It's been a season of struggle so far for Sunderland in the Championship and
injuries have played a huge part in the mounting problems on Wearside. Simon
Grayson took charge in the summer and was tasked with turning things around,
but so far it hasn't gone according to plan for the Yorkshireman.
Source: Talksport via Twitter
The former Leeds boss hasn't had much luck with injuries, losing new
signings Lewis Grabban, Callum McManaman and Aidan McGeady in the opening
couple of weeks. Whilst arguably the most significant absentee has been Duncan
The Manchester-born winger arrived on Wearside from Altrincham aged just 19
and opened his account during Sunderland's 1-3 defeat at home to Norwich on 15 August
2015, the game being his league debut. He finally featured under Grayson after
recovering from injury, making a positive impact during Sunderland’s 2-2 draw
away against Preston North End on Saturday.
Goals from Sunderland’s front men dried up further after Grabban lasted just
37 minutes against Nottingham Forest, sustaining
a hamstring injury that has kept him out of the squad since September
9. Whilst far from prolific, Grabban offered a constant threat and his presence
is sorely missed in the side. James Vaughan netted against Hull City but has
been even less impressive in front of goal since joining from Bury. The former
Everton striker is equally as injury-prone.
Source: Norwich City Fans via Twitter
Watmore hasn’t had a significant period in the starting eleven since the
2015/16 season, with injury ruling him out for the majority of last campaign. Whilst
he failed to get too many people excited during this period, his pace and
willingness will surely help Sunderland as they struggle to cope with life in
Grayson himself has struggled
with the pressure of turning the club around in recent weeks and fans'
patience is beginning to wear thin. The club appear to be stuck in a downward
trajectory and even a Championship specialist such as Grayson appears to be
running out of ideas on how to reverse the side's fortunes.
He's averaging 0.6 points per game so far, which is fewer than David Moyes
(0.72), Paolo Di Canio (0.92) and Dick Advocaat (0.95). The latter was
extremely popular with fans for helping maintain their Premier League status at
the end of the 2014-15 season. He is currently in temporary charge of the
Netherlands following the dismissal of Danny Blind, although he is struggling
to get a tune out of the Oranje and they were recently hammered at the hands of
predicted by Oddschecker, who suggested siding with Les Bleus as they
took on Advocaat's men at the end of August.
Watmore’s return is likely to improve the side's potency in the final third
and Grayon’s options will improve further with Grabban scheduled to return
around mid-October. The remainder of the side also need to pull their weight if
Sunderland are to avoid back-to-back relegations.