The following headline, a staggeringly self-evident gem of its kind, appeared at the Ladbroke’s site (where you can get only 10/1 on us to go down) …
Home games liable to determine Sunderland’s season
With insight like that, who needs to consult any other pundit?
For the record, and this is not quoting Ladbroke’s but bookies generally, we share those 10/1 odds with Birmingham City. Blackpool, West Ham, Wigan and Wolves – the last three, of course, still for us to play – are odds-on, and I certainly hope three of those teams figure in the final reckoning. You get 13/8 on Blackburn and some rather longer odds on West Brom (16), Stoke City and Aston Villa (25), Newcastle (28) and Fulham (33). I thank Neil Chandler at the Blackcats list for that information.
Tight as the lower two-thirds of the Premier has been for most of the season, I still find it impossible to believe that come the end of May, we will have slumped from sixth-looking-at-fifth to preparing for another season in what people outside the UK still call our second division.
The papers are suggesting Craig Gordon may return on Saturday, which sounds like fairly neutral news to me since both he and Simon Mignolet have had lows as well as highs this season. And Steve Bruce, having appeared to cite Darren Bent’s departure as a key reason for our decline, is now saying this is not the case but that injuries disrupting the Turner-Bramble centre-back partnership offer the truer explanation.
My own memories of earlier in the season are that we did indeed concede relatively few goals but also that we were, on occasions, very fortunate. I accept the argument that we have lacked a settled back four, and that this must have had an effect, but remain firmly of the view that the failure to replace Bent in some way, even as a temporary fix, has been utterly crucial.
If Bruce’s hand was forced in any way in that aspect of our season, then the responsibility he bears for the slump is significantly diminished. Someone posted a very pertinent comment here immediately after the Bent transfer to the effect that we could all do with a full chronological account of how it came about. That Salut! Sunderland reader was more concerned at the time with the spat between SAFC and Villa; that now takes secondary importance to an accurate description of Sunderland’s response to Bent’s desire to go and Villa’s wish to buy him.
Water under the bridge? Yes, but with people clamouring for Bruce’s head, it would be useful – at least for supporters – to know the full, ungarnished truth. It would also be useful to know, if only we could, that Wigan’s odds will not have lengthened come 5pm on Saturday.
6 thoughts on “Blackpool, Wigan, West Ham, Wolves favourites for drop; what odds us?”
Seems to me that Short and Quinn might do a lot worse than talk to Chris Hughton. Among other things, he has a score to settle with those Skunks up the road.
I don’t understand how he could be saying one thing while at the same time (Monday), Gordon is having an operation in Sweden.
No sooner had Bruce talked up the possibility of a Craig Gordon recall than we learn he’s had an op in Sweden and will be out for 4-6 months. Looks like Mignolet’s chance to redeem himself. That, or Sixer and M Salut share the goalkeeping duties.
bruce must go;
1. Signings (surely Riveros should have been given a real crack at things by now?) – a combination of players that arent ours (loanees) and permanent players that he has no faith in (Angeleri, Riveros, Da Silva, Muntari (although he has been poor)). Bad pratice all round.
2. Substitutions – waiting too long, choosing the wrong one when he eventually does make a change.
3. Luck – we were immensely lucky over a number of games during the first half of the season. Immensely!
4. Lack of discipline – Lee Cattermoles continuing banning order from pubs in Stockton; doesnt this give us a clue as to what goes on within the club??? He is meant to be our club leader! Players ordering kebabs, pizzas and other junk food from Parkside chippy two days before the Everton away game. Lots more of these accounts going about – cant all be imaginary.
5. Not resting Henderson – is he worth more money the more minutes he plays? Cant see any other reason why he was pushed so hard. Bruce, ‘ the boy just wants to play’ – and? your the manager Stevie, you make the decisions.
6. Not replacing Bent.
7. Not replacing Kenwyne (Gyan is no target man)
8. Injuries / training regime / general lack of adequate prepartion.
9. Professional football is a sick joke made at our expense = Franky Boyles ‘jangly keys’!
I could go on. Have any other teams frozen like we did against the mags? That should have been the final nail for Bruce. You cant be paid a fortune to manage and then not manage – and he clearly isnt; its bent, its injuries, its the breaking up of the two world renowned centre halfs bramble and turner, its a mental thing, its low crowds, its other clubs being better than us.
1. Did have a lot of luck.
2. Showed flashes of good football (first twenty minutes against spurs for instance).
3. managed to attract players from large euro clubs.
Who knows what will happen next 5 games. Either way he’s not the manager for me.
On a more positive note, Salut is the finest, most articulate football site around. I actually come away from here feeling like Ive learned something – unlike Murdochs bland, glossy, monotonous, simpering sites.
Keep it up Salut!
I have no specific wish to see the Hammers go down but our own season has now taken such an alarming turn that it’s everyone for themselves! So with apologies to West Ham-supporting friends, any three of the four Ws would therefore suit.
Hammers fan here.
I think we’re nailed on for one of the drop places……and deservedly so. A manager who is clueless and many players who don’t give a toss.
I sincerely hope you boys avoid the drop. One more win and you’ll be right out of it.
Always enjoy my trips to the SoL. Hope it’s not too long before I’m back there again.
Safe trip down in May.
Comments are closed.