The report card: (3) could do better


With their Bunsen burners and experiments with mercury, chemistry teachers tend to be men (and women) of few words who know how to get quickly to the point with a minimum of fuss. Bob Chapman lives up to the stereotype with a short but impeccably presented summary of our season, straying from the path of science only to borrow plus and minus signs from his maths colleagues …

As a school teacher I have just finished writing a series of reports for my A level Chemistry group who are all off to University this coming autumn.

It was an easy task as they already have enough marks and with a couple of exams to go should be successful come summer. The grades they achieve will match their ability. However writing this report for Sunderland has been so much more difficult. The grade we achieved did not match our ability!

The season started with so much promise, but by the time I journeyed back from the Stoke home match and crawled into bed at 3am, I was beginning to fear the worst.

The size and quality of the squad, combined with injuries, were certainly the main contributory factors to the indifferent period in the middle of the season.

Sides can often cope when wide players have to be replaced. However when you don’t have a settled back four and the spine of the team is injured or suspended then you are going to have problems. You only have to look at Birmingham to see what a settled side can do for you.

The positives from the season have to be the emergence of Henderson and Meyler. Should both progress next season then I am sure they will both be involved in future World Cup qualification games for their respective countries. Whether they remain Sunderland players is another question. I am sure the big boys are already having a look.

There is no doubt that we perform so much better when Mensah is organising the back four. We need to strike a deal with Lyon and get him operated on as soon as he returns injured from South Africa!

With regard to Kenwyne, I still think we should keep him. He links up well with Bent and causes panic even with the best of defenders. People accuse him of being lazy but I just don’t see it. Few sides operate with two up front all the time and Kenwyne will often drop deeper so that he can pick up and run at defenders. In addition he is certainly as good as Drogba when defending set pieces.

So as an end of season report I can only award a satisfactory grade C when it should have been a B.

When it comes to setting achievable targets for next season, then we need to reduce the number of red cards and score more from midfield, and Cana needs to learn to tackle on his feet and not go to ground every time.

4 thoughts on “The report card: (3) could do better”

  1. i know its not a lot mate, but…can u thin of a attack partnership that scored 33 goals between them this season, and jones missed around 10 games….u are a fellowmackem so lets not fall out but jones is a massive influence on games, i know he doesnt always turn up! but he influences the way the team plays dont you think? and its matt lol cheers maye

  2. jerome you are wrong about jones, the amount of times e flicks on for bent is unbelievable, the amount of times they’ve had little 1-2’s and bent or jones have blazed over lol is great. they work together excellently, jones may only have 8 goals but he as 4 assists (ithink) but he just makes defenders think: ”should i go and attack him, should i stand off??” he is massive to our progress and if u are a proper fan and go to every game you’ll see the differenc he has in hold up play, look at the manu game we couldnt keep the ball for 10 seconds until he came on….i agree with this report, all the good hard work was done in class by the players but when they went away to do their course-work they were found wanting….see…teaching and sport can mix haha! 13th is respectable, 4 points from 10th, when we should have beaten pompey twice and man city at home and man utd if there was’nt any ”fergie-time”. and our 14game winless run!! we need mensah fit and hutton to sign although that looks unlikely with spurs wantin 7mil for a defender they see not good enough for their bench??? strange?, yes i know! we will be solid and another point on jones and bent, can you think of another strike pairing that have amassed 32 goals between them in the league this year…torres and zamora and gera…no drogba and anelka no..any one apart from rooney and berbatov????…lads jus tbe happy we hve to strikers that prem defneces are scared of!!!back the team dont pull them down, am looking forward next year for a massive massive season for sunderland football club! mid table mediocrity?..why not!

  3. Can I ask a question here, Bob?

    Why is it that school teachers invariably insist on telling everyone that they are teachers. In this instance there is some relevance as this is an “end of term report,” so to speak. My reason for asking is that I’ve never once found myself in any conversation where I’ve had a sense that my profession would have any bearing on unrelated discourse. Just wondered, that’s all?

    I have to say, that there is little to disagree with here other than your comment about Jones “partnership” with Bent. It’s always seemed to me that Jones is either unable or unwilling or both, to effectively partner anyone. If he was on “Dancing with Stars” he’d be off in a corner of the dance floor doing his own thing. There is virtually no link up play between Jones and anybody (including Bent). He plays far too far apart from the other striker and is always looking to move the ball backwards when he receives it.

    Spot on about Meyler and Henderson though.

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