BBC SPORT Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX    SEARCH 

BBC Sport
 You are in: Sports Talk  
Sport Front Page
-------------------
Football
Cricket
Rugby Union
Rugby League
Tennis
Golf
Motorsport
Boxing
Athletics
Other Sports
-------------------
Special Events
-------------------
Sports Talk
Forum
-------------------
BBC Pundits
TV & Radio
Question of Sport
-------------------
Photo Galleries
Funny Old Game
-------------------
Around The UK: 
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales

BBC Sport Academy
BBC News
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS

Monday, 7 October, 2002, 18:26 GMT 19:26 UK
Is Wilkinson right for Sunderland?
Howard Wilkinson will be paired with Steve Cotterill in Sunderland's new management team
Sunderland appoint Howard Wilkinson as their new manager, with Steve Cotterill as his assistant.

Do Wilkinson and Cotterill have what it takes to turn things around at the Stadium of Light?


This debate is now closed.


Howard Wilkinson has not managed at club level since being sacked by Leeds in 1996, but the Black Cats are keen to draw on his experience as they seek to steady the ship following Peter Reid's sacking.

Speaking at the news conference, Wilkinson said: "I relish the challenge ahead here at Sunderland.

"It is clear to me that this is a club with a proud tradition, huge and faithful support and in the Stadium of Light and academy, facilities that will be second to none.

Steve Cotterill, who resigned as Stoke boss on Wednesday night, is one of the most highly-regarded young coaches in the British game.

Have the Black Cats got the right men for the job? What can Sunderland supporters expect from the rest of the season?


Wilkinson is capable of keeping Sunderland in the top flight but don't expect any massive improvement on their current 17th position!
Mark, Luxembourg

A very similar arose at Aberdeen a few years ago. They appointed Alex Miller as a "safe pair of hands" and for his "great experience". It turned out to be a disaster. I wish Sunderland all the best, but I feel they have made a big mistake.
George Henderson, Scotland


It is quite obvious that Sunderland want Steve Cotterill as the real manager but did not have the guts to appoint him as sole manager at the moment
Andrew, Sweden

Sunderland now have a man who, with Steve Cotterill, will bring serious training techniques to the pitch, won't play left-footers on the right and right-footers on the left. He's stated he isn't a yes man, which Sunderland have too many of. Give Howard a chance and see where he takes us. Anything more than relegation will be achievement because that's where we are heading and doomed to be with Peter Reid.
Gregg, Durham, UK

Let's just wait and see. As Bob Murray said that the main priority is to preserve Sunderland's Premiership status, it is possible the he has some plans to bring in another manager like Martin O'Neill at a later date.
Paul Greenwell, Netherlands

I believe that it is quite obvious that Sunderland want Steve Cotterill as the real manager but did not have the guts to appoint him as sole manager at the moment. Wilko is no long-term manager and time will show that. Sunderland are looking to emulate the trend of appointing young less experienced managers, for example Middlesbrough's Steve McClaren.

Even as a huge Boro supporter I hope that Sunderland can manage to avoid the drop with their new management team. There is nothing better than beating the Macks home and away on a cold crispy winter evening!
Andrew, Sweden


I don't believe that the combination of these two men will save the club from relegation
Dan Mear, UK

Howard is an inspired choice - who better to get Sunderland climbing that league? He has all the experience of Premiership football. We will show them Magpies what we can do with our ex-England manager. Well done Mr Murray, you have come up trumps again.
Keith Robertson, Jarrow, UK

It is pitiful that a manager can treat a club in the way that Steve Cotterill has done. I cannot believe that a person with any footballing knowledge can believe that the skills acquired during a short spell in the lower divisions will enable them to work with a team that is in the top flight.

I also consider the signing of Howard Wilkinson to be a step backwards for a club that is massively underachieving. I don't believe that the combination of these two men will save the club from relegation. You have to wonder when two managers are brought in to do the job of a manager and coach, where is the balance of power, and who has the final say?
Dan Mear, UK

Give Wilkinson some credit. Who's youth policy at Leeds spawned a lot of the current crop that we see today? It wasn't George Graham or David O'Leary, they rode off the back of the strong backbone and club structure he created!

He may not be the most charismatic man in the world but think yourselves lucky you didn't get Mick "man-management" McCarthy. I'm sure he'd attract top names after one of the most respected players in Europe lambasted him at the World Cup.
Steve, UK


He may not have the charisma of some of the widely-touted names, but he's a shrewd enough tactician and manager to get the best out of the squad
Steve, Durham, UK

Just an unbelievably stupid move by Murray. What is he thinking? Reid must be wondering the same. As for all the Sunderland faithful, well, surely they can't be reassured by this move? I'm in shock!
Didi, Zambia

Howard Wilkinson + Niall Quinn + Tore Andre Flo = Long Ball Hell!
Phil, England

I felt this was a sensible appointment when I heard about it. If the other comments are anything to go by however, I fear for the atmosphere at the stadium. We must give them a chance. Cotterill appears to have the coaching credentials and Howard Wilkinson must have some good contacts by now. Be positive, it might just work!
Andy Lawton, UK

A great appointment. Wilko's a serious, thoughtful manager, and badly underrated. He may not have the charisma of some of the widely-touted names, but he's a shrewd enough tactician and manager to get the best out of the squad he's taken over.

O'Leary only has experience of managing with an open chequebook - and by all accounts he left Leeds with a warring dressing room. Did we really want that?
Steve, Durham, UK


So long as Wilko looks after the admin and leaves Cotterill to coach the players this might not be a bad appointment
Mik F, UK

Wilkinson returns to club management - I hope he gets on the phone to Venables, he'll tell him how difficult it is in the Premiership especially after being away from club management for so long. I feel sorry for Peter Reid and the Sunderland fans who will definitely now drop down into the black hole of Division One.
Paul King, England

Sunderland fans have got what they deserved after hounding out Peter Reid. This is great news for England supports. Wilkinson can't mess things up at the FA any more. I'm just amazed that he's been taken off our hands for nothing. Thanks Sunderland! Very nice of you!
Adam Pearce, UK

Has April Fools' Day come early? Surely someone like David O'Leary was required to lift the spirits of the ailing club, a young manager with some energy and enthusiasm. Sunderland will now be as boring to watch as Aston Villa! The only fans celebrating this appointment will be wearing black and white stripes.
Chris Atkins, England

So long as Wilko looks after the admin and leaves Cotterill to coach the players this might not be a bad appointment. There are some very good players at the club who Reid and Saxton failed to get the best out of. Let's wait and see.
Mik F, UK

Come on all you doubters, although he hasn't managed a club for six years, it doesn't mean that he doesn't watch a lot of football. He still has loads of contacts and maybe he has learned something other than the long ball through Sven's influence on the England set-up. Give him a chance or Sunderland are doomed to the Nationwide!
Paul, Scotland


We would have been better off hiring the Sunderland tea lady!
Paul Fox, Spain

You're having a laugh! One of the most overrated managers in the history of English football. I can only surmise that the Sunderland board put a million quid on his appointment down at Ladbrokes (with odds of 100/1) to ensure they've got some cash available to buy some decent players in January. It's the only way Wilko will keep them up.
Phillip Broeders, Manchester

This is an absolute joke. Bob Murray has certainly condemned us to the first Division. Wilkinson last managed a club in 1996 and Cotterill is a lower league manager. We would have been better off keeping Reid or hiring the Sunderland tea lady!
Paul Fox, Spain

What a stinker for Sunderland fans. They would have been expecting someone dynamic and inspirational to take over, and who do they get? Howard 'long ball' Wilkinson. The board obviously didn't see England play in Finland two years ago.

Cotterill on his own may have been a good choice, he has a great future, but having Wilkinson as his mentor will stunt his football growth considerably. Get ready for football from the dark ages, Sunderland.
Chris, UK


As a Newcastle United supporter I think this is fantastic news!
Phil Reay, UK

With all the anticipation of having a big name such as David O'Leary or Mick McCarthy at the helm, Sunderland appoint Howard Wilkinson - a man who has not done anything of note for years - and Steve Coterill - vastly inexperienced at this level - as the management team to take Sunderland onto the next level. I remember a similar thing happening with Leicester last year. Looks like we'll be back in the Nationwide before long.
Ross Cumming, UK

I hope you whingeing Sunderland fans are happy now. You deserve all you get after the way you treated Peter Reid.
James Boyd, UK

I'm not so sure about Howard Wilkinson, but if Steve Cotterill has any influence then you won't do much wrong.
Peter Reed, Cheltenham, UK

Let's give them a chance before we write them off, and start talking about someone else in the long term!
Jim, UK

As a Newcastle United supporter I think this is fantastic news!
Phil Reay, UK


This is a tremendous appointment
Jeremy T, England

Any of the names bandied about would have been better than Wilkinson. This has to be the worst appointment since Alan Ball took over at Manchester City. My commiserations to all Sunderland fans. You deserve much better than this!
Mark James, UK

Steve Cotterill may prove to be a good asset in the future, but Howard Wilkinson is certainly not going to be the most popular choice with the supporters. They are hardly likely to be excited by this as a major scoop for the club. Bad choice!
David Scott, UK

This is a tremendous appointment. Wilkinson will bring his vast experience and a steady hand to sail the club into calmer waters. He also has great knowledge of the wealth of young talent in this country and will make Sunderland a more attractive club to join.
Jeremy T, England

Wilkinson does not have a proven record at managerial level anywhere. His presence will only lead Sunderland to further trouble. The same applies to Cotterill and together they will be as bad as Adams and Basset at Leicester last year.
Law Patel, UK

Of all the managerial talent out there how on earth did Sunderland plump for Wilkinson? He's a dinosaur! I don't see how they are any better off.
Brownie, UK


The Sunderland supporters who were last week booing Peter Reid will soon be ruing their actions
Mike Brodigan, England

No way - this is not the big name manager we wanted. They have made a huge mistake.
Ron, England

Wilkinson!? He's another McMenemy, may Howard have the same successful impact as big Lawrie!
Toon Chris, England

What is going on? They haven't even approached Mick McCarthy and they've appointed this has-been! Maybe it's time Bob Murray resigned too!
Rob Lawson, UK

Sunderland have just made the biggest managerial mistake since Aston Villa took a ten-year step back by appointing Graham Taylor as manager. This shows the lack of direction Peter Reid must have had from the board at Sunderland. The Sunderland supporters who were last week booing Peter Reid will soon be ruing their actions.
Mike Brodigan, England

If Howard Wilkinson becomes manager of Sunderland, they will undoubtedly go down. The man in the dark ages as far as football tactics are concerned. Just look at how he managed the U21's and the senior squad.
Mike Smith, UK


Howard Wilkinson is the worst appointment we could have made
Duncan Goodfellow, UK

I believe that many Sunderland fans (at least initially) will greet the appointments of Wilkinson and Cotterill as a massive public relations own goal by Sunderland. However, let's wait and see. Bob Murray's statement on Monday night indicated that the short-term priority was to preserve Sunderland's Premiership status, so perhaps he has something else in mind for the longer term?
Robert Crosby, Nottingham, UK

If Steve "I'm not a quitter" Cotterill displays the same loyalty that he showed at Stoke, I fear for Sunderland.
Dougal McKinnon, UK

Not a good move. Wilkinson hasn't been a club manager for six years. He is also a strong advocate of the long ball game - as was Peter Reid. It's a crazy appointment and it won't last.
Steve, Bill Quay, UK

Howard Wilkinson is the worst appointment we could have made. He hasn't done anything of note in football for years and has been out of club management too long. This could prove a nail in the coffin for Sunderland.
Duncan Goodfellow, UK

 VOTE RESULTS
Will Howard Wilkinson keep Sunderland up?

Yes
 25.93% 

No
 74.07% 

18616 Votes Cast

Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion

Latest news

Reaction and analysis

Background

SPORTSTALK
Links to more Sports Talk stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Sports Talk stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

Sport Front Page | Football | Cricket | Rugby Union | Rugby League |
Tennis | Golf | Motorsport | Boxing | Athletics | Other Sports |
Special Events | Sports Talk | BBC Pundits | TV & Radio | Question of Sport |
Photo Galleries | Funny Old Game | N Ireland | Scotland | Wales