Well... it’s fair to suggest that we were all a bit wide of the mark, though Graham was perhaps the one Roker Reporter who accurately predicted how Sunderland’s season was set to go:
I think we’ll struggle in all honesty.
An understatement, perhaps, but about as close to the truth as any of us got.
The rest of us were fairly optimistic and, dare I say it, realistic about Sunderland’s chances. Nobody thought we’d just walk the division but we certainly expected that we’d remain competitive, and perhaps even finish in the middle of the pile.
Sadly it wasn’t to be - After a half decent start to the season we got worse and worse, and unfortunately for us the rot had set in long before Chris Coleman arrived, who wasn’t able to improve our results or bring in the quality of player that we needed in order to kick on.
It’s safe to say that absolutely none of us could have predicted just how badly Simon Grayson was going to do.
Whilst nobody was expecting miracles, there was an acceptance amongst the group that the ex-Preston boss would be able to stabilise us in the short term which would, theoretically, allow us to build next season.
But alas, it wasn’t to be, and instead the awful start to Championship life under the Yorkshireman was part of the reason why we weren’t able to recover properly from the disappointment felt during our season of plight under David Moyes in the Premier League.
Walshie’s proclamation that Grayson would likely remain in charge “unless things go royally tits up” was perhaps the most accurate of them all, and sadly for us all it really couldn’t have gone much worse under the stewardship of a man who is, to his credit, a proven and experienced Football League manager.
We were all well wide of the mark with this one.
Duncan Watmore was a fair prediction to make back in the summer, but sadly for the workmanlike forward he sustained another knee ligament injury, one that’s likely to keep him out for most of the rest of this year. If he can return fit and somewhere close to where he was before he got injured, he’ll be a real force in League One.
There were also a few suggestions from the lads that Josh Maja would have a good season, predictions which came on the back of his fantastic pre-season form.
Sadly, he never really managed to kick on much and scored just once when coming off the bench against Fulham. He’s still got a bright future ahead of him, but he just wasn’t able to cement himself a regular place in the starting eleven under any of the three managers we had last season.
Pretty accurate really. Brendan Galloway was quickly proven to be absolutely useless early on in the season and never recovered, whilst Lamine Kone only really turned up when he fancied it and Aiden McGeady - whilst scoring a decent amount of goals - didn’t play well at all for a sustained period under Chris Coleman.
In truth, it’s hard to be underwhelmed when you hardly spend a penny on new players. The ones that remained from the previous season had already just disappointed us, and the ones that came in - McGeady aside - did very little to inspire us.
To read the rest of what we had to say back then, click here!