Nice guy. Nice idea. But it didn't work. Simon Grayson's brief reign as Sunderland Manager was terminated coldly and abruptly less than half an hour after the latest example of his shortcomings as a coach. The 3-3 draw with Bolton was wild and fun in a loose and unconvincing way, but it raised more questions than answers.
Sunderland Chief Executive Martin Bain didn't take long to decide Simon Grayson didn't have any answers. Think about it, Sunderland needed to score three goals to get a draw, at home, against the bottom club in the Championship.
The Black cats woeful run without a victory at the Stadium of Light in the year 2017 stretches on. The defending, as it's routinely been in recent weeks, was awful to the point of non-existent. There was no real progress to be seen here tonight.
But he knew it wasn't going to be easy. Grayson was only in charge for 123 days and he had to oversee a massive turnover of players in the summer on a shoestring budget. This was always a tough gig, especially when you add in the owner (Ellis Short) who's desperate to sell the club and the prevailing sense of doom and disenchantment that's been allowed to fester among Sunderland fans.
Grayson knew what he was taking on when he left a safe seat at Preston to try his hand on Wearside. His "Championship experience" led Sunderland to second bottom of the division, with one win all season. It wasn't good enough, it was nowhere near good enough, and the extenuating circumstances ultimately don't matter in the end. He wasn't doing the job he was brought in to do - and now he's out of a job.