Dejavu is defined in the Oxford dictionary as ‘a feeling of having already experienced the present situation’. The situation of relegation is something which Sunderland fans have experienced many times but having two back to back is something which is new even for us.
This time last year I was writing about preparing for life in the Championship. This included the teams we’d come up against, the players we could sign and the chances of us having a decent campaign. None of this pre season build up even brushed on the idea of a second straight relegation but here we bloody are.
Admittedly, I’m not the most pessimistic of Sunderland fans. I tried to ignore the fact we were looking down the barrel of League One for most of the season; the 1-0 defeat at Bolton in March was the first game where I really thought this season could finish the way it has. Ignorance is not bliss when you support a team as bad as Sunderland.
This spring and summer are going to be similar to the last in terms of the getting ready for a new division and picking up the pieces of a dreadful season. All the same sort of build up and predictions will take place, yet this time round it will be for a campaign where we have a smaller transfer budget and no idea what it’s like to play in our new division. We are indeed going into the unknown.
Relegations from the Premier League are always pretty high profile; your team has its name splattered over Sky Sports News for a few months and even get given TV coverage for the first few weeks of the new season. This was the case with Sunderland this season; we were on sky several times in August. When we started losing lots this soon ended, of course.
Our slip into League One will hopefully, after the summer has passed, go relatively unnoticed. Apart from certain Newcastle fans who will keep reminding us where we are. Perhaps they will try to come to our home matches again? Their money is as good as anyone’s.
That is one very unusual plus about dropping away from the top two divisions. We are away from the spotlight a lot more. At least now if we lose it’s not going to be big news. I know I said this last season, but we should definitely win more games in League One; now that I’ve said that get set for another similar article in around 12 months time...