This is exactly what the series needed, as full-blown an endorsement of Steve Bruce as it is possible to imagine. Not because Martin Robson*, an exile in Vancouver, is necessarily right – all Salut! Sunderland readers will have a view on that – but because there has inevitably been a lot of criticism, despite the healthy finale, and it is important to see, acknowledge and then be able to assess the case for the defence …
After four decades of unfaltering allegiance, I could be forgiven for the following analogy: supporting Sunderland is a little bit like volunteering to stick your head and arms into a medieval stock in the middle of a thriving thoroughfare, inviting public humiliation and the scorn of those who pass by.
It’s a thankless slog. A pride-swallowing siege. An up and down ride-along with far more troughs than peaks. And so it was this last season.
The question is this. Are we making progress in the playing department? Are we on the right path? Is Steve Bruce the man to guide us to better times? I believe we are, and he is, and here’s why.