As expected, Chris Coleman has been confirmed as the new Sunderland boss.
The 47-year-old joins the struggling Black Cats on a two-and-a-half year deal, and replaces Simon Grayson who was sacked after overseeing dismal start to the new Championship campaign which sees the club propping up the table.
While Sunderland will no doubt be delighted by their new acquisition, the Welsh FA are sure to be disappointed to lose a manager who guided Wales to an historic Euro 2016 semi-final.
However, after missing out on a place in next year’s World Cup finals, Coleman has decided to return to club football with Sunderland, a side already staring a second successive relegation in the face.
On getting their man, Sunderland released a statement saying:
Sunderland AFC are delighted to announce Chris Coleman as the club’s new manager. The Welshman has signed a two-and-a-half-year deal at the Stadium of Light and arrives on the back of six memorable years as Wales boss, during which time he managed his country into the top 10 of FIFA’s world rankings and an incredible run to the semi-finals of Euro 2016.
The 47-year-old was highly sought-after but chose Sunderland as the fifth club of his managerial career, following spells with Fulham, Real Sociedad, Coventry and AEL.
Coleman himself is well aware of the massive challenge ahead, and was quick to warn his new players about what he wants from them from the start. He said:
If you’re committed you’re in, if not you’re out. You can’t pretend at it. What we don’t need are any shrinking violets.
We will find out who is going to be coming along on this next chapter pretty quickly I think. Whoever is not will need to go and play football somewhere else.
If this challenge is too big for them then they need to move on.
One wonders if the challenge will be too big for Coleman himself in the coming months.