Daniel Earle: Will Black Cats use their ninth and final life and secure Premier League survival?

Sunderland host Chelsea at the Stadium of Light on Saturday
Sunderland host Chelsea at the Stadium of Light on Saturday
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In the run up to my end of first year exams at university, I once again find Sunderland toying with my stress levels at the worst possible time.

But I believe this could be the last time if we achieve our annual escape.

Luckily, though some would say otherwise, I began watching the lads at the start of the 2007-08 season, with the excitement of Premier League football for the club.

And ever since, our status in the world's elite league has been maintained.

An alien concept for the majority of fans, but my generation has never known anything different.

We have not seen relegation in our time but we have seen consistency.

Consistently underwhelming performances, consistently changing managers, consistently failing in transfer windows and consistently escaping what seems an inevitable relegation.

With the exception of one year finishing 10th, we have consistently failed to look like progressing up the table.

And though the last three season have given us every chance of redemption, those chances may have finally dried up.

We have already endured eight successive seasons of safety in the Premier League.

Will the Black Cats use their ninth and final life?

In the time I have watched Sunderland, the only manager I really felt was close to achieving ‘mid-table-mediocrity’ was Gus Poyet.

I believe he was only a couple of players away, but that ended with the all-too-frequent regret of what could have been.

However, under the current guidance of Big Sam, we have finally had a successful transfer window and three signings have transformed this team and given it the base to compete in every match.

That is all Sunderland fans - both young and old - ask for.

Please win three games of football and finally let my generation witness a team that will consistently compete and not distract me from studying by making me write blogs that won't help me pass my exams.

* This fan blog was written by Daniel Earle, an 18-year-old Sunderland fan who is studying Law at the University of Manchester.

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