Ti­tle odds 2016-17 1,000-1

The Daily Telegraph - Total Football - - BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE -

Star man Jer­main De­foe

Has done what Jer­main De­foe has al­ways done, scored goals. But he has never done it in a team strug­gling against rel­e­ga­tion and in many ways this might just be the 33-year-old’s finest cam­paign. With­out his 15 goals in the Premier League, Sun­der­land would have been rel­e­gated.

What went right

Ap­point­ing Sam Al­lardyce and rip­ping up the failed di­rec­tor of foot­ball model in or­der to per­suade him to take the job back in Oc­to­ber. It took Al­lardyce a while to have an im­pact, but he re­cruited well in Jan­uary.

What went wrong?

A lot at the start of the sea­son and the de­ci­sion to per­suade Dick Ad­vo­caat to re­turn as man­ager back­fired. The Dutch­man’s en­thu­si­asm van­ished as soon as the sum­mer trans­fer win­dow shut.

Lame duck Jere­main Lens

The Hol­land in­ter­na­tional looked to be the best of Sun­der­land’s sum­mer sign­ings, but al­though there have been flashes of bril­liance from the for­mer Dy­namo Kiev player, he has strug­gled to get his head around English foot­ball.

What’s the ver­dict on Sam Al­lardyce?

Al­lardyce is em­broiled in brinkman­ship with Sun­der­land owner El­lis Short as he looks to make sure he is given a size­able trans­fer bud­get to im­prove the squad. He has re­fused to guar­an­tee he will re­main as man­ager, but he will most likely stay on.

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