Sunderland’s dramatic decline continues
Sunderland crashed to another home loss on Saturday, this time going down 2-1 to Sheffield United. This means Sunderland now haven’t won a home league match since December 2016.
Sunderland managed just one attempt on target yesterday, it did result in a consolation goal which this scarcely deserved.
With such shocking home performances it’s no surprise to see home attendances dropping just as fast as their league position with less than 30,000 watching another turgid performance. The option to buy a season ticket at Sunderland looks less attractive every year.
Just over a year ago Sunderland had just survived a relegation battle with Sam Allardyce at the helm and things were looking up for the North East outfit. Since Allardyce departed for England though Sunderland have been in free fall and now are in a such a state another relegation doesn’t seem out of the question. David Moyes’ appointment was another bad decision in a long line of bad decisions made at Sunderland. He wasn’t exactly given a fortune to spend but what he did have was invested extremely poorly.
There’s no doubt Sunderland were struggling before Moyes arrived but his negative brand of football and off the pitch comments have set Sunderland on a path they may never recover from. Moyes declared Sunderland were in a relegation battle after the first game of the season, this was just one of many bizarre comments made by Moyes. He also joked about slapping a female reporter after she asked him a question about his future.
Sunderland are currently 11/1 to be relegated and right now that looks a cracking bet.
The gap between the top 2 leagues in widening all the time. The outrageous transfer fee’s now being spent by the top clubs make it all but impossible that clubs coming up will be able to compete. It’s never a good time to get relegated but from Sunderland’s point of view it looks like the worst possible timing. Especially when the owner is actively looking to sell the club.
Ellis Short is an owner who no longer has the best interests of the club in mind. He wants out, he’s made that clear. He’s also made it clear to all involved that he won’t be bankrolling the club any longer. Despite £30m coming into the club from the sale of Jordan Pickford to Everton, Sunderland have spent just £1.5m on players this summer. With the squad in major need of an overhaul this looks like being a hugely poor decision.
Many of the players who are at the club have made it clear they want to leave. Lamine Koné has made no secret of his desire to leave and his embarrassing antics on social media will have done little to bolster a team spirit in the Sunderland dressing room. Kone repeatedly liked announcements from West Ham on social media when they signed new players over the summer. Grayson knows he has a talented player on his hands but he doesn’t want to play for the club and it shows in his performances.
Kone was handed the captains armband yesterday in the absence of Lee Cattermole who was injured again. No doubt Grayson hoped it would give the defender the boost he needed to put in a decent performance. It didn’t work and Kone mysteriously disappeared at half time. Injury was cited but there was no sign of injury in the first half.
Meanwhile Jack Rodwell started in midfield for the first time this season. The £10m signing from Manchester City looks more and more like one of the worst signings in footballing history. He doesn’t appear to be of any professional standard right now and as the only player who didn’t have a relegation clause in his contract he continues to earn a reported £75,000 a week. That is a staggering figure for a player of his ability and even more shocking that he continues to earn that in the second tier of English football.
Despite spending 10 years in the richest league in world football Sunderland have little to show for it. They are being outspent and outplayed by teams who have never even been promoted to the top flight. It looks a long road back for Sunderland and many years in the Championship or worse look to be in their future. Until the club is sold Sunderland look like becoming another club to drop out of the top flight never to return. Coventry, Leeds, Blackburn and Portsmouth are just a few of the clubs that have suffered a similar fate. 11/1 to go down? That’s cracking value in our opinion.
Simon Grayson is also said to be considering his position at the club after reportedly being given far less money to spend than he was promised when he took the job. Sunderland were clearly desperate for a goal scorer this summer but deadline came and went with no sign of any striker even being linked.
David Moyes also claimed the club lied about transfer funds so it seems the club have form for it. At this stage Grayson might be thinking it will best for his long term career to get out now. Sunderland fans for now are aiming their frustrations at the players with chants of “you’re not fit to wear the shirt” ringing around the ground yesterday. Grayson will know that it is only a matter of time before the blame lands at his door and with the transfer window now shut there is little he can do to rectify the situation.
At the other end of the Championship Middlesbrough picked up another win with £15m striker Britt Assombalonga scoring twice to take his season tally to four goals in six games. Cardiff remain at the top of the league despite a draw with Fulham and Wolves move up to third after another impressive performance. Wolves have spent well over the summer and so far it looks like paying dividends.
- Wolves EVS
- Cardiff 5/4
- Middlesbrough 17/10
- Leeds 5/2
- Fulham 16/5
- Derby 10/3
- Norwich 4/1
- Sheff Wed 4/1
- Aston Villa 9/2
- Sheff Utd 15/2
- Hull 10/1