Kevin Moeliker: Sunderland finishing 17th after a decade in the top flight is not my idea of success

Darron Gibson battles for the ball against Southampton
Darron Gibson battles for the ball against Southampton
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44 years ago an ecstatic Bob Stokoe raced, arms outstretched, across the hallowed Wembley turf to celebrate one of the biggest upsets in FA Cup final history.

Second division Sunderland had achieved the unthinkable by defeating a star-studded Leeds United side featuring the likes of Peter Lorimer, Billy Bremner and Norman Hunter.

Stokoe - dressed in a brown raincoat and red tracksuit bottoms - was rushing to embrace goalkeeper Jim Montgomery, whose stunning double save preserved our slender one-goal lead to bring the FA Cup back to Sunderland for the first time since 1937.

That iconic moment is immortalised in bronze outside the Stadium of Light and it serves as a reminder of the happier times when the club dared to dream, when the unthinkable was somewhat achievable.

Fast-forward to 2017 and, broadly speaking, 'success' is defined somewhat differently on Wearside.

Success is Premier League survival, securing our spot at the top table with the elite clubs of English football.

But, whilst they are feasting on the riches that the Premier League has to offer, we are watching on hopelessly hoping that somebody will throw us a lifeline.

We have survived by the skin of our teeth for the past three seasons and, after each great escape, the club’s hierarchy have promised us that the following season will be different, that important lessons have been learnt, that investment in the team will be forthcoming.

However - as numerous managers can attest to - their promises proved false and we once again find ourselves staring relegation squarely in the face.

If we are fortunate enough to survive this season, things have got to change.

Ellis Short must show genuine ambition or relinquish control to someone that will, because finishing 17th after a decade in the top flight is not my idea of success.

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