Ludicrous to suggest changing managers is reason for Sunderland’s failure – but Grayson deserves one more home game

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Sunderland are the only side in The Championship yet to keep a clean sheet in the league this season.

I’ve taken the word of Kelly Cates, via my TV screen, for that stat, and as she’s an excellent broadcaster with outstanding football knowledge I have absolutely zero reason to question her.

Simon Grayson at Brentford

Simon Grayson at Brentford

I also have no reason to be listing “realistic” managerial alternatives to the current one; the one accountable for the aforementioned stat.

The responsibility and accountability may not be entirely Simon Grayson’s alone but to absolve him of blame when his side are defending as abysmally as they are is ludicrous.

Yet there’s still this default response people fire at you if you ask the question about whether our latest manager is up to the task. It isn’t the job of me or any other fan to start plucking names from the air, though it seems perfectly believable that’s the strategy the club have actually used in the past based on the success of the ones they’ve chosen.

There’s this rationale that’s been shoved down the throat of Sunderland fans over the last couple of years, that changing managers so regularly is the reason the club have failed to progress.

I’d argue David Moyes was a disaster last season and that a change may have given us a chance.

I’d also argue that the defensive howlers we are seeing in every single game have very little to do with Sunderland failing to stick with managers for longer.

Watford have made a mockery of the idea that having stability in the manager’s office is the secret to football utopia. As crazy as changing your manager annually appears when referring to the footballing stability handbook, the owners there have clearly done their due diligence and appointed people who have been able to build on the previous season.

Even Swansea, the golden boys of stability, moved quickly to remove a manager from his position last season, despite him not having very long in the role at all.

Sometimes you need to look at what’s happening on the pitch instead of blindly following certain ideologies at all costs. This side cannot defend properly and I’ll reiterate that it’s ridiculous to suggest that’s nothing to do with the manager.

I actually feel Grayson deserves another home game to try and break the psychological barrier that has turned the Stadium of Light into a place the players are clearly fearful of. I firmly believe that winning there will lift the massive weight holding us back.

Conversations in pubs across Wearside and within Sunderland supporting communities online suggest I’m in the minority.

A fourth-placed finish for Sunderland in The Championship would have been enough for the lowest ever in 23 years. To sit where we are now is unacceptable and just because we’ve sacked managers more regularly than others in the past doesn’t prevent that fact.