After surprising the footballing world by leaving his post as Wales manager to take charge of Sunderland, Chris Coleman has got his work cut out to turn things around. The Wearsiders were relegated under new West Ham boss David Moyes, putting an end to the nine years they had spent in the top flight.
Moyes took over a side that had flirted with relegation for a number of years, but were on the up after a fabulous end to the 2015/16 season under Sam Allardyce. The players were highly motivated and they had a strong squad, with the likes of Lamine Kone, Yann M'Vila, Jan Kirchhoff and Jermain Defoe forming a solid spine of the team.
The Black Cats were crying out for some sensible investment to shed some dead wood and bring in a few young, aspirational players, but Moyes had other ideas.
Registering just 24 points, Moyes's side finishes bottom of the league and played with little imagination. With only six wins, the Black Cats lacked firepower and were leaking goals - so much so that during this calendar year, they are yet to register a win at the Stadium of Light, breaking a long-standing record.
Now, their stand-out players of two seasons ago are long gone, with Lamine Kone the only notable player still there. The squad is thin of experience and former manager Simon Grayson failed to motivate his side, despite a positive opening to the season.
In a league that fans thought they would emulate Newcastle by going straight back up, the Black Cats are sitting rock bottom, having only won one game, with their only victory coming against Norwich on the second game of the season.
EFL ESSENTIAL STATS: Sunderland became the first side in English football to fail to win in 20 successive home games in all comps (D9 L11) - their last win was in the Premier League v Watford in Dec 2016 https://t.co/qn9q4SJH78 pic.twitter.com/WSaSjLMoA7— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) November 20, 2017
The club are in desperate need of a strip down from top to bottom, with changes needed all over the place.
The introduction of Coleman as manager is arguably the best decision the board have made in a number of years, but he does face an uphill task to keep them in the Championship, never mind get them back into the Premier League.
The former Fulham boss has shown in his career that he is capable of getting players of lesser ability than their opponents to step up and grind out results, which is exactly what he'll need to do on Wearside.
For Wales, Coleman managed a side with players who had never experienced an international tournament to get through to the semi-finals, beating the likes of Belgium and Russia along the way.
For Fulham, he came in, steadied the ship and guided them to a ninth place finish the year after. His knowledge of how to get players to dig their feet in and run thrown walls for him is exactly what the Black Cats need, and if they don't respond, players who featured in the top flight just last year would by plying their trade in League One.
Coleman has a number of quality players at his disposal. The likes of Didier N'Dong. Duncan Watmore and Lewis Grabban are all good enough to stay in the Championship, but he will need funds to improve the side in January.
Sunderland are only a handful of wins away from pushing clear of the relegation zone, and with key fixtures against Burton, Fulham and Birmingham approaching, it's now make-or-break time for the Black Cats.
With the West Brom job becoming available, Coleman may be kicking himself that he didn't wait a little while longer - but the chance to turn things around at Sunderland is a project that will excite him in the long-term.