Theoretically, we still have a chance after the Lincoln debacle but realistically, I think we all know now that we will be in League One next season.
It is highly unlikely that we will be able to keep a clean sheet and even less likely that we can score three goals at the same time. The reasons for our failure are clear...
Players out of contract...
We have lots of players out of contract and realistically, they have nothing to really fight for in the play-offs. Most of them are absolutely nothing special in League One and with just a handful of possible exceptions, they’re nowhere near good enough for the Championship so whatever happens in the play-offs, they know they’re leaving in the summer.
I’ll be happy to see the back of most of them. I’d like to keep Hume, O’Nien, Gooch and Stewart from the regular first team squad but that’s all. I’d like to see Embleton, Diamond, Neil, Kimpioka, Younger, Hawkes and Patterson at the heart of our rebuild.
We’d have had a better result if we’d played that lot against Lincoln and certainly a better performance! Unfortunately, I fear O’Nien will have better offers from the Championship.
Unfortunately, although Streaky’s job may be more secure, he’s much the same. He’s pretty average as a League One manager and not even remotely close to being good enough for the Championship.
He was the wrong appointment and that fact has become increasingly clear over recent weeks. Even when we had a run of victories, for most of the time we were far from convincing. Streaky came to us with a very average CV and a record of going on streaky runs.
What did we get? A bang average manager who took us on streaky runs! He endlessly tinkers, he doesn’t play to our strengths and seems determined to avoid giving youth a chance. As soon as the team was announced and the formation became apparent, it was pretty obvious we were going to struggle.
Under normal circumstances, I’d say give him until Christmas but honestly, what’s the point? Even if he did get us promoted next season, he’d be so out of his depth in the Championship, he’d have to go then anyway.
We’re having to build a new team almost from scratch so let’s take this opportunity to wipe the slate clean and get a proper manager in. The new ownership and financial security should make us an attractive proposition.
Loaning players to rivals...
Loaning Embleton to Blackpool is now looking like the most idiotic decision at Sunderland since we bought Grigg!
I have a lot of faith in KLD and a lot of faith in his vision, but we need to get the summer rebuild right and that has to start with a clear out of players, including the manager, and get the right people in place who will give youth a chance.
We need a manager who will implement the style of play we want, not someone who is cheap and comes out with the right platitudes at an interview.