Gary Rowell: Moyes quitting, Alvarez fiasco, home strip controversy – summer has done nothing to lift us

Ricky Alvarez on one of his rare appearances for Sunderland.
Ricky Alvarez on one of his rare appearances for Sunderland.
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After one of the worst seasons in living memory the news that has come out of the club in the summer months has done little to raise hopes or optimism.

Shortly after the last game at Chelsea David Moyes quit, walking away from a job he rarely got to grips with and never seemed to fully embrace.

I was massively disappointed in him, especially as I agreed with his appointment to replace Sam Allardyce.

However, he failed to build on Allardyce’s good work and turned a promising team into a relegated one.

Another blow for the club followed with the Ricky Alvarez fiasco, when a tribunal ruled against Sunderland and ordered them to pay in excess of £8million which works out at almost one million for every game he started.

Great work from the recruitment team at the time – only Sunderland could pay such a huge fee for a player they never owned and never will.

The new home shirt is controversial and brought criticism on its release and I must admit when I first saw it I thought it was the worst I‘ve seen since the one we wore in the early 1980s but I am hoping the more I see it the more I will get used to it and hopefully it will grow on me.

OK, there are far more important issues than the design of the home shirt but it is another thing that has divided the fans when what we need now is unity.

However, amongst all this we did finally get a new manager in Simon Grayson and although he might not be the big name we all hoped for, at least he wanted the job when so many others didn’t – and that means a lot to me.

It wasn’t as if he was out of a job and desperate to get back on the gravy train.

He was doing good work at Preston but left Deepdale because he recognised the huge potential at Sunderland and if his statements in press conferences are anything to go by he is honest, up for the challenge and seems genuinely honoured to be the manager of Sunderland Association Football Club – as he should be.

However, talk is cheap and Grayson, like every other manager, will be judged on results .

It is not his fault Sunderland are where they are now and he will need every bit of help and support he can get as he takes on the huge task of turning a great but struggling club around.