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Sunderland AFC is a club on its deathbed, slowly and painfully passing away before our eyes

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“Watching Sunderland at present is a bit like being in the unfortunate situation where one has a terminally ill relation or friend, where nothing more can be done for that person, and its only a matter of time before the sad but still inevitable end occurs”, writes Andrew Cockburn.

Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

So the deterioration and suffering continues unrelentlessly as our beloved club limps slowly - and without so much as a whimper - towards the inevitability/ignominy of League One football in 2018/19, courtesy of yet another comedy of errors - this time against a Preston side who were no world beaters, but were the latest to profit from the charitable institution which is our football club.

Par for the course I guess, while Jake Clarke-Salter’s rather needless dismissal (and this in his first game back after a previous suspension), along with the Darron Gibson saga just added insult to injury.

It does rather sum us rather up rather well - a joke club in the truest sense.

In fact the events at Sunderland in recent seasons do tend to put the average soap opera to shame, and leads one to wonder just where/when/how the seemingly ongoing nightmare will end. In League Two (or lower), perhaps?

Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Watching Sunderland at present is a bit like being in the unfortunate situation where one has a terminally ill relation or friend, where nothing more can be done for that person, and its only a matter of time before the sad but still inevitable end occurs.

So on a similar basis, maybe the sooner this sad, sorry excuse for a season is over and done with the better.

I seem to recall hearing words such as ‘mess’ and ‘painful’ used on Radio Newcastle’s coverage of our game on Saturday, while the point was also raised as to whether there seemed any point in completing the last eight games, such is the lack of fight, organisation - even if there is still at least a mathematical chance of survival.

Rather apt (if often repeated) points I’d say, but even if we are now more or less assured to be in League One come next season, surely pride if nothing else can inspire the side to at least go down fighting, to thus offer a bit of hope for the future - or is even that too much to ask for?

Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

I’ve heard criticism of Chris Coleman, perhaps justifiably at times, regarding his tactics and/or team selections. I get the impression that he may well feel he’s now up a ‘dead end’ of sorts and is flogging the proverbial “dead horse“, given what he has to work with, i.e. a mish-mash of a squad.

They say that it’s a bad tradesman who blames his tools for a poor job, but if those tools are of poor quality in the first place then what can really be expected? Lets face it, I think that even Jose Mourinho or the great Sir Alex Ferguson would struggle with our current first-team squad.

But, having effectively shopped at Poundland and the like in previous transfer windows, is the current scenario really a surprise? Can Chris Coleman and all of his immediate predecessors all have been wrong, not up to the job or whatever, or is it purely down to poor recruitment and/or another common denominator of sorts within the club?

CameraSport via Getty Images

The patient that is Sunderland AFC is clearly on it’s Championship deathbed, and like the aforementioned friend/relation, it’s a sad situation.

Maybe the club is not dying in the truest sense, but it’s certainly sinking without trace, without a hint of a fight, as if the players at least almost seem resigned to their impending fate.

It doesn’t really bode well for what is sure to be a testing time in League One, and while the club’s plight is reversible, just who will oversee the much-needed recovery and how long it will take is surely the biggest bone of contention.

In the meantime we have eight games left of this rather sorry campaign, and on the basis of recent matches one can possibly see matters compounded further, i.e. with a new but unwanted record being set, this time for a new all-time low attendance at The Stadium Of Light. For surely now, for a lot of our long-suffering fans, enough is now surely enough.

Sad times indeed.