Among the many responses to the Salut! Sunderland article headlined Bruce in, Bruce out? Offering a hand to a drowning man was this, an excellent posting from a fellow supporter who called himself simply Moongod, but turns out to be Richard Halma*. He correctly identified this site’s tendency (we’re fans after all) to soar heavenwards after a fabulous performance or during a good run and descend into the depths of gloom when things go less well. Optimism and understanding have every right to be heard as loudly as the clatter of brickbats colliding with targets. We’ve been downbeat – read the Case of the Prosecution. Now turn the coin for a rosier analysis …
Extraordinary. I read the exact opposite of all the negatives here and elsewhere in December. Elmo was a future world beater before Christmas, and now he compares unfavourably to Daryl Murphy …
The recent run of games has been very tough – the easiest on paper being Everton and Stoke away, two places where anyone could struggle to get points.
Couple that run of games (personally, I hoped for 10 points maximum from the last eight) with the loss of Darren Bent, and the absence of various others through injury, and the players have been left low on morale and confidence.
They are still the same players that took us to the heights from which we fall – and nobody was complaining when we were up there.
We were told that top 10 was the target, and now there are so many that think Steve Bruce should go because we won’t make Europe. How about judging our position at the end of the season in comparison with that target?
We’re all hurting right now – and compared to 2010, games seem unbearably hard to watch – but I can see a lot of talented young players that will be stronger for this experience, and that might seriously make for a European push over the next few years.
If Bruce goes while still building this squad, who comes in?
Do they dismantle the side he built and start from scratch again? Can Ellis Short really afford the time and money required to actuate that kind of staff turnover?
I’m constantly amazed at the short sightedness of football fans. Didn’t Manchester United fans want Fergie out while they were still second rate? Aston Villa fans wanted Martin O’Neill out after regular top six finishes – where are they now?
The situation is far from critical, and as a supporter, I curiously feel the need to support the club’s manager et al – especially given the improvement during his tenure. Could you imagine even pushing a top four side close over 90 minutes under Keano?
A dismal (pathetic/embarrassing/diabolical – insert your own negative adjective by all means) run of results does not make or break the season, nor define the club and its players as poor. We have underperformed and even been unlucky on occasion – but before Christmas we were joint top of the clean sheet table, and that states a massive amount about how far SB has already taken us.
Whether he can take us as far as we hope is debatable, but unless our season really is over, and we can expect nothing more from a very talented group – which I doubt – now is not the time for change.
I would still be surprised if we don’t finish top 10 as targeted, and consolidation on that as opposed to Europe should be our target for next season.
I have seen this team play some of the best football in a Sunderland shirt in my lifetime. So quickly we forget … who could blame the players for believing you when you tell them they’re not good enough?
Please … Keep the Faith.
* Richard Halma on Richarrd Halma:
Born in Hull ’78 and now living in Leeds. God help me! As a six-year-old in 1985, my first memory of televised football was a certain Milk Cup final defeat to Norwich – and for the first time ever I saw my mother (from Red House) care about the game I loved. This (despite the tigerish temptations of my locality) dictated the club I would finally offer my soul too. True – I’ve seen more away games than my single home game (vs Derby County, December ’07) and not many of those. My life now revolves around my cat, my flat, my writing, my music … Above all those though, is the three days of tension that accompany each and every game – and the red and white blood that pumps through my veins… Hard to describe the situation, really, especially as my stepdad was a cat’s cock hair away from turning me @ Boothferry Park in all honesty. It’s a guilty secret that I shouldn’t hide!