What next for the relegation run-in?

The relegation race (it is the race no one wants to be a part of – a bit like the 1500m at Sports Day) is entering its final stretch with just a handful of games to go and with Aston Villa done and dusted only two places remain in the bottom three. So with three teams left vying to remain in the Premier League but does this weekend’s fixtures mean for the relegation run in?

17th Sunderland – P34 Pts: 31 GD: -18
18th Norwich – P34 Pts: 31 GD: -25
19th Newcastle – P35 Pts: 30 GD: -26

Let’s start with the 3 o’clock kick offs and Sunderland are venturing a little south to The Britannia to face a Stoke City that are haemorrhaging goals at an almost sacrificial rate. Continue reading “What next for the relegation run-in?”

‘Are the Black Cats running out of lives?’ – Sunderland’s Relegation Plight

Sunderland AFC. 9 years (we have only just snuck into 2016 after all). 9 separate full time managers. Since Mick McCarthy departed in March 2006 Sunderland fans have seen Niall Quinn, Roy Keane, Ricky Sbragia, Steve Bruce, Martin O’Neil, Paolo di Canio, Guy Poyet, Dick Advocaat and now Sam Allardyce all charging around the home dugout at the Stadium of Light. The longest serving Sunderland manager in that time is Roy Keane. 100 games in charge with the Championship title in his back pocket, it reflects both the clubs and funnily enough Roy Keane’s greatest period of success in the last decade.

It would be wrong to suggest that managerial instability didn’t occur before Ellis Short took out right charge of The Black Cats. The manner in managerial departure certainly has changed since the American-Irishman took outright control of the football club in October 2011. It has almost become cyclical at the Stadium of Light since the departure of Steve Bruce. A manager will be sacked after a poor run of results, normally just before Christmas or Easter and then the new man in charge will get the famed if not scientifically proven ‘new manager bounce’ and lead Sunderland to safety. That change of voice on the training ground must have particular resonance in the North-East because this could now become the assumed game plan for securing Premier League football that any Sunderland fan must now endure. Continue reading “‘Are the Black Cats running out of lives?’ – Sunderland’s Relegation Plight”