Phil Parkinson's 'honeymoon' period at Sunderland is over - he MUST start getting results
Of all the footballing clichés that greet a new manager’s arrival, the idea of a “Honeymoon period” is one of the more intriguing ones.
The suggestion from several quarters was that Phil Parkinson wouldn’t get this fabled period of time and that the pressure would be on from the very beginning.
However, despite a frankly shocking string of results the ire of fans that was once reserved for his predecessor Jack Ross seems to have shifted not on to the new manager but instead on to the players and owners. For the time being at least.
While there are a variety of reasons, one of them is surely that fans recognise Parkinson hasn’t been in the job very long, so it’s wrong to say he hasn’t been given a Honeymoon period.
He has, it’s just that it’s been the sort of Honeymoon that involves serious food poisoning, endless screams from the room next door and the discovery of mysterious brown stains on the bedsheets.
Parkinson is no stranger to being employed by clubs you could suitably classify as “eventful”, but even he must’ve raised an eyebrow at goings on over the last couple of weeks.
Including a period of eight days that is probably the most embarrassing in the club’s history, starting with defeat at home to Leicester City’s U21s, ending with defeat away to Scunthorpe United, and in between the 1-1 draw at home to Gillingham; a game neatly characterised by a wholly unwanted demonstration of Jon McLaughlin’s ball retrieval skills.
Parkinson could have used these 3 essentially meaningless games as glorified friendlies to work on the team's shape, foster partnerships between players and just generally prepare for the main business of winning league games.
Indeed, maybe that was his intention but by the time we face Coventry City it will have been 21 days since our last league game and sadly there’s been very little indication that we should expect 3 points against a side currently sitting third.
If Parkinson has experienced a relatively easy ride so far, it’s unlikely that will last much longer unless we start taking points off the teams around us and put ourselves in a position more befitting of a club aiming for promotion.
The Honeymoon period is over… welcome to married life with Sunderland AFC.