After yet another disappointing defeat, this time a three-nil loss to promotion chasers Aston Villa, the Black Cats are rooted firmly to the bottom of the Championship. What will concern fans even more is the fight and quality required to survive is sadly lacking.
The club have survived relegation battles in the recent past; however, it is looking increasingly unlikely that there will be no great escape for Sunderland this season.
Escape for Sunderland Looks Unlikely
For several years in the Premier League, the Black Cats became great escape specialists; however, on each occasion, the club did not learn. Last season, under the guidance of ex-Manchester United manager David Moyes, Sunderland were relegated without a fight as yet more poor decisions and poor signings finally caught up with the club.
A Chance to Rebuild
When the club were relegated last year it was seen by many as a chance for the club to take stock, rebuild and to eventually get back into the Premier League a stronger, more stable club. Sunderland did not take this opportunity.
Club owner Ellis Short made it public knowledge that he wished to sell the club last summer. This would have been a good thing if it had happened. However, possible buyers came and went and any money that came into the club via player sales etc went straight to the owner or paying off other debts.
The Black Cats also needed a new manager and, with many players leaving, a new squad. They eventually settled on Preston North End manager Simon Grayson. He was given a paltry sum of money and signed a host of players for just over £1 million pounds.
Ten Games Left
Fast forward to the present day and Sunderland have ten games to save their season after such a disappointing campaign. Chris Coleman, appointed after Grayson’s sacking following a string of poor performances and results, has struggled to steady the ship. No money was made available during the January transfer window so he had to rely on loan signings. These signings have yet to help the clubs decline.
Supporters can always forgive a defeat if their side has competed. However, when their side shows little to no fight like the Black Cats players are, then this is both unforgivable in the eyes of the fans and will end in only one result; relegation.
Sunderland are on course to be relegated to England’s third tier for only the second time in their long history. It seems that nothing at present is going to prevent this from happening. The club owner appears to be taking little interest in what is happening and senior players who have been at the club for several seasons are not taking responsibility on or off the pitch.
Hope. Is There Any?
The Black Cats are still only four points away from safety, mainly due to those around being just as poor at the moment. A couple of wins and escape for Sunderland may be possible. Unfortunately, they have only won five league games this season and may have to at least double that tally to stand a chance. As long as there is a chance, there is hope
Sunderland have been down before and managed to come back from the brink. It has to be hoped that if relegation is confirmed, the club is taken over by someone who can take the club forward once again. If not, we could see this great club struggle in the lower leagues for years to come.
There is still time to avoid this, however, time is running out fast. Maybe too fast for this season to be rescued.
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