It’s fair to say that recent results have brought about increased hope in the minds of Sunderland supporters the world over. We know there’s still a long way to go if the club is to get out of the mess in which it finds itself but where, only a few short weeks ago, there was nothing to be seen but the withering flower of certain relegation, the green shoots of optimism are poking through. Martin O’Neill’s sacking, Paulo Di Canio’s appointment, player revolts and Di Canio’s subsequent dismissal have provoked debate amongst the red and white faithful about just who is responsible for the precarious position which Gus Poyet inherited. Through it all the club’s owner Ellis Short has, by and large, escaped unscathed from criticism but never shy to vent his opinions, Salut! Sunderland’s Birflatt Boy has a question him.
The Three Stooges
It’s time for Ellis Short to answer a few very simple questions. In fact he needs to answer only one simple question. What the bloody hell is going on at our club?
Paulo Di Canio has eventually spoken out about his time at Sunderland, brief though it was. Our former “coach” has revealed that he didn’t want any of the players that were signed during the summer. In fact he went on to say that he thought 80% of our players should be English. To the mind of a simple Birflattian, this is only confirming what most of us thought, and assumed was the basis of SAFC’s “new model.”
As we know, the early models of any car are more likely to spend considerably more time at the dealership with a whole host of glitches and problems than later models. This SAFC hot hatch was no exception. Back in the summer PDC made it clear that he wanted a playmaker. He “has to be English.” It was widely assumed that the player he was referring to was Tom Huddlestone, who went to Hull City. In retrospect it’s even more apparent that Huddlestone was the man he wanted, but PDC didn’t get him. Instead he was provided with a Korean loanee by way of Swansea. Our scouting is being led by two Italians who knew nothing (hopefully they know a little more now), about English football when they were given total responsibility for player recruitment. Significantly, Gus Poyet commented earlier this week to say that he wanted more input to player recruitment than his predecessor. Let’s bloody well hope so Ellis, because this model has become the Ford Edsel of the footballing world, and it needs to be overhauled right now.
PDC has carried the can for this whole mess and become the scapegoat for the failure of the team. Responsibility doesn’t rest solely with him. In the fullness of time, PDC may become a very good coach. He is possibly too honest and open about what he thinks, although few of us would argue against most of his opinions. Against that are serious questions about his judgment and approach to players.
At the top of this article I suggested that there was one question, but in reality there is another. If the two remaining Italians are responsible for player recruitment, then who is responsible for deciding which players are sold and when? Is this also the role of the scouts (and former agent), or is this Poyet’s job? Thoughts and opinions on a postcard please?
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