It is weird to have played four competitive games despite the middle of August having just passed by. That means we've got two weeks to bulk up our tiny squad, and we definitely need to do that.
One thing that was clear as Didier Ndong's barnet is that Sunderland ran out of steam against Sheffield Wednesday. The season has barely started, so that is a big concern already - especially when you consider the options Simon Grayson doesn't really have.
It is no surprise that our policy of intense closing down early doors leads to fatigue. I've no issues with this sort of a tactic; however squad rotation is going to be key - particularly in midfield - if we are going to keep up that level of intensity for longer and in more games. Squad depth just isn't Sunderland right now.
You're about as likely to get substantial coin for a transfer from Ellis Short these days as landing red number 5 if you play casino games at casinoroom.com. The American has gambled heavily in the past in the transfer market with disastrous consequences, so it should come as no surprise to us that he is unwilling to do so now we are in the second tier and near saturated with debt. Grayson has already proved himself a shrewd buyer in the transfer market - can he pull out a few more pearls? Generally every transfer window we are linked plenty of players have been linked and the vast majority have been so with little foundation, but it has been much quieter this season. Perhaps now that we're an unfashionable Championship side, nobody really cares about who we are going to buy! That is something I really like about the Championship, nobody talks about us. Therefore, we can't really embarrass ourselves a great deal.
Perhaps we are getting ahead of ourselves with mentions of promotion pushes, and I think that is definitely misguided optimism if we don't bulk out our squad. I just don't see how the player list we have now can cope with 46 league games, plus any cup ties we are lucky enough to play in. The players seem to already be feeling the effectives of this intense league.
Even if my wishes do bear truth, youth still has a huge part to play this season. Josh Maja and Duncan Watmore's returns from injury will be fantastic additions to our optionless attack, whilst the likes of Elliot Embleton could be next to make the grade and back up our senior players.