It’s fair to say the headline was designed to attract supporters of all the relegation-threatened clubs, not just ours, so be aware that they may well be influencing the early No vote on SAFC’s chances of survival (whatever our own feelings!) …
Not everyone who supports our favourite club – I nearly wrote “only club” but retain a very soft spot indeed for Shildon AFC – lives in Sunderland or the North East.
Even those who do may not see the Sunderland Echo or Shields Gazette as often as they should. And we do not all, always, follow what the local press is saying online.
So every now and then, it seems a good idea to draw Salut! Sunderland readers’ attention to a piece that seems to capture our thoughts or put present circumstances in some reasonable order.
Step forward Chris Young, who has become an excellent fixture of the Echo’s staff. He writes well, gets most calls right and engages happily with supporters on Twitter – he tweets as @YoungSunEcho and can be found at https://twitter.com/YoungSunEcho.
The article to which I now link – http://www.shieldsgazette.com/sport/football/sunderland-afc/chris-young-feature-will-sunderland-escape-the-drop-1-7221980 – sums up the detail of the task ahead for Dick Advocaat as well as any piece I have seen.
Can we escape the drop in the
four six (must stop excluding Arsenal and Chelsea away) remaining games?
Chris does it club by club. It’s an essentially objective exercise – he does not offer a conclusive judgement on survival vs safety for each relegation-threatened club – and I shall leave you to check his complete appraisal. Suffice to say his verdict on SAFC chances is as follows:
… fate hangs in the balance, particularly after Leicester’s recent resurgence, but if Dick Advocaat can average a point per game, Sunderland will be fine. That last home game against Leicester will be enormous though.
I sincerely hope Chris is still reporting on Premier League football at the Stadium of Light next season.
For that to be the case, one or more of the following will need to happen:
* a minimum of six points from the remaining games (possible but not something you’d be wise to bet on)
* a collapse of form and spirit at Leicester (unlikely on recent evidence)
* Hull to maintain their slide (entirely possible)
* Villa to be tired (a bit fanciful: the FA Cup semifinal showed they have a bit of class)
* QPR and Burnley to go on being good losers (yes please)
I will not pretend to be hugely optimistic. If we scrape clear yet again, it is likely to be because of other teams’ failings, not our own remarkable powers of recovery. But let Advocaat prove me wrong …