Chris Coleman compares football managers to shares and it was clear he starts his reign as Sunderland’s latest new manager with his stock high.
It is what makes the 47-year-old agreeing to join bottom-of-the-Championship Sunderland a risk for him, and what makes his presence such a morale-boosting coup for his new club.
Simon Grayson’s pre-match Press conferences were one-man-and-his-dog affairs – that is what being at the wrong end of the Championship does for you in an era where the media’s attention is shaped almost exclusively by web traffic. The Academy of Light reception desk ran out of visitor passes for the briefing to preview Tuesday’s trip to Aston Villa because it doubled as Coleman’s first media engagement on Wearside.
As an impressive mixture of enthusiasm and determination, it will have pleased the supporters it was directed at and hopefully discomforted a few of his more lacklustre players.
New managers’ Press conferences are old hat to the North East media. They are used to seeing big names “unveiled” (disappointingly, no curtains are involved), and a surprisingly high number of former and future international coaches have sat in front of the obligatory mass of sponsor’s logos.
With the club’s standing so low – in the league table as well as its perception amongst some in the football fraternity – it was a pleasant surprise Coleman was addressing them. When Grayson was…