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Sunderland Football Club's sorry demise

Saturday 30th September 2017
For years Sunderland have diced with the threat of Premier League relegation, and last season they finally succumbed to a pitiful demise. Finishing bottom of the Premier League was a huge blow, and relegation was confirmed before the month of May had even arrived.

The club parted company with David Moyes after a dismal campaign and replaced him with Preston manager Simon Grayson, who warned the fans that it could get a lot worse before it gets better, and boy was he right.

The Black Cats currently sit in the Championship drop zone with just one win on the board, which came in the second game of the season at Carrow Road against Norwich. That means they're without a win in 8 league games. They have also continued their poor home record after the summer break and a drop in standard. The Mackem's are now winless in their past 15 games at the Stadium of Light. This winless run stretches all the way back to December 2016 where they scraped a 1-0 win against Watford courtesy of a Patrick Van Aanholt strike – one of a host of names who have since left the club for bigger and better things.

Last season's top scorer, and saviour for the preceding seasons, Jermain Defoe, moved onto Bournemouth for nothing and, with his goals taken out of the side, they've struggled even more. Jordan Pickford couldn't possibly stay at the club, despite David Moyes' wishes, and was sold to Everton for £30m and has since earned his first official England call-up. Adnan Januzaj and Jason Denayer would've been thankful to return to their parent clubs after their loan deals expired while Jan Kirchoff left the club after his contract expired. Fabio Borini, who had been a cult hero among the Mackem for his heroics a couple of seasons before, managed to get a move to AC Milan and Wabhi Khazri managed to escape just before the transfer window slammed shut.

Along with all these departures, Sunderland have not been able to aptly replace them because of financial constraints, in turn, they've spent a mere £1.25m. Compare that to the likes of Middlesbrough (approx. £40m) who were relegated alongside Sunderland and it's obvious that there is something very wrong. As a result, they haven't been able to bring in the calibre of players they would've wanted and have had to make do with James Vaughan of Bury, Aiden McGeady of Everton and Jason Steele of Blackburn. Simon Grayson has built a very British team with limited resources and the simple fact of the matter is, it's not really good enough for the Championship, let alone making it back to the Premier League. 

After yet another heavy defeat at Ipswich (5-2) on Tuesday night, a second successive relegation in as many years could become a reality come May. Should their form continue on this downward spiral, don't expect Simon Grayson to be in the job in the new year as Sunderland will look to pull off their annual great escape but with a twist this time. They can't afford to go down.
Billy Munday

I'm a young, aspiring sports journalist and also a Chelsea fan, living the dream in London. You can find more examples of my work on Chelsea blogs such as the Chelsea Chronicle.


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