Stand by for a manufactured shock: summer’s here, no big signings yet

Jake: 'this is the place where you find true support, unconditional commitment'
Jake: ‘this is the place where you find true support, unconditional commitment’

M Salut writes: thanks to ‘Dinlow’, an error that crept into this report has been corrected (I misled myself into writing that Fletch had not played for Poyet, a ridiculous error – I was there often enough when he did – for which I apologise) ….

Around this time of each year, a few things happen.

Wimbledon’s gone, summer holidays are about to get into full swing, some fan sites abandon joined-up writing and run such pre-school headlines as Never Trust a Mackem: The Reason Why … and people starting moaning about the lack of signings.

Sometimes it is the professional sportswriters, who ought to know better. Mostly, though, it’s ordinary supporters who cannot see the wood for the trees.

Metro may be a newspaper I wish didn’t exist since I believe newspapers should be bought not dished out as free gifts. But I have praised reasonable reporting there in the past so feel entitled to have a go when something goes wrong.

To be fair, it appears to be a fan’s blog posting at the Metro site so we should not be too harsh.

“Things have gone exceptionally quiet on Wearside of late, worryingly quiet if we’re being honest,” writes David Boyle. “Sure, it would be rather remiss and foolhardy to mistake the radio silence for a lack of effort on the club’s part in the transfer market but the lack of progress since the window opened is proving to be more than a tad concerning.

“Black Cats boss Gus Poyet has previously made no secret of the fact he wishes to have his squad more or less complete in time for the club’s pre-season training sojourn to Portugal, a trip that is now a little over three weeks away.”

Speculation on close-season
transfer activity is not a pursuit for supporters who value possession of level heads. As we have explained on countless occasions, the transfer window invariably closes with very few of the rumoured targets ever having been thought of, let alone signed, and the arrival of a few recruits no one had even written about.

I bet it will be roughly the same this summer. Of course, we’d love to wake up to news of Messi, Rodriguez and Robben (OK, then, maybe not him unless we wish to change the our name to Sunderland Association Diving Club) househunting down by the marina or out in Whitburn? But we know they are not coming.

Billy Jones, Costel Pantilimon and Jordi Gomez have all arrived and pre-season assessments and training are under way. We naturally welcome all three and, also quite naturally, pray for the odd marquee acquisition – and few more departures.

But it is July 7 for heaven’s sake. There are pre-season jaunts around the lesser grounds of the North East, and a trip to Portugal, before the season kicks off at WBA on Aug 16.

Steven Fletcher will be a welcome return from injury, anxious to impress the boss after injury curtailed his disappointing season (I meant to double-check my original suggestion that he had not played for Poyet, which of course, he had; see exchange in Comments ] – unless he’s already earmarked for a move. And few will quarrel with the club’s wish to get rid of players with no likely role in Poyet’s plans but eating into the salary budget.

Let us start worrying if no exciting transfer breakthrough occurs before or during that period of friendlies. Let us worry if someone like Tore André Flo is spotted around the SoL on August 14. By all means, david Biyle included, come back on Aug 15 and ask why, still, nothing has happened.

That would be the time for egg on my face.

In the meantime, please, a sense of proportion would be useful. Worse things have been known to happen – such as the biscuit that just plunged into my tea, otherwise sugar-free, while being dunked.


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Matt's cartoon as adapted by Jake
Matt’s cartoon as adapted by Jake
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9 thoughts on “Stand by for a manufactured shock: summer’s here, no big signings yet”

  1. Plenty of time to get the right players in . Or does the Metros contributer want a repeat of last season, a seemingly endless conveyer belt worth of players through the door that proved to be as good as useless for the club . Ask yourself why did we sign them so easily ? Because no one else wanted them and Manonne aside all the other successes were loans . Not how you progress as a club is it . ” Never trust a Mackem ? Well speaking as a Mackem myself ,the thousands of Mackems who suddenly became ‘loyal’members of the Toon army …. cough…. during the Keegan years certainly shouldn’t be trusted . But I feel they’ve found their perfect home, they deserve each other !

  2. We’ve heard a lot about the lack of money coming in Plan B but the reality is that we haven’t spent a lot of money on most of these useless articles. The majority of players that have departed or should be heading out cost us nothing in terms of fees or were loanees, Ki, Borini, Celustka, Alsonso. Ustari commanded no fee. We’ve dumped Vaughan, Gardner. Colback and Bardsley were free to walk.

    That’s a lot of money off the wage bill. Graham is for sale for 1M which is probably about twice what he’s worth…………………..Mmmnn………actually you are dead right. N’Diaye is up for grabs for a fee of some sort. Dead right Plan B. No money coming in at all. Scocco has seen us coming, or at least his agent has. The new Lee Chapman, never scored at Roker (or in this case SoL), either for us or for anyone else. Whoops, title already went to Danny Graham.

    We are still trying to put right the horrible mistakes made by O’Neill, and Bruce. Bruce is still paying way over the odds for players at Hull. I dread to think where they are going to find themselves in two years time,

  3. I hope not too Jeremy but I think that’s exactly what we will do, with a couple of Chelsea youngsters seemingly on the radar. And sadly I think with the squad thin on the ground, and not a lot of money coming back in, we don’t have a great deal of choice to bulk up our squad.

    I hear some of our fans stating the loan system has been good for us, but a nursery is exactly what it makes us. If as expected we go down that route I hope it’s the last time. At present we seem to appoint a new management team that’s completely unaware of previous mistakes, that then go out and repeat them. At some point there has to be a vision that will see us with a healthy squad, that actually belongs to us.

  4. Lets hope that we are not inundated with an influx of loanees again. This makes the job more and more difficult every year, but we don’t seem to learn. It has to stop at some point The counter argument is always that the loanees have been our better performers and this was the case with Alonso and particularly Borini.

    However, that is largely beside the point as alll we have done is prepare Borini better for the coming season with Liverpool. We ought to be bigger and better than a nursery for these other PL clubs. The Bosman arrivals are fine by me but I’m sure that I won’t be the only one who hopes that we don’t go and over pay for the likes of Jordon Mutch. If we are taking anyone from Cardiff then it should be one of Marshall, Medel or Caulker. They’ve not a lot more than that short list worth pursuing.

    • Silly, inexplicable error and that’s my thumbs-up on your comments. I intended to check before posting the piece and clean forgot. Thanks for correcting me – I shall amend the piece – and apologies.

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