Jonathan Sager shares his views from the US.
It certainly came as a shock to me when MON was released a few hours after the Manchester United game. I know we had been in a funk, but I certainly didn’t see that coming.
But it did. When it happened, I thought long and hard about whom could be our next man in charge. What was going to happen? Who would be picked? How would the players respond?
Then the announcement came that Paolo Di Canio was going to be the next Sunderland head coach and quite honestly I was surprised. I mean I knew who PDC was, I’d seen him play over the years, but as a head man, I didn’t really know.
I had to look him up and look at his track record, see where he’s been and what he’s done. But it wasn’t just that, managers can be successful and yet have players not like them. But it was not the case with Di Canio. Players truly like him.
The naysayers were quick to pop out of the woodwork with things about his politics or the fact that he had no Premier League experience.
I felt the politics should have nothing to do with it and of course, PDC came out and said the same, it’s football. He’s not running for a political office, he’s running a team in need of a positive influence.
As far as the experience goes, well everyone has to start somewhere. How would we know how well anyone would do unless they are given a chance? I’d never know how good a youth coach I was until I actually went out there and did it.
As a former player, he understands the concepts he is trying to preach to the lads. Simon Mignolet talked this week about how PDC wants everyone to do things together as a unit. As a group. Go out to train together, eat together, and even win together. It makes sense to me and from a fan perspective; I want to see everyone working together.
A lot of times you will hear about one player being bigger than the unit. But the most successful teams seem to have everyone working together on the pitch. That’s the point of a team. No one player is more important, everyone has a job and a role.
Also PDC is focusing on fitness, which in football, has to be a top priority. Given the fact that everyone is going to have an opportunity to be playing, everyone has to be focusing on fitness. PDC made it clear after the Chelsea game that he’s looking for energy. He’s looking for the attention to detail. He’s looking for fight.
After a somewhat curious start to the week following all the questions, the Black Cats showed tremendous amounts of fight and energy against Chelsea. Obviously from a fan standpoint, I was hoping for a victory.
But it’s a step in the right direction. The man in charge no doubt has a passion for our club; he’s looking for others to have the same sort of passion.
As I’ve said before, I’m a Sunderland fan. Whatever happens, I’m here behind the Lads. Obviously there is a learning curve and a change that is occurring. But we have to get behind our team, they are out there fighting for us, we need to be there cheering them on.
Ha’way the Lads.
The views of our bloggers are their own and are not necessarily those of Sunderland AFC.