Malcolm Dawson writes….it’s the silly season and all quiet on the transfer front. The Copa America and the Under 21 Euro’s will have something to do with the lack of finalised activity so far and many of the rumours will be no more than that, started by agents and clubs hoping to up the value of players they are looking to move on. Expect some positive news soon. And it’s not too long now until North Shields go to Berwick Rangers and an SAFC XI head for Ironworks Road, Tow Law to give Saturday afternoons some purpose again – if pre-season Northern League friendlies can be considered purposeful. But in the meantime here (courtesy of Ken Gambles) is a contribution from a Mr Dennis Whys who has been pondering the imponderable in the hiatus that summer brings.
THE WHYS MEN SAY.
The close season always brings an opportunity to reflect on the great imponderables concerning our national game, those which can probably be termed the ‘Why on Earths?’ Answering these conundrums surely will involve an intimate knowledge of philosophy, psychology, metaphysics and even the thought processes of Greg Dyke. I’m sure that you can add your own particular favourites (or more likely, pet hatreds). Here’s mine.
Why, when defenders are shepherding the ball out for a goal-kick, are they allowed to assault any forward trying to reach the ball? Some of the antics would not be out of place on WWE and yet no foul is given for what would possibly be a yellow card anywhere else on the pitch.
Why in added time do time-wasting, substitutions and injuries never get the extra time they merit? (Add to that goalkeepers taking ages to pick up the ball and then carry it to the other end of the six yard box before kicking their boots against the post and having a sip of water instead of taking a goal kick? MD)
Why do super-fit young athletes have such a poor sense of balance that the merest nudge can send them sprawling and contorted in pain? The body contact is usually no worse than in the checkout queue at the supermarket.
Why are players taking a corner so desperate to gain an extra 3cms outside the quadrant? Can it make any difference? Would it have meant that John Oster would have been able to clear the first defender?
Why do teams in possession some 20 or so yards from the opposition goal pass the ball back to their keeper who then hits it long back to the place where play was shortly before?
Why have the authorities not introduced “citing” (as in Rugby Union) whereby serious foul play or blatant cheating can be dealt with retrospectively? This might help to eradicate feigning injury and diving.
Why (I assume with confidence) are modern kits designed by primary school children? Surely no adult could create or find the Mags pondweed and slime away ensemble attractive, nor Man City’s two shades of purple with yellow twiddly bits!
Why when we are told season ticket money is largely irrelevant owing to mega TV deals do prices still go up? (I exempt SAFC from this charge as they seem to be aware of the need to keep prices affordable.)
Now a few Sunderland specific unanswerables.
Why does Lee Cattermole pull his shorts up to his armpits probably cutting off circulation?
Why can Jozy score with abandon in Holland, the USA and in international football yet couldn’t hit the proverbial with Sunderland?
Why does the stadium announcer irritate so much? (As well as often getting the substitutions the wrong way round.) (Have you been to a 20/20 at Chester-le-Street? Now there’s irritating – MD)
Why do thousands leave early despite the scoreline and even on Sundays when traffic is no issue?
Why despite having similar demographics and social mix do the Mags wreck their city or punch horses after a home defeat? This is a serious question and could also take account of their penchant for pitch invasions (which the media have largely ignored.)
On windy days at the SOL why is there such a lacklustre attempt to gather litter at half-time?
Why are we always last on Match of the Day? (I think I know the answer to this one).
Why do Sunderland always seem to struggle in the Premier? The only common factor in perpetual failure, other than the crowd, is the kitman John Cooke. Perhaps it’s time to get rid of him (Only joking John )
Why are close seasons and international breaks such a pain?