If there’s one fan base in England that deserves a turn in fortunes, it’s Sunderland. Back-to-back relegations, players that don’t care and some below poor management, things finally look on the up for the Black Cats.
Sunderland’s Premier League run was littered with low’s and not enough high’s. Their annual run of escaping relegation in the final few months had grown tired, and under David Moyes, never looked like being replicated. The only fixture the Black Cats looked forward to was Newcastle when everyone else could roll Sunderland over with ease, the Magpies couldn’t, in fact, they are unbeaten in the League against Newcastle since 2011.
Sunderland’s time in the Championship didn’t go any smoother, finishing rock bottom behind a dismal Burton Albion side. Another problem at the club was Sunderland’s case with high-earners, who anchored themselves to the club, creating financial trouble for the Wearsiders. Jack Rodwell was earning around £75,000-a-week as a bench-warmer during the clubs downfall.
As Sunderland’s relegation was confirmed, the club was at it’s lowest point in the Football League pyramid since 1988, having established themselves in England’s top two-tiers for 30 years.
In the context of things, back-to-back relegations and the appointment of a manager from the Scottish Second divisions, things looked troublesome once again for Sunderland. Now, seven games into the season, Sunderland are fourth and unbeaten, Jack Ross has not only proved to be a much-needed revelation on the field but off the field also…
Ross’ stance on Sunderland’s dead weight is admirable, and the board deserve credit on this part as well. Rodwell and Lamine Kone were finally forced off the books at the Stadium of Light, with Papy Djilibodji, who was once head-hunted for Chelsea, was sacked this week for breach of contract.
The Senegalese international returned to pre-season unfit, but it wasn’t his excessive weight that was suffocating the club, he and Didier Ndong have been under contract and AWOL all summer. The club is hoping to replicate their actions with the latter soon enough, as the club continue their rebuilding process.
It’s still early doors for Sunderland in League One, but their quick turn around over the summer has been a breath of fresh air for the fans. After a torrid few years, fans and staff alike finally have a clear future in sight, the only way is up for the Black Cats under Jack Ross.