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The fact Sunderland cannot get out of this division offers a clue, first of all there are notably bigger clubs in league 1, we had top billing in div 2 this time around we share the limelight with at least 5 others, so straight away that means the quality is higher.
If they are of a simalar quality then we would be one of the favourites to win the league with the exact same squad that did so well since January, We all know that the club will bring in a higher quality player to do the job in this division. So for me no matter what level of football you play if you move upwards then you should expect the higher division to be harder with more quality. I fully expect at least a pop at the play offs but only because i trust IE to bring in players capable of achieving that.
Your logic is good Wessy but there are more factors to consider than just those you have.
For instance money talks and generally speaking the more you have the better players you can afford.
In Sunderland's case (and ours previously) the club hasn't had the money - so couldn't bring in the quality of players they required to get out of the division - and that's why they are in the division they are in. Their best player may well be Charlie Wyke (who Parkinson wanted to buy for Bolton) and he's been there for two seasons now - my point being that he's not seen to be a Championship quality otherwise he would have been sold (think Gary Madine and how clubs like Cardiff could take a punt on lower league players and not worry too much if they didn't work out).
Another point is you only have to be better than four other clubs to stay in that division - the quality of the division might even be worse than the one below but it doesn't matter you can only play those other 23 clubs in your group.
Another is that some clubs rely on key players and if they get hurt or sold they are no longer the same team - so they might be a decent club last season but an ordinary (or even bad) one for this season.
Yet another is how has Covid effected club financies? Some clubs may need to release or sell players in other seasons they may have held on to, making them that much more weaker than they would wish for the season ahead.
Common sense does make you think that a higher division will obviously mean a better standard - there's a gulf between the Premier and the Championship for instance - but I don't think the difference is anything like as pronounced between League 1 and 2.
Obviously we will have to wait and see what players we end up bringing in but I reckon that a tilt at promotion isn't out of the question if we can play as we did the second half of last season. Lincoln finished 16th in 2019/20 yet are in the play-off final this - and I don't believe they significantly strenthend their team between seasons and Southend were with us in L1 in 2019/20 dropped like a stone right out of L2 this season - my point being that neither thing should have happened if you just judged teams on their league positions one year and what you would expect them to achieve in the next season.
I'm hopeful anyway - then again I usually am!