WITH 16 games gone, Sunderland’s first season back in the Championship is more than a third of the way through, and it has been a major disappointment.
Despite one of the biggest wage bills in the division, the Black Cats are bottom of the table.
Now halfway through the international break, they will hope to have a new manager in place in time for the September 18 visit of Millwall.
Whenever he comes in, Simon Grayson’s replacement will need to make a quick assessment of the squad, with no scope to add new players until the transfer window opens in January.
Here we give our assessment of how the Black Cats’ players have performed this season. Read it, then pass your own judgement on who has impressed and who has been letting the side down so far. LIKE Browning, Everton loaned Galloway to the Black Cats to learn more about the game, and it has been a tough lesson. He has looked out of his depth at left-back, never more so than at home to Leeds United, and Grayson quickly lost faith. The promise of his early run in the Toffees’ first team is becoming a distant memory. SPOKE a few home truths in the run-up to the season, but unable to back them up with actions. A player of his (admittedly fading) quality ought to have made more than four Championship starts, and ought to have had a greater impact on them. The only game he bossed was at Bury in the League Cup. IMPRESSED in both his Championship starts, at Preston and at home to Cardiff City, where he converted a gutsy penalty. Also scored at Carlisle United in the League Cup. Deserved more opportunities when Lewis Grabban was injured. EIGHT goals in 12 Championship appearances for a struggling side speak for themselves, and his style of play makes Sunderland more effective too, his willingness to run in behind allowing them to counterattack far more effectively. His finishing has been very good and the Black Cats were much weaker when he was injured. NOT as talented as some or always as consistent he might like, but bubbly and energetic on and off the field – Sunderland could do with more like him. Willing to run between the lines and good enough to score three times in all competitions, but it would be nice to see him do it from central midfield rather than being asked to do a job on the wing. IT looked like stepping down to the Championship might provide a chance for Jones to come into his own, but his mixed performances were reflected in his in-and-out selections. Perhaps it is a confidence issue but Sunderland’s most experienced Football League player is one of many they need more from. THE Republic of Ireland international has provided outstanding value for £250,000. He has brought craft and guile and scored some terrific goals. An indication of what Grayson could do on a tight budget, but unfortunately a rare one. ANOTHER who has looked good when he has played, willing to get to the byline and get crosses in, but has
Tyias Browning and Aiden McGeady have been the pick of the Sunderland players Brendan Galloway has looked out of his depth