Sunderland have been a club in decline for much of the decade. They seem to fight a perennial fight for survival and have a new boss every season.
This formula has just about kept them in the Premier League in recent seasons.
However, the Black Cats luck seems to have finally run out. On Sunday the north east side were defeated 3-0 against Manchester United at the Stadium of Light, after Swedish midfielder Sebastian Larsson was rather harshly dismissed by referee Craig Pawson.
The defeat pushed the Black Cats one game closer to relegation. It seems the team from the north east are finally set to be relegated to the Championship.
Players are not good enough
The simple reason why Sunderland are cut adrift at the bottom of the Premier League is that the players are just not good enough. The squad is full of Everton and Manchester United rejects basically.
This is because boss David Moyes has been working on a shoestring budget. The former United boss has attempted to strengthen his squad. However, he has hardly received any backing from the club’s hierarchy during his reign.
Moyes cannot be completely blamed for the quality of player at the club. When he arrived the squad was paper thin, with most of the players either mediocre or youngsters. The manager has brought in more mediocre players just so he would have a squad of players.
If Moyes had not signed the likes Victor Anichebe, Bryan Oviedo, Darron Gibson, Paddy McNair and Donald Love he would have been playing the under-23 team most weekends.
Big changes in the summer
The squad will need a complete rebuild in the summer. Whether David Moyes will be at the club to mount the rebuild is still unclear.
A number of players on high wages will leave the club. The likes of Lamine Kone, Jermain Defoe and Jordan Pickford are unlikely to still be at the north east club next season. All three have already been linked with moves to Premier League clubs.
Kone is highly-rated, but some of his recent performances have been highly questionable. The other two are no-brainer signings for probably any of the teams outside the top-six. Pickford is also reportedly being monitored by Arsenal, Everton and Manchester City.
As one of the brightest young goalkeepers in the country, I cannot see him remaining at a club that seems to be sinking faster than a dingy with a hole in it.
Defoe is in the twilight of his career. However, he still looks sharp and would be a good signing for any mid-half teams in the Premier League. The 34-year-old has scored 14 times for the Black Cats in the top-flight this season.
No great escape this season
It is becoming increasingly clear that there is unlikely to be the annual Wearside miracle. The Black Cats odds of 1/100 to be relegated illustrates that the bookies believe that Sunderland will finally be relegated from the top-flight this season.
Many people are to blame for the club’s gradual decline. One of those that have to shoulder the majority of the blame is owner Ellis Short, who seems to have given up on the club. The lack of investment in the squad in recent years has been glaring.
I am sure Moyes wanted to bring in better quality players both last summer and in the January transfer window. However, because he could not afford the N’Golo Kante’s of the world he ended up with Didier Ndong, who I recently heard somebody rather harshly call ‘Didier Ndung’.
Moyes has to take some of the blame. He was shrewd in the transfer market at Everton and the Toffees were always solid under his management. However, there is no sign of a well-organised team at Sunderland. They are quite simply a shambles.
The Scottish boss has been negative throughout the season, with both his tactics and his comments in the media. The less said about his recent incident with a female reporter the better.
Quite simply something has to change at Sunderland for the team to thrive again. The Black Cats have now used one too many lives. When they will be back in the top-flight nobody knows.
The loyal Sunderland fans deserve better than their football club to be run like a circus. However, it is not the fans that make the big decisions at the club and the fans are left to suffer for the decisions of Moyes and Short.
Does Sunderland have any chance of avoiding relegation this season?
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