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ITHICS Column 20/21

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ITHICS Fanzine: How are Sunderland doing compared to this time last season?

Keen to find out where we’re at in comparison to the same time last season, Nic Wiseman takes a look at the numbers - are Sunderland better or worse off?

Danny Roberts

We’re almost half-way into the season - so how do we compare to last season, when we ‘overachieved’?

Well, we currently sit in sixth position after our Boxing Day win at Hull. 36 points from 24 games with a goal difference of +6.

After our home victory over Blackburn in last year’s Boxing Day game, we had also played 24 games, though had accrued 34 points also with a goal difference of +6. We sat in eighth place this time last year.

This season we have lost ten games so far — last season it was eight.

We are drawing fewer games. We had drawn seven games, this time last season, so far this season we have only drawn three. That Blackburn win was our ninth of the season, we have already collected 11 wins this term.

Our home form is considerably better than last year, with seven wins compared to only four last year. The difference here is that we haven’t drawn at home at all this season, we had drawn four at home by this time last campaign.

We have lost five already at home compared to only four last term.

Sunderland v Luton Town: Sky Bet Championship Play-Off Semi-Final First Leg Photo by Alex Dodd - CameraSport via Getty Images

And our six away wins is somewhat better than the four we now have this year, after the Boxing Day win at Hull.

Overall, we’re doing slightly better than last season and were we to add the trajectory of last season’s finish, maybe we can finish higher than last year’s sixth.

Will that help us go up? Are the top two places already sewn up? Not as emphatically as they were last season by Burnley and Sheffield United. Last season Burnley were 14 points ahead of third-placed Blackburn and Sheffield United 11 points. The points gap this year isn’t so great, with Leicester a mere 11 points better off than third-placed Southampton. And second-placed Ipswich only five. I still think Ipswich will tail off.

The question is, are we in a place to take up the baton?

The time-old tenet of looking after our own business and not bothering what others do is relevant, but our new manager doesn’t like the look of our four strikers any more than the old one did — nor the interim coach — for that matter.

The transfer window is looming. I hate them. They’re unsettling for the fans and the players alike. The club has put out messages saying that Jack Clarke won’t be sold and to be fair to them, we haven’t sold any valuable players except Ross Stewart — who hasn’t started a game yet for his new club through injury anyway.

Last January window, we picked up Pierre Ekwah, who was a useful signing.

I’m sure we’re all wondering who the club has lined up for recruitment this window. A proper striker, dare we wish?

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