We are going contemporary this week and again it is Sunderland who are being discussed. The North East side have been lurching from one managerial crisis to the next in recent years having roughly twelve managers in the last three weeks, give or take. So just what went wrong for poor old Simon Grayson, viewed as a steady hand in the Championship prior to taking this job, and just where do Sunderland go from here? Can anyone save them from falling into the abyss of League One or are the Black Cats looking at a few more years of misery yet?
From the outside, it is pretty easy to see why Simon Grayson was sacked. The North East side sit in the Championship relegation zone having won just a single game all season, losing seven and drawing a further seven of their fifteen games so far. A 3-3 draw at home to Bolton proved to be the straw that broke the camel’s back for Sunderland as Grayson was sacked seemingly moments after the final whistle was blown. This weekend Sunderland travel to rivals Middlesbrough, and it appears the club are yet again in the midst of a crisis. But given how many managers have been in the Stadium of Light dugout in recent years – surely there is a deeper problem?
It is clear that Sunderland is a club that is rotten to the core. They still have a ludicrously high wage bill for the Championship, despite offloading some big earners in the summer, but the club are incredibly cash-strapped as the owners look to sell. The problem is nobody in their right mind would buy the club in its current state. Everything surrounding Sunderland is wrong at the moment and it starts at board level seeping through management, players and ultimately fans who are ever dwindling in number.
So who is next in line to sit in the hot seat at the Stadium of Light? Well, it could be old favourite Peter Reid or perhaps ex-Boro boss Aitor Karanka. If I was Sunderland I would be doing everything in my power to get Karanka on board. He would organise that team in no time. The favourite, however, is current captain John O’Shea, which tells you all you need to know in regards to the question ‘have senior figures in the dressing room been undermining the manager.’ Either way, it looks like a desperate situation for Sunderland.