Sunderland manager Michael Beale is coming under pressure just weeks into his new role
Most fans want to see their team win games and do it with panache and a bit of a swagger. Sometimes you can do one while not necessarily doing the other.
Sunderland fans finally came to believe that Tony Mowbray wasn’t the right man, but in the interim, they were accustomed to seeing some thrilling, offensive football. According to some supporters, Sunderland has not advanced under Michael Beale and has even regressed.
Not only did they not learn anything from the encounter, especially against Hull City, but they also gave a strained performance that is unlikely to excite the paying audience. However, Beale will undoubtedly have time to establish himself after owner Kyril Louis-Dreyfus gave him the position of head coach.
A man seen as the right choice a little more than five weeks ago has to be viewed as the same, now, right? Well, such is the nature of football, nothing surprises any more. Beale has to get his team playing attractive football at the very least, while trying to win matches.
It is obvious the club need a 20-goal striker. Beale believes he can come up with answers in house, while acknowledging recruits are needed. Speaking on Sky Sports, Beale reckoned: “I think we’ve got solutions in the building. It’s also fair to say we are looking for one or two solutions to come in from the outside. But my first thought is with the guys who I came here to work with.”
Injury-plagued Bradley Dack is still out while winger Patrick Roberts is another big miss for Sunderland as they try to find that winning formula. Sky pundit Jobi McAnuff doesn’t think there has been an upturn in fortunes since Beale came in. He said: “I see a team that is more pragmatic because a criticism that was levelled at Tony Mowbray at times was that they were a bit too open. But they were certainly a very entertaining football team to watch. They were fearless at times. I saw them go away to Burnley and take them on, toe to toe. They don’t quite do that at the moment.”
He added: “If you’re not getting the results and the football is nowhere near the levels we’ve seen previously, that’s where maybe some of the question marks will be asked. Tony Mowbray knows the league and knows what it takes to get out of the league. Clearly the hierarchy didn’t agree with what he wanted to bring in the door. Michael Beale has also got to be having these conversations and I’m sure he has a good idea as well what will help get that team in the top six which is the level they are trying to get to.”
Beale has gone on record to say he doesn’t want his best players to leave. He feels the group they have is the group that’s there to stay, while hoping for additions. He reckons there is the potential for something special to happen.
The fans won’t care a jot about that just now in an industry where the here and now is the only thing that matters. In that regard, following two successive Championship defeats, he must guide his team to victory against Stoke City on Saturday to get those wavering fans back onside.