A bit early for a mid-term report on Martin O’Neill, but these are potentially exciting times for Sunderland supporters who suddenly see their team written and spoken about in glowing terms, even in defeat, by the Londoncentric media. Eric Sweeney sees further progress ahead and, unlike M Salut, believes MON when he says he hasn’t yet thought about specific transfer window targets.
Despite what it says on the photo, you cannot click from this page to “look inside” the book. You can, if you wish, buy it for under £11 at this Salut! Sunderland Amazon link. Let’s hope there’ll one day be an updated version with a chapter recording great achievements at the Stadium of Light …
Sometimes life can as a Sunderland is challenging to say the least. This season that is particularly true with defeat to Newcastle, knocked out of the Carling Cup to Brighton and players leaving the club for no valid reason except money. To think that things could change so quickly with a managerial change is astonishing.
Even Martin O’Neill must be surprised by what he has achieved in a short time frame. He has the same players Bruce had at his disposal but somehow is able to achieve excellent performances with surprising results.
The greatest achievement besides his renowned man management skills is the consistency of the performances.
Under Bruce we beat Chelsea at the Bridge three-nil but it was his inability to create stability that left fans frustrated. Who can forget the annual “bad run” where our league position would drop like a stone?
When MON, the man I and everyone else wanted as manager, was appointed I cautioned against expecting too much too soon, believing personnel changes in January would be key to his success.
I am still in a stake of shock just how much of an impact he has made. We are playing very well, scoring plenty of goals (except vs Chelsea) and picking up points.
The defeat on Saturday was extremely unlucky, Bendtner and others missing a number of good chances. I hope it isn’t the end of the honeymoon period we are enjoying.
The emergence of James McClean is a major plus, I agree with Catts that it has saved the club millions in transfer fees. I am still hopeful that players like Meyler, Campbell and Wickham can step up and make a similar contribution. We have plenty of young emerging talent to keep the senior guys interested.
Questions remain about how MON plans to move this club forward. Most people concede we need to find a goalscoring machine like we had with Darren Bent but MON estimated that could cost £35m. Do we finally bring in a specialist left back and perhaps another centre back.
Just how much money is available is also unknown and I honestly believe him when he said he hadn’t even thought about transfer targets. He was known for bringing in British talent to Villa and I presume that is what he’ll continue to do, hence the media’s tendency to link English players with possible moves to the club.
I was so used to a randomly awful performance such as against Wigan at home that I was waiting for the same under MON. It just hasn’t happened and my cynicism is starting to fade, I am believing in the club much more and excited about where the new manager can take us. It really is a roller coaster ride of emotions and transition supporting this club!
Hopefully we can rein in Newcastle now especially as they look a different side without Ba due to the African Nations Cup. But whatever MON decides to do, I am fully behind him. I took a look at the upcoming fixtures and see promising signs that we can continue this run well into April.
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