Fan blog: Relegation-threatened Sunderland lack identity and strong leadership

Sunderland boss David Moyes
Sunderland boss David Moyes
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Over the past week, everybody has seemingly had their say on whether or not relegation is a good thing for Sunderland.

Former players Michael Gray and Matt Piper believe that relegation might actually benefit the club in the long-term, citing Leicester City and Southampton as examples of sides that have dropped out of the Premier League only to return stronger than before.

However, for every Leicester City there is a Leeds United or Nottingham Forest; massive clubs that have had to rebuild, but have so far failed to reclaim top-flight status.

Whatever your view, we are going to have to invest in the summer which means that Ellis Short has two months to find his chequebook.

It’s easy to say in hindsight, but we have never had a clear and coherent strategy when it comes to investing in players.

By this, I mean, a blueprint for success, a long-term plan that can be employed by successive managers over a reasonable period of time.

Stoke, for instance, under Tony Pulis tended to sign large, physical players that fit in with the Potters’ aggressive, direct approach.

It may not have been easy-on-the-eye, but it was undoubtedly effective.

In direct contrast to that, Swansea tend to target players that are comfortable on the ball, while successive Southampton managers have invested in youth, giving academy prospects the opportunity to excel at first team level.

Our lack of a distinct style of play has led to a disastrous scattergun approach to player recruitment, exacerbated by a high turnover of managers and difficulty in attracting players to the club.

Put simply, we are lacking identity and strong leadership, traits that successful teams have in abundance.

Get that right and relegation might prove to be a good thing, but it is by no means the desirable outcome.

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