There is plenty of speculation, as might be expected, about the futures of two managers resting in part on the outcome of tomorrow’s game at the Stadium of Light.
Salut! Sunderland has no inside track on the corporate goings-on at either club. But no manager has a level of job security that ignores the judgement-on-results applied by club owners and boards. Another defeat for either Martin O’Neill or Brian McDermott would, at the very least, be unlikely to improve the prospects of continued employment.
Based on my own approach to Steve Bruce’s wretched start to last season, I should by now be reluctantly admitting that O’Neill should go if he cannot drive on his team to a winning performance against Reading.
Only the brightest optimist among Sunderland supporters expects better than the routine defeat in the next one, at Old Trafford (though we have managed a couple of draws there in the last few seasons). The four games after that – Southampton away, Man City and Spurs at home and Liverpool away – will not produce more than two points unless there is a mighty improvement in all areas of our play.
Which would leave us rooted solidly in the bottom three with only the deep uncertainties of the January transfer window to raise morale.
But I am not joining any clamour for O’Neill’s head. I am disamayed at his inability to get more from the squad, which does now include players he has brought in, and share the discontent of other Salut! Sunderland readers with his approach to tactics and substitutions. I just don’t see anyone out there who would be so sure to do better as to justify the upheaval a managerial sacking midway throught the season brings.
Tell me I am wrong if you wish. Also tell me the score for tomorrow’s game. No one correctly guessed the 1-3 scoreline on Saturday, not even the humourless Ted from Chelsea, so I will repeat the buy two/win Two Mugs offer (as in you’d need to be one to take me up on it).
The pair you buy for your auntie or uncle’s Christmas present will knock you back £19 (post free in the UK), and you then get two free ones for yourself. In case you are not with me on O’Neill Should Stay, you can opt for the original design instead of the Martin O’Neill “Team of All Talents – work in progress” one. Or take two of each:
As always, non-SAFC fans can enter. A Reading winner would receive mugs with a suitably tweaked design. Or you can just have a go for fun.
Ha’way the Lads …