close
close

five reflections from Sunderland’s final day defeat by Sheffield Wednesday – SportsByte

Sunderland went down at 22when – and final – defeat of the season as their campaign ended with a 2-0 defeat to Sheffield Wednesday at the Stadium of Light on Saturday afternoon.

First-half goals from Liam Palmer and Josh Windass ensured Danny Rohl’s side survived in the Sky Bet Championship, while Sunderland’s poor run of form ended with the Black Cats winning just two of their last 15.

Here are the main talking points:

A REVIVORATED TEAM

When Sunderland traveled to Sheffield Wednesday at the end of September, Wednesday were in the mire. Winless in their first eight games, Xisco Munoz’s side were put to the sword in what was a clinical first-half performance from the Black Cats, where they barely escaped second gear.

Munoz was fired on October 4thbut by early December the Yorkshire side were already 12 points from safety and eight in February.

It just goes to show how remarkable the job Danny Rohl did on Wednesday, and the fact that he’s paired with more attractive jobs around the world proves how refreshing it was.

Here, though, was his Wednesday side at its best: well-coached, disciplined and clinical. It eventually led to superb scenes at the full-time whistle for the away side as their Championship safety was confirmed after being almost eliminated earlier in the campaign.

The opposite was said about the hosts

As Jack Clarke fired home a third after just over half an hour in September, you really felt that Sunderland were building something very special.

Firmly in play-off contention and with the most in-form winger in the league, it feels like a lifetime ago that this was Sunderland playing week in week out.

Here we lie, however, after eight months, and they have finished the campaign in what can only be described as a form of relegation.

Two wins from their last 15 and having scored just four goals in their last eight games, a lack of attacking firepower combined with managerial changes have led to this position and contributed to the Black Cats’ decline this season.

2WM6C1Y Sunderland manager Mike Dodds looks dejected during the Sky Bet Championship match between Sunderland and Swansea City at the Stadium of Light, Sunderland on Saturday 24 February 2024. (Photo: Michael Driver | MI News) Credit: MI News & Sport / Alamy Live News

A DAY OF TRIBUTE

The final day of the season is always an emotional one for Sunderland supporters, but this season even more so.

Last Thursday’s announcement of the death of club legend Charlie Hurley moved supporters of all ages and this was the club’s first home game since the news broke.

A memorial was held at the Charlie Hurley gates near the stadium entrance before a minute’s applause was held in tribute to Hurley, with a minute also being held for SAFC Fan TV member Jack Shields as well as other fanzines.

FAREWELL?

Sunderland’s recruitment model is that some of their best players will eventually be sold for profits when the time is right, and for some of the current crop, that time may be this summer.

Jack Clarke, Dan Neil and Anthony Patterson have all linked their futures away from the club this summer with a host of Premier League sides.

Clarke’s replacement in 87th minutes generated a standing ovation from the home supporters in what could be his last game for the club, while a lap of appreciation around an almost empty Stadium of Light was the last steps of the players on the pitch of the Stadium of Light in this campaign.

2M565XB Sunderland’s Jack Clarke during the Sky Bet Championship match between Sunderland and Blackburn Rovers at the Stadium Of Light, Sunderland on Monday 26 December 2022. (Credit: Michael Driver | MI News)

BEFORE A BIG SUMMER

Black cats have had huge summers over the past couple of years, but this year is one of the biggest in modern times.

After so much good work last season, Sunderland have been in reverse gear since the start of the year and after the disastrous appointment of Michael Beale and the lack of game-changing signings, the next few months could serve to be a major moment in the tenure of Kyril Louis-Dreyfus.

The feel-good factor that surrounded the club last season has quickly dissipated in the last couple of months and the club’s next moves will be decisive in how the club fares next season.

Related Articles

Back to top button