Soapbox: on our way…to Doncaster?


After being amused by a new terrace song that points the Mags in the direction of the Championship, Pete Sixsmith witnesses a performance at West Brom that suggests that they could well be singing it at us come the end of May …

Returning from the dismal performance at The Hawthorns on Saturday, we had a cathartic moment just to the east of Derby. As our convoy of unhappy travellers negotiated a roundabout, we were passed on the other side by coachloads of happy Wolves fans, returning from Barnsley having just been crowned Champions. Two clubs heading in different directions: their fate assured, ours in the process of being sealed.

Emma Horan texted me as we returned. “Was it as bad as Notts County?” she asked. That refers to what I consider to be Sunderland’s most gutless performance in all the years that I have watched them, when a scuffed shot from Bally kept us in the second tier of English football at the expense of Brentford. Until then we were 3 down and heading back to Level 3. After the game fans fought among themselves.

Let’s agree that it wasn’t as bad as that, but it wasn’t far off. It was the worst performance this season by a country mile and against limited opposition who rarely win. That they did, and so easily, is a terrible indictment of the state of our club and points clearly to Championship football next season.

Eventually, these players need to realise that they are not very good and that all the talking up in the world will not win games. If I hear one more player come out and say “The spirit in the dressing room is great”, I shall find that player and ask him why it is that the players appear to do nothing but bicker on the field.

Great team spirit comes from players helping one other out. West Brom have it; they were positive, accepted mistakes from team mates and, as far as I could see, didn’t get on each others backs.

Andy Reid was the main target for our lot. Every misplaced pass was greeted with a shake of the head by Cisse, a shrug of the shoulders by Jones and a finger wagging by Ferdinand. You could see Reid shrinking by the minute as he was offered neither encouragement nor help by his team mates.

The unbelievably sloppy defending that gave the worst team in the league three goals was typical of the way things have gone this year. Couple that with the fact that it’s difficult to remember the last time we scored a decent goal (probably Middlesbrough away, when Healy came on and set one up for Jones

2 thoughts on “Soapbox: on our way…to Doncaster?”

  1. Jacob and I had the same idea then. Stay in, lock the doors and windows and refuse to watch Match of the Day. Then enjoy Sunday as much as possible with the threat of R********* hanging over you before getting back on the treadmill on Monday

  2. Another must and should win game and guess what …..the world’s greatest overpaid failures (and I include Fred Goodwin in that) come up short again.I had hints from the legendary one that it would not make good viewing on Saturday night but nothing prepared me for the horror that I had to witness.
    Even Jacob the gineau pig on weekend leave from Haway Hayley’s nursery refused to leave the safety of his house. This is unheard of in the evening as he normally scurries around his cage with no concern to what I am trying to watch on the TV making as much noise as possible.
    The goals we lost were nothing short of disgraceful but there is a more serious problem in the club at the moment.It is the attitude of the players who basically just don’t seem to care and stroll about the pitch unaware of the impending doom they are about to inflict on the club with another shameful performance.We go down…do they really care ? We accepted the lack of ability in the 2006 relegation team but we will never accept any lack of ability from players, many of whom will earn more in a week than I do in a year.
    I may be in the minority but I think we will survive.I really don’t know what to base this theory on but in the midst of such a shambles of team there has to be enough quality to get 3 more points from somewhere.
    I have been boring Sixer senseless with my constant berating of our front 2.If there are any other 2 people in the world who do less work in a week for so much money them I would like to meet them. Jones has been completely useless this season and even when asked to a simple task like mark a man at a corner yesterday he failed miserably costing us the first goal.Cisse would chase paper on a windy day and is marginally better that his partner but his goal return at this level with his reputation is poor.The lack of firepower up front is evident when you consider that only twice this season we have scored more than 2 goals in a game.
    So where do we go from here (apart from Doncaster, Plymouth & Barnsley).As I have already said I still believe we will survive but Sbragia has to go in the summer.If he is still at the helm in August as a ‘reward’ for keeping us up he will be as welcome as a fart in a spacesuit.Quinn has had a steep learning curve but he must get the next manmagerial appointment correct with an eye on the longer term as I doubt very much many of the SOL regulars are up for this kind of dogfight every year.

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