Wise Men Say: Sunderland need change NOW because this season is already close to a write-off

I hate to be the bearer of bad news - it seems like that is all we have been doing in this column for the last month - but I’ve crunched the numbers and it’s not looking good for that 100-point finish.

Friday, 29th November 2019, 10:10 am

You know the 100-point finish claim right? Well, Sunderland are going to have to win at least 24 of our remaining 28 League One games if we are going to achieve it.

Even if we win 20 of our games, we would finish on 86 points. One point better than last season, but likely still not good enough to go up automatically.

The trouble is, we don’t even look capable of winning the half time challenge at the Stadium of Light, which basically involves kicking a ball into an open goal, let alone an entire game of football.

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Sunderland forward Chris Maguire.

This season is fast turning into an experiment into just how far we can fall. There’s little to cheer on the pitch and the atmosphere in the stands is ebbing away.

We have a manager in Phil Parkinson that not many people wanted in the first place, who has had a disastrous start to life on Wearside without any signs of it getting better.

Under Mick McCarthy, amid protests against then chairman Bob Murray, Sunderland’s attendances bottomed out to around 24-26k in our two seasons in the Championship preceding the 15-point Premier League campaign. It hasn’t been as low since, but on Tuesday’s showing, those days are returning.

We have some of the best fans in the country, but, simply put, there’s nothing happening on the pitch to put bums on seats. Unconditional support is a fallacy, it is clearly conditional on the football team playing their part. And right now, that isn’t happening.

I have never seen a group of players stop playing for their manager so soon in his tenure.

Because while the tactics (what tactics) are fairly prosaic and centred solely on getting the ball into the box as quickly as possible, the players aren’t doing their job either.

Parkinson talked about strengthening in January, but that’s over a month away - we need change now.

Because this season is already close to a write-off.