A new season beckons and we’re raring to go, full of optimism and excitement, our confidence nourished by the knowledge that Sunderland AFC are in the safest of hands.
No pre-season calamities, no breaking of ranks or signs of dressing room dissent, no one facing disciplinary action before the league programme even starts. And everything points to Simon Grayson holding on to the few remaining players of real quality.
That’s the fantasy out of the way. Can we now settle down to a start to the season that at least makes us look capable of competing at Championship level?
It is fair to say that after only one truly bad pre-season display, at St Johnstone, many of us approached the Celtic game in philosophical mood. Maybe we’d lose – I expected something like 3-1 to them – and maybe we weren’t actually ready to challenge for an automatic promotion place. But things could be worse; Grayson seemed as good a bet as a club in position could hope for.
I shall draw a veil over what happened next. We might, of course, come bouncing straight back, Grayson promising a “different animal” in terms of the side he sends out in search of points, not pre-season fitness building.
As with the “put SAFC 0-5 Celtic into context” competition, which will close at kickoff time on Friday, I am unsure what prize to offer whoever is first to Guess the Score correctly in Sunderland vs Derby County. It will probably be a mug, but may be something else – but have a go all the same, whoever you support.
Usual rules apply. Be first, before kickoff, with the correct scoreline. Have a UK delivery address and accept that Monsieur Salut’s decision shall be final.
Ha’way the Lads.