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The Fiver | A pitiful, nay McMenemyesque, state of affairs

The state of Sunderland, Leonid Slutsky’s serious self-analysis and Fiver letters prizes are back (on Thursday)!

It only seems like yesterday when Sunderland were battering aristocratic Aston Villa 7-2 and the so-called Invincibles of Preston North End 4-1, results which shook the Victorian football scene to such an extent that the Football League had no choice but to grant them membership, having previously refused them entry on account of the town being quite a long way north and therefore rather expensive to get to. Doesn’t time fly, eh. But six English titles and five runners-up spots later – that’s a better record than the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and, oh, who’s this, Newcastle – and this grand old club find themselves in a wee spot of bother.

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