Jake steps from behind his New Age easel and describes in words the season he has been drawing so cleverly for these pages. It doesn’t matter that the season is not quite over; win, lose or draw in the final challenge, v Man Utd tomorrow, it has been ( as Jake, anonymous in his exile in north-western Spain, says) a season of three thirds. Before knocking his command of the blindingly obvious, read on to see what he means. More contributors’ assessments will follow in the coming days …
At the time it seemed like a decent result to start a new season, an away point at Liverpool.
So we’d started on a reasonable high, and why not? Steve Bruce had given us a top 10 finish the previous season and at that point I wasn’t aware of anyone at the Stadium of Light singing songs commenting on Bruce’s
* ample girth
* parents’ marital status
Since then however, we’ve seen that Anfield is hardly a fortress these days. Only six teams have left there with nowt.
And so the false dawn at Liverpool proved to be very false indeed as that was followed by a home defeat by you-know-who and a disastrous run that saw 11 points won in 14 games. By now even SB’s staunchest supporters, me included, had to admit a change was needed, and what a change!
We actually got the manager we wanted … this doesn’t usually happen at Sunderland. I always assumed it would be like Cloughie from years ago, where we wanted him and he wanted us but it never happens. But in strode Martin O’Neill and he started with a win, and the best kind of win, two late goals, two GREAT goals, AND the debut of James McClean, whose impact was immediate.
We need to keep this lad at Sunderland long-term, nurture him, keep his feet on the ground and show him BIG LOVE. If it all goes according to my dream plan, in 20 years time we’ll be erecting his statue behind the North Stand.
So it was that the middle third of the season saw us climbing the table, almost beating them-up-the-road, and generally making us all feel optimistic for the future. Hell we even had a good cup run!
So to the final third of the campaign. Well we seem to have run out of steam and the season is fizzling out in quite a dull fashion, but MO’N has shown me enough from a squad with limitations (obvious ones in the goalscoring department) that with a few additions during the summer we can push higher up the table and give our-monochrome-friends a run for their money.
Here’s hoping the song on the Leazes this time next year will be commenting on Mike Ashley’s
* ample girth
* birthplace and
* parents’s marital status
Ha’way me Bonnie Lads!