Sunderland Observed: the half-term report. Not for the squeamish


Pete Sixsmith was again asked by The Observer to reflect on all things Sunderland for the newspaper’s half-term review. This, submitted before the Norwich game, was the pre-editing version …

The season has been as dismal as the league position suggests. Defeats to those pushing for the title at home, coupled with defeats to our relegation rivals away have made it almost as dispiriting as the infamous 15 point season. But there is hope – as long as we have managed to beat Norwich yesterday (oops – ed).

Star men are in short supply at The Stadium of Light. Giaccherini has shown some nice touches, Borini scored a stunning winner against Newcastle and Ki – Sung-Yeung passes the ball well. New signing (well, it feels like that) Wes Brown is probably our star man.

As for underperformers, there are the usual suspects – Adam Johnson, Craig Gardener, Seb Larsson and they have been joined by the likes of Cabral, Diakite and Roberge, all signed by the Director of Football and against the wishes of a certain Italian – so he says.

We don’t have managers at Sunderland, just Head Coaches. The current one looks a good one, with a footballing philosophy that preaches careful possession and thoughtful football, but he has been dealt a poor hand by the previous three managers/Head Coaches. Poyet would get a solid 7/10 for me. The previous Head Coach, who is largely responsible for this shambles, gets uno out of dieci. He gets the uno for his suits.

Signings in January are going to be very interesting. Last January we signed Danny Graham (now on loan to Hull City) and Alfred N’Diaye (now on loan to Eskisehirspor) so we have form in this window. We need a central defender, a full back and a creative midfield player who can score goals – there must be lots of those available who would want to play for a side heading for the Championship. We could ship a few out as well.

The rule change I would like to see is that if you score an own goal, you should be allowed a free shot at your opponents goal. As long as Jozy Altidore was not allowed anywhere near the ball, we could be five goals and eight points better off.

5 thoughts on “Sunderland Observed: the half-term report. Not for the squeamish”

  1. Here’s wishing all you SMB’s a Merry Xmas. You’ll need one as I don’t think it’s going to be a particularly great 2014 for you lot.

  2. I think we need St. Nick to bring us a miracle. Barring that, someone who’s able to score a few goals. But ’tis the season, as they say, and here’s my Christmas-shopping gift-list for the Sunderland brass:

    For coach Poyet:

    A copy of Delia Smith’s ‘How to Cheat at Cooking’. After a couple of months Gus finally admits you can’t make chicken salad out of chicken shite. Perhaps this book might help…..

    For ex-coach Di Canio:

    I thought maybe a bust of Mussolini, but then thought, given his huge ego, much more appropriate would be a giant bust of himself. Fitting, since Paulo was a big bust on Wearside.

    For the esteemed Director Of Football Di Fanti:

    A dozen lemons. Bit of an indian-giver here, as I’m only returning the gift he gave us last summer.

    For the big man himself, Ellis Short:

    A serviceable parachute, to bail out of this flaming wreck. Honestly can’t see him sticking around next year, encouraging a motley crew of wannabes, never-will-be’s, and has-beens, on the road to grounds the likes of Jokewell Park.

    And finally, as for me and the loyal, long-suffering fans:

    Dear Santa, please bring Sunderland a 17th place finish this season. I know it’s asking a helluva lot, but we’ve all been very good this year, so please, please, please……..

  3. You’ve forgotten the striker and the goalkeeper but little lads shouldn’t be greedy at Christmas. We gorged on the candy in the summer and look where it got us.

  4. Hindsight is a wonderfull thing , Pete had hope as long as we beat Norwich and Wes Brown is our star man! Well we didnt and he’s missing two vital away games where a clean sheet may be the best we can hope for and yet another of our never win must win home games. Lets hope he stays of the pud at least ! Only straw I can clutch at is that he won’t get injured over Christmas , que that discarded Tonka Toy at the foot of the stairs……….

  5. We also need a forward or two who can score, Pete. I think we could manage without a new central defender, full back or creative midfield player if we had one. We are not falling away from the teams above us but the failure to score is slowly strangling us.

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