What they expect from new manager according to Sunderland star

Cadbury World can be reached from St Andrew’s, Birmingham City’s home, in just over five miles, door to door. Did this play a major role in Tony Mowbray’s decision to return to football management so quickly after leaving Sunderland? It’s impossible to say for sure, but I’m going to take a wild guess and say that the answer is probably yes.

Ex-West Brom boss Tony Mowbray succeeds Wayne Rooney as Birmingham City  manager | Shropshire Star

After Wayne Rooney was fired by the Blues on Monday morning, it was revealed that the amiable chocoholic had been named the team’s new permanent manager. Rooney had only been in the dugout for 83 days. Looking back, it could be remembered as one of the worst seasons in Championship history. With just 10 points from 15 games, the former England international brought City from the verge of the play-offs to the verge of a relegation struggle. Mowbray doesn’t have a difficult act to follow, if nothing else.

In light of this, the 60-year-old seems like a really wise choice. Few would-be contenders could assert to know the Championship—this writhing, MC Escher-esque illustration of a division—better than he does. Even fewer would bring a more calming and upbeat mannerism or an infectiously joyful style of football with them.

Tony Mowbray would almost certainly assure you of two things: excellent football and positive energy. To be fully transparent, I support Sunderland, and I must admit that I wasn’t thrilled with Alex Neil’s replacement when he left us in August to pursue a life of masochistic pottery-making in Stoke. After a few weeks, I had devoured a lot of humble pie and felt extremely foolish for having any doubts about Tony.

Seeing Sunderland during its previous season was an exceptional experience, at least in terms of aesthetics. There is a compelling case to be made that Mowbray and his courageous group of kindergarten wizards were the most visually appealing team for the entirety of the 2023 Championship. The attacking play was deft and nuanced, consisting of a series of flurrying passing combinations that would confuse and disorient until a clinically precise and cutting sucker-punch was delivered. At the touch of a button, possession could quickly transform from a controlled and methodical approach to a devastating blitz that sent players hurtling toward the enemy from every direction like a swarm of frenzied locusts.

Under Mowbray, Sunderland’s defense was characterized by something far less concrete. The Black Cats’ blood and thunder approach to the dirtier parts of the game was commendable, whether it was the result of belief, unity, or a general headiness. Square pegs were forcefully inserted into round holes, causing bodies and tackles to fly. Mowbray suffered a lot of injuries on Wearside, and by the time the second leg of the play-off semi-final against Luton Town drew near, Sunderland’s lack of height and physicality would finally catch up with them. Nevertheless, their team was, for the most part, characterized by an unquenchable passion.

In all honesty, Mowbray’s ability to persuade his team to the verge of advancement was an incredible feat unto itself. In addition to the Black Cats being ravaged by injuries (Mowbray had no reliable striker when Ross Stewart’s achilles failed in the final week of January and could only recall one recognized defender for that pivotal play-off final at Kenilworth Road), he also defied the odds by fielding an absurdly youthful squad.

What was most reassuring about Mowbray as a manager, though, was how he handled those seeming problems. He’s just a really good guy, to put it simply. From his amiable, Jaffa Cake-eating news appearances to his fatherly demeanor across the club, everyone was enthralled with this heartfelt, generous disclosure in his Hugo Boss overcoat. His temperament is the only thing sweeter than his tooth.

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