With the dust settled on a diabolical campaign, it’s easy to look back on the 2017-18 season with anger. However, this doesn’t have to be the case...
After back to back relegations it might be hard to be excited for next season in League One, but that is how I am feeling. The last few matches of the season showed that there is hope for the future, our squad and its average age of 22 in the Wolves match was testament to the quality of youth players Sunderland have to offer.
We are joining a long list of top division clubs who have slumped down to the third tier; hopefully we can also join them in bouncing back relatively quickly. Once the takeover is complete, we can look forward to tackling the unknown with no debts and most likely one of the bigger budgets in the league. £5-10 million will be enough to build a side which could push for promotion in League One so with a clean slate this will hopefully be possible.
A clear out from top to bottom is needed before this however, but at least we’ve made a start. Ellis Short has gone, a takeover is imminent and Martin Bains’ time is surely almost up. Yet this really is only a start. We have lots of players who needed to be shifted from the books over the summer and with the club’s fragile finances this needs to happen now more than ever. Jack Rodwell and Lamine Kone should be two players first out the door; the latter has been advertising himself with highlights videos on social media. Rodwell just needs to be removed from the club in any way possible; it’s hard to see that being through a transfer to another club.
On a more positive note, we have a group of academy graduates who have the potential to thrive next season. A recipe for next season could well be keeping Paddy McNair and Ethan Robson. If this pair remains at the club and we build a side around them then we will have a side which will be very hard to beat. They are two hard working and technically sound footballers who will be able to help us control the middle of the park in many matches next season; something which we haven’t done much of in recent seasons.
Through a supporter’s point of view, a campaign in League One will provide away trips to many new parts of the country. Most importantly, there’ll be some visits to more grounds which come into the category of ‘proper football ground’ with Accrington and Fleetwood being just two which offer standing terraces for visiting supporters. These will no doubt be washed in red and white when Sunderland are in town.
Essentially, no one likes being relegated. However, we have plenty to look forward to in an all new league all we can do is properly prepare and say, ‘bring it on’.
To celebrate being complete and utter shite once again, we’re bringing bring back this classic t-shirt from the 05/06 season. Looking back to those halcyon days under Mick McCarthy when we managed to amass an incredible 15 points to see us relegated from the Premier League.
Don’t worry we will reach those lofty heights again but until then we can take comfort in the fact that we’re all... still here when we are shit! Hardcore fans and Sunderland till we die, whichever league we are in and whoever owns the club. Players, manager and chairman come and go. Fans remain. We are the club… click here to view product