Simon Grayson was dealt a bad hand but Sunderland hierarchy was terrified of successive relegations

Former  Sunderland boss Simon Grayson.
Former Sunderland boss Simon Grayson.
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Being Sunderland fans, we know better than anybody that Sunderland are never too far away from a crisis and the club’s latest one cost Simon Grayson his job last week.

One win from 15 games, no wins at home and rooted in the relegation zone sealed his fate.

But when the axe fell just minutes after the Bolton Wanderers game it still came as a shock, mainly because I have never known a manager go so quickly after a game has just finished.

His sacking seemed to confirm the rumours before the two home games against Bristol City and Bolton that he needed to win at least one of them.

So, when he failed to beat the only team below us in the league the mechanisms were already in place for his hasty departure.

Grayson was undoubtedly dealt a bad hand when he arrived, after years of Sunderland wasting huge sums of money on over inflated transfers and wages that racked up a massive debt and by the time he took up his post the well was dry and he had virtually nothing to spend compared to a host of manager’s who proceeded him.

However, the squad he inherited plus the players he brought in on a shoestring was still better than results and position in the table indicates, and if only he could have got Sunderland into mid-table - hardly an impossible task - then he would probably still be manager today.

Ironically, Grayson’s best spell was the opening three games of the season, which brought a win and two draws.

A promising start but it all went downhill from there and with Grayson unable to find his best starting XI and system to suit the players he had, the team looked unorganised and defensively vulnerable.

I watched Grayson’s last game against Bolton closely and I didn’t see a lack of effort.

I don’t believe he lost the players, but if you score three goals at home to the league’s bottom team and still can’t win, then there is something seriously wrong and the manager owns that.

On a personal level I liked Simon Grayson, or as much as you can with somebody you have never met or even talked to.

He wanted the Sunderland job when so many others didn’t and there wasn’t much he said on his arrival that I didn’t agree with.

Fifteen games isn’t a lot to be given, especially when a huge rebuilding job is needed, and we will never know whether he could have turned it round, but what if he went another 15 games with just one win?

Then relegation would be nailed on and the club’s hierarchy must be terrified of back-to-back relegations, so the decision was made.