When I hear about Sunderland and the drop I’m reminded of one of Canada’s treasures The Tragically Hip and their song “Escape Is At Hand For The Traveling Man.” Not so much because of the subject of the song but because it makes me think “could it be possible for another year this team is finding another way to escape from what is certain to be a relegation sentence?”
Surely by now you know that it is a dog fight for the last relegation spot, QPR and Burnley have most certainly punched their tickets back to the Championship baring some sort of all out miracle and all that is left is the scrap between a handful of teams for the 18th place in the table. Sunderland currently sit on 33 points after what I would call a miracle 2-1 victory over Southampton this past weekend at the Stadium of Light.
Who is above Sunderland? Leicester have 34, Hull City have 34, Newcastle have 35 and so too do Aston Villa. There are so many moving parts here it’s unbelievable.
So where do they go from here? With four matches left they play Everton (11th), Leicester (17), Arsenal (3) and Chelsea (1) to round out the year. It’s gonna take at least a win over Leicester to seal the spot in the Prem for another season but it’s most certainly not going to be easy.
Leicester still have Southampton and QPR to play as well so they still have a chance to stay up if they can scrap some points from QPR and Southampton and Sunderland don’t.
Fortunately Hull City play Arsenal, Burnley, Tottenham and Man U, so it’s very possible with a win and a draw Sunderland could leap Hull if Hull lose all of their games.
Newcastle have West Brom, QPR and West Ham which seems like a much more manageable task. If I were betting I’d expect to see them get points from these encounters.
Finally there’s Aston Villa who also have some work to do in their set of fixtures against West Ham, Southampton, Burnley and Arsenal.
It’s very possible if Sunderland can keep up the pressure they can keep the momentum going, however it’s been a struggle to keep it flowing at times. Whether it’s been through injuries or poor form or suspensions they’ve not managed to keep a good thing going. I wait for the day when you see it stay together.
I thought for sure after the great escape of last season that they’d all learned their lesson, from the top to the bottom, but it doesn’t seem like it changed a whole hell of a lot. One big revolving door that seems to be sitting over top of the spinning blade that is the drop zone ready to cut the team to bits. Any second they could drop and all the hopes and dreams of fans everywhere would be sliced to pieces. Sounds dramatic but it does feel that way. Every year the same routine, it gets to feeling like we’re just relegation candidates from the get go. When does that change? No matter how much talk is done it doesn’t show on the field, isn’t time to change? Cut out some of the problems? Make some drastic changes? Maybe there’s some reasons for the problems and we are serious late even now to be talking about it.
Is escape at hand? I don’t know, but we will find out soon, either way it’s time to do some slicing.