Sunderland brought in Dick Advocaat to help keep them in the Premier League. The Black Cats were tipped for the drop in the second half of the season, along with their Tyne and Wear rivals Newcastle. Both sides live to play another season in the top flight, but do Sunderland deserve to?
This is not the first time we have seen Sunderland flirting with the relegation battle. They narrowly avoided the drop two seasons ago, and are regular finishers in the bottom half of the table.
So it was no surprise when they were candidates for the drop once again. When your top goal scorers have just five goals to their name, you will not find yourselves in the top half of the table.
Back in March, Sunderland parted ways with their manager Gus Poyet. There is never a good time to sack a manager, and it is risky to do it so late in the season. In his final months in charge, Poyet faced the humiliating 8-0 defeat at Southampton, but the 4-0 loss to Tim Sherwood’s Aston Villa was too much to take and was the nail in his Sunderland coffin.
Poyet was soon replaced by Advocaat, who did just enough to keep Sunderland in the top flight. Yet as soon as the season was wrapped up, Advocaat announced he would no longer manage Sunderland, leaving the club to search for yet another manager in such a short space of time.
Former West Ham manager Sam Allardyce has been linked to the vacancy, as has David Moyes. Both have been reported as saying they are not interested in the job. It’s not a good sign that potential replacements are cooling their interest, but Sunderland need to sort a manager realistically within the next month.
The transfer window opens at the beginning of July, and if they want to have fighting chance in the next campaign, they need a manager in early to assess his side and build on it.