Peter Lynn is as disappointed and cross as anyone, but finds reason to look back with affection on at least one aspect of Saturday’s last Premier League SAFC home game for a season or more …
Well, my SOS – as in Save our Sunderland – never arrived but as Monsieur Salut has pointed out in recent weeks, the crystal ball predicting survival has rather let me down and finally shattered.
Nonetheless, I have kept going, not only updating what to most folk would have appeared to be the work of a raving lunatic but also exposing myself to watching some pretty grim performances.
Why? Is it because, in the words of Nick Lowe, I love the sound of breaking glass? Is it because I need the noises of destruction or because I want to feel Safe at last, the sound of breaking glass?
None of those, of course. I am old school and said I would do something and kept to my word.
In any case, I genuinely believed we could survive and wanted to be there to witness it one more time. I also hoped that I would get to see an occasional glimpse of my team doing well – which I did, at Hull.
What happened on Saturday, brilliantly described in Pete Sixsmith’s Soapbox, was a microcosm of our entire season: lack of consistency, yet another change of line up, unexpected injuries and unprofessionalism.
It is the latter which really upsets me. I know it is a sport, played with passion, but surely there are some basics which, like in any occupation, you learn then carry out so they become second nature. Ah well.
It was also my last chance to see The Lads this season. I was determined to enjoy myself – and did! The score for the match I watched was: People of Swansea 3 – People of Sunderland 4.
The Swansea fans were great, despite the stress they were under, impeccably observing the Bradley Lowery tribute and cheering their team on to a well deserved win. I am delighted they have survived.
Our fans, considering our predicament, were superb. They managed to restrict the booing in order to recognise more important issues, like that of Bradley and saying thank you and goodbye to Jermain Defoe.
They resisted the temptation to view Anichebe’s departure as a convenient escape, rather to generously applaud him from the pitch, remembering the good things he has done and wishing his injuries had not prevented him achieving his potential.
Similarly, they applauded Mannone on his farewell walk with Defoe after the final whistle.
Perhaps they, like me, remembered it was Mannone who initiated the players’ salary sacrifice after the Southampton 2014 away debacle which resulted in a £50 K (I think) donation to charity. Whatever their motive, it made me proud to be one of them.
It may be All around, the sound of breaking glass, we may be relegated, but we are not dead, not with the hearts of Sunderland folk.