At the beginning of the season, I had written down my Premier League predictions. Now with 19 games played, let’s look at Sunderland and see how they’ve done. I think I was way off in my predictions. In fact, if I was to be correct come the end of the season, then Sunderland’s season review DVD should be called ‘The Great Escape’ — not because I don’t think they can escape, but because I had them in eighth!
Here’s what I wrote about them in the preseason:
I see they have moved quickly and decisively in the transfer market, and I really can see them rocketing up the league.
Currently, there are 19 points between their current position and where I had them finish. At this point, I think the fans will just settle for anywhere above the bottom three. A win against Everton on Boxing Day, two draws and progression to the semifinal of the Capital One Cup means that they are undefeated in four league games and have only Manchester United in the way between them and their first cup final since 1985.
The bad news about that is that that back in 1985, Sunderland played Norwich City in the league cup (then called the Milk Cup), lost and watched as both teams were eventually relegated from the league. Given their current position, it may be a season to lift two curses: survive being at the bottom at Christmas and being in a cup final and not being relegated.
Jason Bardwell is a Soccer writer for Rant Sport. You can follow him on Twitter @PACityboy or on www.facebook.com/jasonbardwell1979.