What needs to change at Sunderland

The phrase 'too big for the division' gets bandied about far too much these days but, in Sunderland's case, we are (or should be) a team which certainly belong in the top flight of English football, no matter which way you look at it. 

With a capacity of just over 48,000, The Stadium of Light is one of the biggest football stadiums in the UK and, at it's best, is filled with our wonderful lot who can be some of the most passionate and knowledgeable fans in the world. These days, match day is more like a graveyard with a small gathering to reminisce about the days when there was life.

Sunderland last tasted victory against Carlisle in the Carabao Cup back in August, it's what's happening on the pitch has left us languishing second bottom in the Championship, with only Bolton left to prop them up.

Source: Sunderland AFC via Facebook

It's no secret that the squad needed a major overhaul over the summer and had plenty of glaring gaps that needed to be plugged. However, due to the financial situation that the club find themselves in, The Black Cats were forced to wait until late on in the transfer window for cut-price deals, and you'd be hard pushed to argue that Grayson was able to bring in the kind of players he was hoping for when he first took over. 

Whilst the financial state of the club certainly hasn't helped matters, Grayson claims that he was aware of this when he agreed to leave Preston and take over Sunderland in the summer - one has to now wonder whether he truly realised the size of the task he was taking on. 

Whilst Grayson has had the unenviable task of trying to search for his best side with a squad that simply isn't up the task, the tinkering hasn't helped and the time has surely come now for some sort of continuity and stability within the side. Sunderland are being outplayed and outfought with alarming regularity by teams which are full of young and hungry players, and some of the players who have dropped down from the Premiership don't seem to fancy the battle. 

We were promised a hungry side full of effort ourselves, though that message hasn't sank in with all of our first team players. With the tactical ingenuity of a bumble bee trying to fly through a closed window, Grayson doesn't look as close to the task of survival as our squad does - which does boast some quality for this league.

Make no mistake about it, Sunderland now find themselves in a real relegation dogfight. We are 7/2 with Betsafe to drop into League One at the end of the season and are rarely well thought of in the live betting stakes either. The damaging consequences a situation like that could have don't bear thinking about.

Source: Sunderland AFC via Facebook

The team have looked at their most solid, not saying much I know, with a 4-2-3-1 formation and the time has now surely come to persevere with this system. The more optimistic among us will be hopeful that this time we can successfully go back to basics and at least shore up what has been an incredibly leaky defence. One thing is for certain, Grayson's managerial chops will really be put to the test in the coming weeks and it's anyone's guess where Sunderland will find themselves in the table come May.

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