Friday, October 23, 2020

Jack Ross: The Right Man for the Job?

When Jack Ross was appointed the managerial position at Sunderland AFC is seen by many as a career dead end. Those who take the position rarely find themselves in a better place by the end of their tenure. It is thus understandable that, due to the almost entirely negative track record of the position in recent times, those who accept this role are often subjected to a higher level of scrutiny from the fanbase than might be expected from any other club.

No more does this ring true than in the case of current Sunderland manager Jack Ross, who has recently cemented himself as one of the most polarising managerial choices of the past decade.

The appointment of Ross occurred as one of the inaugural moves made under the new ownership of Stewart Donald in the summer of 2018. The former St. Mirren man was a relative unknown in English football, having only held jobs north of the border, yet arrived with a reputation as one of the more promising young managers in the game. The appointment was initially hailed as a universal success, as Sunderland held top positions throughout the opening half of the season.

However, following the January transfer window, the cracks began to show. Results began to stall, as the side dropped from automatic promotion spots to mere playoff contention. Ultimately, Sunderland were condemned to a second season in League One following a heartbreaking loss to Charlton in the dying seconds of the playoff final.

Jack Ross Sunderland

Jack Ross up to the job?

Much of the animosity felt by the fanbase has been directed at Jack Ross and his tactics. Sunderland suffered from a chronic scoring issue at points last season, often failing to score more than a single goal per game, which many attributed to Ross’ conservative tactics. Furthermore, the 2019/20 season began with two straight 1-1 draws from the side, bringing criticism of the manager to a peak once again as many deemed his tactics as impotent and uninspiring.

Personally, I believe that Ross is the correct man for the job. Much of the blame for Sunderland’s current position can be attributed to the constant managerial changes made by incompetent ownership over the past decade. Ross has been given an incredibly difficult task in attempting to spearhead the rebuild of this once great football team. He needs to be given time for his team to gel, and to create a winning culture in this football club. If we continue to run through managers in such a careless fashion, we can never expect positive change to take place.

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