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Why Always Us?

As the news broke regarding Sam Allardyce meeting yesterday with FA Executive David Gill to talk about the England manager's job, a collective groan could be heard across Wearside.

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I wrote an article a few weeks ago about the optimism people felt about this season coming, reminding them of last year and all the crap that ended up coming out of the club, despite convincing Dick Advocaat to delay his retirement.

With Sam Allardyce teetering closer and closer to leaving for the England manager's job, once again, it feels like our upcoming season is in a crisis before it has even begun.

As England limped away from Euro 2016 on the back of a pitiful defeat to lowly Iceland, Roy Hodgson handing in his notice was inevitable. After his bizarre press conference, in which he didn't feel he needed to address the passionless performances displayed by the Three Lions throughout the tournament, all eyes suddenly turned to who would be next to take the poisoned chalice. We all shook a little more nervously and slept a little more restlessly as Sam was lauded for the job by anyone that had a voice that was respected in the football, most notably by Sir Alex Ferguson. No matter how many times we kindly asked them to shut up, a few weeks has passed since that limp exit and according to many reports, it's a straight choice between Jürgen Klinsmann and our man Sam for the post.

So - where do we go from here, if and when the inevitable happens?

For once, I don't know. I have absolutely no clue who to turn to. Allardyce had created a work ethic in the Sunderland team, an ability to pull for each other, whilst remaining organised and disciplined. He somehow managed to ship out Danny Graham, Steven Fletcher, Jordi Gomez and Liam Bridcutt in January to make room for the signings of Wahbi Khazri, Lamine Kone, Jan Kirchhoff and Dame N'Doye, with only N’Doye failing to succeed. His appointment even managed to convince Ellis Short to ditch the failed Director of Football model.

Imagine being one of the players right now, in the middle of pre-season programme not knowing if the man they have placed all of their trust in will be staying at the club - it cannot be good for productivity.

Jeremain Lens was a player signed under the management of Dick Advocaat, and his lack of success since the Dutchman left Sunderland gives me cause for concern. Stats show that despite our poor showings during those early games, Lens was scoring and getting plenty assists. His attitude - and seemingly his ability - dipped to below the standard needed even for the substitute’s bench come March. His attitude had been brought into question before his move to the Sunderland, but I don't doubt for a minute that he knew he wasn't an Allardyce man the minute he walked in the door to replace the man who bought him. This sort of thing affects more than just us.

I wonder how Jermain Defoe, Wahbi Khazri, Jan Kirchhoff, Lamine Kone and Patrick Van Aanholt must be feeling right now - these were the players that really shone under the stewardship of Big Sam, and not knowing what his future holds must be worrying for those players in particular.

I know we have absolutely no idea what is going on, but I cannot help but feel sometimes that Sunderland AFC are going to be forever a crisis club. Sometimes it feels like we just have no luck whatsoever.

That said, we have never been about one man - it has always been about the team, the fans and sticking together.

Let's just hope Sam believes in that ethos too, especially the sticking together part.

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