A club of this size should not be in the third tier, but the players that are and have been at this side in recent years have managed to put in some awful performances in the premier league and most recently the Championship as a result they suffered back to back relegations to the third tier - Sunderland have only been at this level once where they won the league - hopefully most of the bad is out of the club now and we can return to the championship and the premier league where our 49,000 stadium doesnt look out of place!
For this forthcoming season I have a 4m transfer budget with 36m in the balance - but like with most clubs outside of the top flight this will vanish very quickly.
The new board expect promotion straight back to the Championship, this is my expectation too.
The squad on the whole doesnt look bad, but I feel we are lacking a proper goalscorer. There are 3 players I have singled out on getting out of Sunderland - mainly due to high wages and have played alot over the last few seasons Cattermole, Oviedo and McGready.
For the most part of the season it was just way to easy! Barnsley at one point though did take our top spot briefly (around time they had played few games more than us when we were in cups. other than that pretty plain sailing!
fa cup and League Cup
Considering we lost 4 games all season that 4-0 loss vs Middlesborough in the cup was rough and way to heavy. Middlesborough did finish 2nd in Championship though!
Goalkeepers McLaughin has done enough to prove he should be alright for the championship! Ruiter contract is going to expire, he is a good backup, but I feel letting the young Polish move up as a backup will be good for the young keeper!
Defenders: Ozturk is the player that stands out as the one that was a good solid rock at the back. Even though was looking to get rid of Oviedo at start of season I will probably keep him around for next season, On the whole happy with the defenders performance all season, Will be keeping them all, may look to bring in one or two versitile defenders though. as cover.
Midfielders McGeouch, seems to struggle to stay fit for most of the seasons picks up lots of niggles too, but he is a beast of a midfielder. Mumba at 16 looks a hot prospect. Again, im happy with the midfield.
Wingers Piazon was a great loan signing and low valued too, so im hoping I can bring him in on a permenent deal Gooch and Watmore and even maguire have made the winger selection difficult this season!
Strikers With only Maja there at start I was initially concerned with the firepoiwer we had. Maja proved that he is capable at League one level, and the freebie signing also proved his worth too, but the loan in striker was the goalgetter!, so may look into seeking him in next season or see if i can lure or find an expirenced goalscorer to replace this guy!.
Initially our transfer budget for the summer sits at 27m No idea what the board expect of next season yet though!
Board expect top half finish - this is both doable and a tough ask with the amount of quality teams in the division.
media expect 10th place finish. I personally have no idea how things will pan out!
We will start with the outs: The dutch pair that left on a free both reached end of contracts. We made a small profit on Barnes. And Honeyman was in last year of contract and was refusing to renew, so Leeds got him on a cut price possibly.
Ins: Bettinelli comes in to be a younger number 1, last seasons number 1 will drop to our backup keeper. Berahino for 3m, is a low cost risk imo, hopefully he can rebuild his career and help us rebuild too. Piazon, happy to grab him for just 1m! Catjoft is going to be a O23 keeper for forthcoming season. Andy carrol and the two arsenal releases Zelalum and Julio, are the noteworthy free players signed, I am hoping Carrol can offer something different from the bench. Besic in on loan will help the defensive side of our midfield.
Before the season started I was very unsure how this bunch would perform. but they found there feet and we started off the season floating around mid table then we crept into the playoffs spots and pretty much stayed there till the end
We beat Cardiff 5-1 over two legs and then beat the other team that is deemed to big for the championship in terms of fanbase 2-0 in the final
We tried to do our best in the EFL cup but fell to Spurs 3-2 annoyingly even though we were outplayed! in fa cup I opted to play a weakened side vs wimbledon and it beat me on the arse!
January transfers in:
The departures especially Barahino and Carrol were both relieving and disapointing but they were both shocking 32 games and 2 goals between them! Also with the old argentine returning to argentina this meant i was abit short on options upfront, so Brewster and Clough ended up coming in. the others were to increase options in midfield and defensively as the season took its toll on our core players. Though i didnt get much out of Brewster so let him go back to Liverpool
Goalkeepers Bettinelli has done wonders! and Lumley has done wonderful coming in when needed too - both should be here next season
Defenders Kone and Oviedo will stay, providing they renew, our right side seems pretty weak for the premier league. Baldwin and Kause could do a jobb, may look for another centre back of kone quality though
Midfielders With Grujic and Besic being pretty much solid. they will be missed, and Mummba is slowlky improving but not preier league ready, so will have to look for a defensive midfielder for sure. Dylan and Power will be given opertunities to play in the top flight, wingers wise Piazon, Watmoore and Gooch have done enough to also be rewarded.
Attack Maja continues to rise and perform! so I will no doubt let him be our goalscorer at top flight, hopefully he got goals in him again, but outside of maja, im not convined the others have enough about them.
Next season we will have 38m to spend and im pretty sure the board will expect to avoiud the drop!