The Sunderland owners are facing mounting criticism for their recent appointment of Michael Beale, who is already the subject of growing discontent from fans.
Seven games in, and Beale has taken two wins as Sunderland boss, with his side having lost their last three in all competitions.
The last loss was a 1-0 setback at the Stadium of Light against Hull City. Among those three was a 3-0 FA Cup loss at home against Newcastle United earlier this month.
Although the outcome was forgiven, the performance was not; the Black Cats never seemed to be a threat to the opponent and appear to have significantly regressed from their previous level of play under Tony Mowbray.
Beale’s immediate firing is being called for more and more on social media, though that prospect has been downplayed. Furthermore, it appears like the Sunderland board is about to make another possibly contentious choice.
Sunderland star Alex Pritchard is a wanted man
Pritchard, 30, sees his Sunderland contract expire in the summer, in what his third year at the club.
And a lot of people would contend that Pritchard at his finest in a Sunderland shirt has been seen to us in the previous few weeks.
Even though he only has one goal and five assists for the season so far, his play in the previous few weeks has been impressive; in the Sunderland fans’ 1-0 victory over Leeds United last month, the Englishman received a standing ovation and a 9/10 rating from the Sunderland Echo.
However, in light of the uncertainty surrounding Pritchard’s future on Wearside, it is stated that Mowbray is eager to bring him to Birmingham City. Talks have reportedly been had, and Serie B team Como is also reportedly keeping an eye on Pritchard’s circumstances.
Kristjaan Speakman and Kyril Louis-Dreyfus need to avoid Pritchard sale
Owner Kyril Louis-Dreyfus and sporting director Kristjaan Speakman haven’t covered themselves in glory over this recent appointment of Beale.
It might yet work out and it might prove to be the correct decision but this current trajectory and unrest suggests otherwise; given the club’s progress over the past few years and their ambition under the current regime though, both Speakman and Louis-Dreyfus’ stock remains relatively high.
But the pair could face yet more unrest if they choose to sell Pritchard.
Sunderland are really lacking in attack quality and experience too; two things that Pritchard offers in bundles, so selling him amid what is arguably his best vein of form since joining the club seems ludicrous.
Only from a financial standpoint would it make sense, and only if the club doesn’t offer him a new contract, which would be yet another bad choice.
In an effort to win back Sunderland supporters, Beale, who is now under pressure, will undoubtedly be happy to see Pritchard stay past this month’s transfer window. The most recent news involving Pritchard is making for even more depressing reading for Sunderland supporters.
This weekend, Sunderland takes on Stoke City in the Championship.