On Tuesday afternoon Sunderland announced that Jack Ross had left his role of manager. Ross had become increasingly under pressure of late. Failure to secure promotion last season coupled with poor performances and results this term has led to his departure.
Jack Ross came into Sunderland at a difficult time. He worked hard to get the club promoted; however, his inexperience in English football proved a difficult obstacle. Ultimately, Ross fell short and Sunderland have made the correct decision in sacking him.
Sunderland Made Correct Decision to Sack Jack Ross
Too Many Draws and Poor Performances
Over the course of Jack Ross’s time on Wearside, Sunderland became known as draw specialists. Twenty three out of his 57 league games ended in a draw. It was his side’s lack of ruthlessness that led to many of these draws as Sunderland failed to kill off teams when in winning positions on too many occasions.
Poor performances, especially of late, led to many fans calling for a change. Defeats and draws are accepted as long as the players have given their best. Sadly, few could say they had given their best under Ross in recent weeks. Clean sheets were also hard to come by. So far this season, the Black Cats have conceded in every league game.
Failure to Win Promotion
Automatic promotion was lost in the last weeks of the 2018/19 season. Sunderland negotiated their way past Portsmouth in the play-off semi-final. They faced Charlton Athletic at Wembley and lost to a heartbreaking last-minute goal.
Although Ross and the Black Cats came close, the club and the fans put so much into returning to the Championship at the first attempt. It was a huge disappointment. A disappointment still being felt around the club.
Promotion Almost a Must This Season
This season, promotion is without a doubt the number one target. At present, performances and some very poor results have indicated that Sunderland could have an uphill battle to get back to the Championship. Under Jack Ross, it appeared that he had taken the club as far as he could and was unable to get any more from the players at his disposal.
Jack Ross Arrived at a Difficult Time
It mustn’t be forgotten that Ross came to a Sunderland at a difficult time. The club had been relegated to England’s third tier for just the second time in its history. New owners had arrived and the depleted squad needed strengthening. Ross and his backroom staff worked hard to bring in players who would give the club a chance of success. On some levels he failed, some he succeeded.
Two Wembley Finals
Fans will not forget the two Wembley finals Ross took them to in a hurry. Sadly, along with the good times had, results on the pitch did not go their way. The Black Cats took 40,000 fans to London on each occasion. The scenes in Trafalgar Square will live long in the memory. Fans were praised by the city for how they conducted themselves.
Unfortunately, Sunderland lost the first, an EFL Cup Final, on penalties to Portsmouth after an exciting but nerve-racking game. The second was the play-off final. A goal with virtually the last kick of the game gave Charlton the victory. It was cruel; however, Sunderland were second best on the day.
As part of the statement on the club’s official website, chairman Stewart Donald said: “This is a decision that has been made with a heavy heart. When we arrived at the club 18 months ago, we appointed Jack because we felt that he was the right man to take Sunderland forward over a number of years.
“Jack has worked extremely hard, and has helped us achieve stability at the club, and I sincerely thank him for his efforts. I hope and believe that he will go on to have a successful career in management.”
Time was Right for Jack Ross to Leave
Ultimately, football is a results-driven basis, ideally with performances to please the paying fans. On paper Jack Ross’s record isn’t bad. Seven defeats in 57 league games shows he built a side that was difficult to beat. However, he also built a side which on too many occasions were not capable of showing a ruthless streak by turning draws into victories.
Jack Ross took the club as far as he could. Sunderland fans, in time, will be grateful for what he did in its time of need. However, failure to win promotion with the squad he had and this season struggling to keep clean sheets and slipping further from the promotion places cost him his job.