Wembley and Safe (4): no Leeds, Blackburn and Middlesbrough after all

Ken by Jake
Ken by Jake

Ken Gambles does not write often enough for Salut! Sunderland but when he does, it’s worth reading (his call for football cheats to be made to wear pink mittens was priceless). Here’s his view on the season, with some end-of-term awards and gripes of his own …

 Oh, me of little faith. Yep, after the West Ham home defeat, I renewed my season card firmly convinced we’d be playing Championship football and I’d be able to savour again the delights of Blackburn, the ‘Boro and Leeds for example. A hammering at Spurs (on blooming Sky again) apparently signed, sealed and delivered our relegation, BUT, along came “a miracle”.

Not until about five minutes before the end of the West Brom game however, could I let myself fully relish our survival and take in all that had been achieved. Do I feel guilty? No, I’m a Sunderland supporter of some 50 years standing who has had it battered into him that if anything can go wrong at SAFC it will, and I’m sure there’s no need to provide a litany of disappointments here.

In August 2013 a 12th/14th place finish, a cup final at Wembley, a double over the Mags and wins at Chelsea and Man United would have had me drooling with pleasure and yet for most of the subsequent months it’s been a depressing sense of déjà vu (as they say, all over again). Anyway we’ve survived, it’s memorable and it’s brilliant.

Looking back I’ll be honest and award myself brickbats and bouquets.


   1 Thinking we’d be relegated until last week, and probably in bottom spot.
   2 Thinking Larsson and Cattermole could never provide the quality in mid-field to ensure the points we needed
   3 Writing off Connor Wickham who despite not having had a run in the side had singularly squandered the opportunities he was given.


   1 Still being as passionate as when a young fan despite the going being tough season after season.
   2 Telling people very early on that Vito had the makings of a top keeper ( to be fair I didn’t think the signing from Arsenal was a good one. Well done Mr De Fanti (have I really written that?))
   3 Being impressed almost immediately with Borini’s attitude and effort despite being on loan. Reminded me of Anthony Le Tallec (hope you spotted the Mourhino sarcasm there)
Jake reminds us of what the series was nearly called
Jake reminds us of what the series was nearly called

Best moment: The final whistle v West Brom last Wednesday.

Worst moment: The final whistle at Hull in the quarter-final.

Funniest moment: Jozy on the verge of falling over at Fulham then kicked in the stomach by Senderos to save his blushes and gain a penalty.

Best ref: Mike Dean

Worst ref: A few contenders here, but I’ll go for Kevin Friend

Biggest grouse: Time-wasting. It’s becoming endemic and serious action needs to be taken. Adrian of West Ham was taking over 50 seconds for every goal-kick. Ridiculous.

Hopes for the future: My 18-month-old grand-daughter becoming a Sunderland fan like her mother and grandad.

Fears for the future:  My 18-month-old grand-daughter becoming a Sunderland fan like  …….!

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This is the latest contribution to our Wembley and Safe series of end-of-season reviews. To see all postings in the series, click anywhere on this paragraph.

2 thoughts on “Wembley and Safe (4): no Leeds, Blackburn and Middlesbrough after all”

  1. Pretty much agree on all you’ve posted Ken. At the West Brom game myself and my mates were clock watching from 60 mins onwards , saying ‘ even we can’t let three in now!’. It only stopped on 85 mins.

  2. I have had the same amount of suffering, 50years is a long time. The 1964 promotion as a young lad was fantastic, going to every game expecting a win, Hurley, Crossan, Herd Sunderland players who were revolutionary at the time. A couple of promotions inbetween, but apart from the FA Cup 73 very little. Why do we have this deep engrained love for a Club that at very best has under achieved since it’s glory days in the early 20th century? I’m not absolutley sure, my South African wife doesn’t understand why I don’t change clubs or why I make myself upset on a weekend berating at times every player who touches the ball and at other times my eyes well with tears of joy. It strange from the outside but inside it is a strong love and belief one day we will be great again of that I am sure.

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