Is Sunderland boss being let off the hook?

New Football FanCast
columnist
Nick Howson wonders why the media are being so lenient
with Sunderland's current plight, when they are so quick to lambast others.

Few managers are more outspoken that Roy Keane. The former
Manchester United captain leaves no stone unturned when in front of the British
press as we saw when the Irishman was asked about Michael Chopra being allowed
to go back to Cardiff City.

I think the media actually fear Roy Keane a little, like
they dare give him bad press at the trepidation of being given a tough lashing
the next day.

However the media have been known to tell it like it is. So
why are they refusing to put the pressure on Keane after his sides poor start
to the season.

Sunderland lie in 19th in the Premiership and after Keane
splashed the cash in the summer it is amazing to see his start and the focus on
his sides poor start.

Let's start with the team itself. Sunderland have had just
one win from their last eight games in all competitions, with the solitary win
coming in the Tyne-Wear derby against Newcastle United, who are coincidently
the team below them in the Premiership.

After spending nearly 30 million pounds on a variety of
players during the summer Keane's results have been poor to say the least. Anton
Ferdinand, George McCartney and Steed Malbranque are just a few who have been
drafted in on the major budget provided by Niall Quinn.

Quinn is bound to be unhappy after the uproar that Keane
made after the end of last season, when he said that some of his squad wasn't
good enough and that he needed major finances to re-build the side. The former
Sunderland man gave in to the manager's demands, expecting a top half finish
and dare I say it a foray into Europe. This success would have been warranted
considering the cash injection.

However the result has been the opposite and Quinn has been
left thinking whether he has wasted his time at the hands of the controlling
manager as they look set for a relegation battle.

Keane hasn't been checked up on this once by the press, and
even worse they are more concentrated on managers whose teams are more
successful like Mark Hughes at Manchester City than they are at the
underachieving Sunderland.

Are the media scared of Keane? Well quiet possibly.

Now before I'm inundated with comments that I'm calling for
Keane's head I'm definitely not, I'm saying that if Hughes warrants some
pressure with 13 points from 12 games then so does Keane with a point-less.

So the next time the media line-up with Keane in their
sights maybe uttering their recent record of one win in their last eight might
put Keane under more pressure than his overpriced team.