As the dust settles on yet another disappointing outing in the Premier League for Sunderland, fans on Wearside have lost patience with boss Steve Bruce.
The 2-1 defeat to top flight new boys Norwich City on Monday evening leaves the Black Cats 14th in the table and still seeking their first away win.
League positions in the table matter little at this early stage of the season, but it is Bruce’s tactical prowess, or lack of it, that Sunderland fans blame for their poor start.
As we all know in football, one good result can turn everything around so talk of a managerial casualty after only six league games is surely premature? As a football fan you would hope so.
One consideration must be the huge overhaul of players on Wearside over the summer. Bruce brought nine new faces to the club in a busy close season, so time must be given for such players to find their feet with their new employers. Some critics are of the opinion that time is up though, and with every failing on the pitch comes more pressure for the former Wigan boss to get it right.
After finishing in the top half last season Sunderland are aiming to establish themselves within the next tier of top flight teams. Of course it’s far too early to be writing off their chances of such an achievement, but a severe turnaround is required if a European challenge is to be a realistic target.
Despite the Black Cats’ 10th place finish last term, since the turn of the year they have only managed seven wins from a possible 27 in all competitions, drawing five and losing a staggering 15. It is such a stat that gives fans ammunition for their frustration.
Football fans in the North East can be hard to rival when it comes to craving success, and that is what is working to Bruce’s disadvantage at present.
After only six weeks of the new campaign sacking the former Manchester United captain could prove costly, as we all know bringing in a new manager doesn’t always guarantee you success. That said though, if poor results continue to mount up then owner Ellis Short and Chairman Niall Quinn will undoubtedly have a decision to make.
There’s always risk, and only sometimes reward, when sacking your manager. If the Sunderland board remain patient it’s not unthinkable for the club to have a successful season, given the players they recruited in the summer. On the other hand if the club’s fortunes don’t take a positive turn it could be better to act before it’s too late.
To many in the country it would probably be deemed a harsh dismissal, but as we’ve seen on numerous occasions football is an unforgiving industry. A difference in opinion will always arise with the dismissal of a top flight manager, but the only opinions that matter are that of Short and Quinn.
With the nature of Quinn don’t be surprised to see Bruce given more time to turn it around, however if results continue as they are there will unfortunately only be one outcome for the Black Cats’ boss.