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3 areas Sunderland must improve for the model to be a success

Sunderland are set for a busy summer with it all but confirmed they will be playing Championship football again next season.

The Black Cats have had a season of turmoil. Three head coaches, 19 defeats and the derby day debacle have made this campaign one to forget.

Naturally fans have criticised several aspects of the way Sunderland operate this season and the model which improved them so much in the past does appear to have hit a snag.

But, what needs to change for it to be a success? Here we look at three areas that need improvement going forward.


It’s hard to fault Sunderland’s commitment to signing and developing young prospects. It is a focus which will undoubtedly see them make tens of millions of pounds of profit over the next few seasons.

However, in the tough moments this season it has felt the largely inexperienced side have been left out to dry. 

Having sacked a notoriously good man-manager in Tony Mowbray and following that with the sale of Alex Pritchard and Lynden Gooch means the only ‘experience’ left in the side was gone.

The Black Cats’ model is often likened to Brighton’s but the reality is in their Championship promotion season, their average age was 27.8 with their top scorer a 33-year-old Glen Murray. That’s an average age of five years higher than Sunderland’s currently. 


Somewhat overlapping with experience, Sunderland could do with being a bit more flexible at times when it comes to their model and budget. 

The focus of recruitment doesn’t have to be seasoned veterans, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be acknowledged or considered at all. 

Kieffer Moore was a name linked with a move to the north east in January, the reasons Sunderland lost out to Ipswich Town are unknown. However, having shown a bit more intent and willingness to break the mould could well have seen Sunderland sign a 31-year-old striker who now has six goals in 12 games for Ipswich Town. 

Which is more goals than all three of Sunderland’s natural strikers combined.


At times Sunderland’s board to fan communication with the fanbase has been nothing short of poor. 

The hierarchy have certainly underestimated the supporters this season, transforming the Black Cats Bar into a Newcastle United cave was a definite sign several people working high within the club simply didn’t understand what it meant.

Sunderland fans would like to see more attention to detail with several aspects surrounding the club and stadium needing a bit of care. 

The recent multi-million pound investment plan does seem to target some of those areas and hopefully that is the start of a better future for this part of the club. 

Following on from the Newcastle issues, the club would benefit from utilising Red and White Army, Sunderland’s official supporter collective group more with it thought in the past the meetings don’t actually seem to bring any change.