Don’t want anyone else to feel worse but I just read this, from the BBC report of Man Utd 3 Spurs 0, with heavy heart: “With England coach Fabio Capello an interested observer, Danny Welbeck headed in Tom Cleverley’s cross just after the hour and the young striker then produced a wonderful instinctive flick to set up a second for Anderson” …
Passion comes in different forms, even among Sunderland supporters.
For the majority, maybe the vast majority, losing to Newcastle United- above all at home – is as bad as it gets. I loathe it, too, but it does not plunge me into quite the depth of despair into which so many fall.
Every defeat has a bleak impact on me. I cannot claim to be as greatly affected by losing a meaningless end-of-season game, as at Wolves the season before last, but it still leaves me glum for days.
Of course a derby defeat is worse, even for me. But it is something I would prepared to endure if it happened in the context of an otherwise great run. Coming up after Brighton tonight: Chelsea and Stoke City (both H); Norwich (A), WBA (H) and Arsenal (A).
I am probably in a minority of about five in saying I’d take last Saturday’s result as a regrettable trade-off for wins tonight and in those next five Premier games.
But that’s easy to say because we know it is not going to happen. Or is it? Remember how we bounced back from the St James’ Park humiliation last season, when Stoke and Chelsea were also among our forthcoming opponents … okay, that run of five is not going to produce 15 points but who knows what me might achieve if able to play at our best?
Sunderland go to Brighton for tonight’s Carling Cup match needing to pick themselves off the floor and produce a convincing winning display. Even a thumping victory would have no chance of relieving the gloom left in most SAFC hearts by Saturday’s disappointment and, pointedly, the manner of our second-half no-show.
For all that, the passion will be there in the Amex Stadium. Lots of Sunderland-supporting southern exiles will have taken the opportunity of a game close at hand.
Pete Sixsmith will be flying the Salut! Sunderland flag as one of those making the long trek from the North East. They’ll all be willing the team on to the start of a decent cup run. On Saturday, another big away turn-out will greet SAFC at Swansea, a game we also have to win in order to restore some pride in the competition that matters most (and get some points).
Most of us, however down we feel and however more down some feel than others, will keep the faith since doing so is unconditional.
But Steve Bruce could do well to consider the following message left last night at the Blackcats list, admittedly a forum with a patent on the adjective “long-suffering”. I will identify the writer only by his first name, Mark:
“After reading my rants over the weekend I’m going to take a step back and stop posting for a while. I’m that anti-Bruce now I’m no longer able to see any balance to anything. But a quick look at the stats shows that we’ve won twice in 16 matches – Wigan at home and West Ham on the final day – and just once at home in 10 matches. I’ll let you discuss things and read with interest before joining in the debate when I can offer a bit more of a reasoned argument. …”
He was slightly wrong on the stats. Someone else pointed out that there had been another victory, against Bolton.
I fervently hope Mark’s return to active involvement in debates will require him to eat humble pie, admit that Bruce had a plan after all and was always on the right track and my, how well the Lads have come aback from that derby setback of Aug 20.
Hands up those holding their breath …
* See also: the Brighton “Who Are You?” – a seasider offers praises for Fatboy Slim and Lee Cattermole, and predicts a slippery banan skin for Sunderland tonight.
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