Success in the Premier League is often a short lived thing, with many teams looking year after year to beat relegation and avoid the apparent £90 million deficit that relegation could bring. Being involved in a bizarre 2010-11 campaign that left just 8 points between Sunderland in 10th Position, and Birmingham in 18th, few teams seem confident of a high finish in the harsh and brutal experience of top flight football.
However, with clubs of the premier league having to compete in their quests to lure players of a high enough standard to their club, it seems that some teams will suffer for not bringing in the right quality at the right time to secure a top half finish. Sunderland Football Club however seem to have attracted players of a high level, allowing Steve Bruce and Black Cats fans to look forward to an exciting season ahead of them.
The season started in interesting fashion, with shocks all around the country as teams try to steal points from under the noses of their opposition. With a 1-1 draw against Liverpool on the record books, things were looking up for Sunderland, battling for a hard fought point against an opposition of excellent quality. Although being fortunate not to concede goal via a Luis Suarez penalty, and being overrun for periods of the game, it finished all square, leaving hope in the souls of all fans for the long season ahead.
Unfortunately, hearts dropped days later as a home loss to arch-rivals Newcastle deflated and disappointed, leading to a further loss via extra time to Championship newcomers Brighton. Therefore, from this, there seems to be little to no signs of promise in the 2011-12 Premier League seasons, however, for me, this is not the case.
All is not lost. The team is buzzing with new players of different personalities and potentials, leaving a transition period where these players look to establish themselves at their new club. With Wesley Brown (yes, I will use his full name) looking comfortable at a club which will treat him as a player of exceptional quality, and, having seen him perform against Liverpool, prayers must surely be whispered that he remains fit and injury-free for the remainder of the season. Brown, alongside Republic of Ireland international John O’Shea, who is still to play, will no doubt show significant quality, having both international and Premier League experience at the highest level.
With this solving a large amount of defensive worries, the pressure on error prone Titus Bramble in particular lessens, leaving an experienced Centre half to play alongside him or Anton Ferdinand as they battle for the remaining centre back spot. This alone could quite easily make the red and white of Wearside a strong defensive force, ensuring goals conceded do not become an issue come the end of the season.