Predictions, predictions … everyone’s at it, with the possible exception of the young lady photographed (you’ll need to buy Zoo or go to their site, link below, if you disapprove of the tasteful crop). Us? We cannot predict whether the matches will be on, thanks to the activities of the National Association of Scummy Toe-rags and Yobs (NASTY), but we do have good feelings about the new season once it is allowed to get under way …
When we ran Luke Harvey’s upbeat piece, looking forward to the new season with unabated joy, one or two Salut! Sunderland readers warmly welcomed what one, Davey, called “a refreshing change from all the doom and gloom merchants writing here”.
Well, here is some more of the same medicine.
The inhabitants of the Zoo, namely the good folk who run the magazine, asked Premier League bloggers for their predictions. My response, or the part of it that survived significant trimming, appears at this Zoo link and reads:
Bruce’s transfer activity has impressed and he’s brought in quality. Sessegnon should shine this season. Top eight finish.
– Colin Randall, SalutSunderland.com
In fact, they had asked for “around 100 words”, which is a lot longer than quote stretching to “precisely 18 words”.
Maybe the full version will apear in the magazine itself, but this is how it began life:
Last summer, Sunderland’s owner Ellis Short set his target as top 10. He got it but only just, a winless run briefly making relegation likelier than Europe.
Short will expect a distinct improvement in performances and at least a modest improvement on final position.
Steve Bruce’s transfer activity has impressed, bringing quality (O’Shea and Wes Brown); solid if unexciting midfielders (Larsson, Vaughan and Gardner), goalkeeping cover (Westwood) and bold investments (Wickham, Dong-Won). Sessegnon should shine this season, but we could use a proven striker and left back. I’d be surprised to see another struggle. Sixth top would be wonderful; I’d settle for seventh or eighth.
I think that is realistic. Others may feel I was too cautious; a few will take me to task for being wildly optimistic. But I will stick by it for now, even though I had told Zoo I hoped to be able to update my assessment before publication to take account of the further signings that have not in the event materialised.