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Are Sunderland set to do the unthinkable?

Thursday 28th September 2017
Following many years of battling against relegation in the Premier League, Sunderland were eventually relegated from the top division in England.

Many star players have passed through the doors at the Tyneside club. At the start of the season, fans were expecting an immediate Premier League return for the Black Cats. However, with their poor start so far, is it possible they could suffer back-to-back relegations?
Unfortunately, history isn't on Sunderland's side. Many top flight clubs have suffered greatly over the past decade, resulting in relegations down the football ladder. Portsmouth, Blackpool and Wolves have all experienced quick relegations from the top league, lower down. With Portsmouth and Blackpool still some distance from the top of English football, they've proven it can be a difficult to make a revival.

That is why promotion is key for Sunderland this year. To cement themselves as a top club in England, they must prove their dominance. The ability to win games against poorer opposition and prove that they belong back in the Premier League must be shown. However, right now Simon Grayson and his team find themselves in the relegation places, collecting just six points from their opening ten games. While another season in the Championship may not be a bad thing for the club, as a whole, their fans will have different ideas.

A poor start may be all it is, at least that's what the fans will be hoping. Players such as Jack Rodwell, Darren Gibson and Lamine Kone will not stand for anything less than featuring in the Premier League for a prolonged period of time. The threat of losing their key assets may be powerful, but in contrast, how can a squad of such quality not do well in England's second tier? However, it's not all about skills in the Championship. Clubs such as Brighton, Huddersfield and even Bournemouth have all proven that England's second division is arguably more about team spirit, work rate and home form. The money invested in talent on the pitch will only take a club so far. These are key reasons as to why the second tier is one of the most unpredictable leagues in the world.

However, Simon Grayson is an experienced manager. History has proven it takes him time to settle into his positions, but, as time goes on he proves his worth with silverware and promotions. It's impossible to stress how important it is for the Sunderland board to have faith in their manager, for the good of the long-term future of the football club. You just have to look at Grayson's CV. The 47-year-old has managed at Blackpool, Leeds United, Huddersfield Town, Preston North End and now Sunderland. Within all of his managerial posts, he has achieved at least one promotion within a maximum of four years. That means, statistically, should Sunderland stick with Grayson for three more seasons, they'll regain their place in the Premier League. Surely that cannot be a bad return, particularly in one of the hardest leagues in Europe.
Jack Drury
19 years of age. Sport and Exercise Science Student at Loughborough University. Peterborough United.

Total articles: 76

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