For what it is worth, the bookies are already putting Sunderland among favourites to go up from League One next season. But as you’ll see at Betway sports betting they are naturally more concerned just now with flutters on the World Cup.
Unless we count Wahbi Khazri, whose form since going on loan to Rennes has won him a place in Tunisia’s provisional World Cup squad, the only Sunderland player who may feature in Russia is Bryan Oviedo, with Costa Rica. Senegal obviously had Papy Djilobodji watched while he was at Sunderland, where he was wretched, and not on loan at Dijon where he was a lot less accident-prone. In any case, none of the three seems remotely likely to be at the Stadium of Light when the League One season kicks off …
Forgive Monsieur Salut for his punning headline. It’s just that we are all waiting for firmer news and there is no telling how long it will take Salut! Sunderland to get round reporting it.
But we believe Jack Ross is about to be signed from Saint Mirren as manager, note with approval his record in Scotland and offer appropriate thanks to our new owner, Stewart Donald, and his eloquent sidekick Charlie Methven, for their so-far-so-good words. Sixer, who knows Scottish football as he does English football and so much more, will have more to say on the appointnment once it has been confirmed.
This is a little of what Joel Sked had to say in an excellent piece at the Sunderland Echo:
“Ross preaches dynamism and intensity in his teams and the individuals within the squad, both in training and on matchdays.
“Many managers talk a good game with regards to the tempo, pressing, possession. Ross is not overly fussed on the latter. He demands that his players are positive in the final third, giving them a freedom to lose the ball with no repercussion.
“That was very much seen in his St Mirren side this season. Despite winning the league by 12 points, Saints were sixth for possession but they scored the most goals, had the most shots and most dribbles.”
So will Sunderland go straight back up?
The poll sample is relatively small – approaching 500 as I write – but will increase as we have more to offer by way of confirmed manager and progress on reshaping the squad.
So far, the voting shows an encouraging, keep-the-faith 70 per cent – and climbing rapidly, touching 80 per cent tonight – believing we will bounce straight back to the Championship. Half the votes were cast before the ownership change was announced so the surge of optimism is not surprising.
Now we all know a little more, if not yet the whole story, perhaps more of you can have your knee-jerk say in the poll as it stands …