Picture credit: David Davies/PA Wire/PA Images

SportsByte’s James Copley looks at the stats behind new Sunderland manager Chris Coleman that suggest the former Wales manager could be the right man to lead them back up the Championship table.

  • After 50 matches and five years as Wales manager, Swansea-born Chris Coleman used just 57 players. To give this context, look no further than at Roy Hodgson – the former England gaffer utilised a whopping 70 players in his four-year tenure as national team manager. Coleman worked with a small pool of players with clear limitations and crafted a system to suit them – transference of this vital skill could be crucial to any potential success he’ll have at Sunderland.
  • The Welshman led his country to their highest ever position in the FIFA World Rankings, a historic 8th.
  • And who could forget THAT Euro 2016 run? To reach the semi-finals only to be halted by the eventual winners Portugal was a magnificent achievement.
  • Before qualifying for Euro 2016, Wales had failed to reach the finals of any major tournament since 1958 – this places Coleman as Wales’ most successful manager in a generation.
  • 41 matches in charge of Wales saw Coleman chalk up an impressive 38% win ratio. Even Jimmy Murphy – the last man before Coleman to guide Wales to a major tournament finals – could only manage a 26% win ratio in his 42 games.
  • “But its only international football, who cares? Can he do it at club level?” I hear you cry… Well, barring an ill-advised move to Greece and an unsuccessful stint at Coventry Coleman’s club record stands up to scrutiny. At the ripe old age of 32, Coleman was named as Fulham boss after a spell as caretaker, the youngest manager in Premier League history. Coleman lead Fulham to 9th in 2003/04, 13th in 2004/05 and then 12th in 2005/06 before leaving in April 2007.
  • During his time with the London club, Coleman’s win ratio was a fairly impressive 34.66%, his side averaging 1.23 points per game. Steve Bruce managed 29.59% in his three seasons with Sunderland with a far higher budget than Coleman has ever been afforded.
  • His success at Fulham seems even more impressive when looking at Coleman’s transfer record. In his three seasons at Craven Cottage he spent £9.3 million.
  • Spain beckoned – a chance to manage recently relegated Real Sociedad presented a new challenge. However, Coleman resigned after 196 days, citing a falling out with newly elected president Iñaki Badiola. Coleman left Sociedad sitting pretty in 5th having only lost one of the previous eleven games, averaging a return of 1.48 points per game in the 21 matches he took charge of.

With Sunderland sitting bottom in the Championship and the threat of back-to-back relegations a very real possibility the appointment of Coleman – given his impressive record – is a coup for the club in its current state of woe.

Still only 47, Coleman is young in managerial terms but brings charisma and vigour to a Sunderland squad sorely lacking in team spirit. A welcome change from the monotony of Simon Grayson.