Sunderland: the season Observed


Colin Randall writes: several times this season, The Observer has asked Salut! Sunderland to report from a fan’s viewpoint on Sunderland games. Almost without fail, that has seen the name of Pete Sixsmith added to the paper’s distinguished parade of writers (he kindly left the task of reporting on Chelsea 7 Sunderland 2 to me – thanks, Pete). Soon, Salut! Sunderland will begin a series of end-of-season reports. Today, The Obs runs its own fans’ review of how it has been for supporters of each Premier club. This is Pete’s contribution (before any tweaks or cuts by Observer folk) …

Overall mark out of 10

7. The new regime got off to a good start, had a major hiccup in the middle and finished reasonably well. The fact that our season was finished in March is some sort of progress and Steve Bruce has a base to build on for next season. We have been dependent on Bent for his goals and Gordon for his saves but we seem to have a strong spine running through the team. The owner has been quiet and supportive; long may it remain so. We have a great opportunity to build on this – the best chance since the early years of the century when a lack of serious investment held us back. I don’t see that happening this time.

Top Marks for….

Has to be Darren Bent. He has scored over half of our league goals which isn’t bad is it? Jordan Henderson, Michael Turner, Steed Malbranque and Craig Gordon all deserve honourable mentions.

Bottom of the class

George McCartney has had a nightmare season with injuries and “personal problems” Other than that, nobody really stands out as being awful.

Mark the Gaffer

8. He has brought stability and a sense of calmness after the emotional roller coaster of the Roy Keane period.

The perfect 10 moment

Looking at the clock at Old Trafford and believing that we were about to get our first victory there since I was at school (1967) as the last minute of added time ticked away.

The Big Zero

Watching the ball go into our net at Old Trafford via Anton Ferdinand’s foot to give United a draw they did not deserve. Still waiting for that elusive win!!!

Best away fans

Burnley – good turn out, noisy and exuberant. Pity they went down.

Worst away fans

Difficult in the absence of our Tyneside chums, but Fulham brought 143 with them. Shildon take as many to some Northern League games.

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