Sunderland wasted a massive opportunity in the summer – team should never have been broken up

Sunderland boss David Moyes.
Sunderland boss David Moyes.
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In the last couple of weeks, both Jermain Defoe and Jack Rodwell have said Sunderland have gone backwards from last season.

It is the most disappointing thing I have heard, not because it isn’t true – it clearly is – but because it should never have happened.

Sunderland are the masters of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, letting everybody down and generally making things far worse just when things look like they are going in the right direction.

If I didn’t know better, it is almost as if it is part of the plan to raise the fans hopes and then send them crashing, it happens so regularly.

Everybody could see at the end of last season Sunderland had a promising team, it was picking itself, losing only one out of their last 11 fixtures and that to eventual champions Leicester City.

It is true a lot of those games were drawn, but there was also some thrilling wins and three goals scored in games against Norwich away and Chelsea and Everton at home.

Those last two home games, in particular, were the sort of performances that gave the fans real hope and they responded with a noise and atmosphere that was phenomenal.

It was obvious with just two or three quality signings in the summer, Sunderland would have the chance to kick on to another level, I would even say if no signings were made just keeping that team together and we would be in mid-table now.

But it was broken up, players left, others didn’t return and injuries have made this season’s team unrecognisable from the team that ended the last campaign.

I will always look back to the end of the 2015-16 season as one where Sunderland had a massive opportunity to move onto better things but it was wasted, just like so many other times in the past.