager brings a fresh start for the current squad of Sunderland players. Although, for striker Charlie Wyke, it may knock him further down the pecking order.
Parkinson will arrive and immediately look to get Will Grigg scoring goals. The Northern Irishman has scored 99 goals in League One, and earned promotion on four occasions, once with Brentford and Milton Keynes Dons, before playing a pivotal role in a Wigan Athletic side that won the league twice.
If Parkinson can find a way of getting Grigg back to full form, they’ll likely get promoted. The striker will be raring to go under the new manager, this is his opportunity to kick on at Sunderland and prove himself again.
However, Scottish star Marc McNulty has been Sunderland’s go-to striker so far this season, scoring four goals and linking up well with Aiden McGeady. McNulty will feel his form in the early part of the season, has been deserving of a start under new manager Parkinson.
That would leave Wyke as third choice striker, and with Parkinson favouring the 4-2-3-1 system, it doesn’t make good reading for him. Wyke has scored just two goals so far this campaign, and may struggle for game time, assuming Grigg finds form and will be first choice.
On the other hand, Parkinson has previous of starting with a strong, physical striker. In that case, Wyke fits the bill.
However, despite the ifs and buts, Sunderland have a striker in Grigg who has proven himself in this division on four occasions.
It must be Parkinson’s priority to get him scoring goals, wherever that leaves someone like Wyke.