Devil’s Advocate: Ndong in Gabon and a few home truths

Malcolm Dawson writes…….Rob Hutchison is a man of few words when sending us his post match ratings but every now and then he expands his thinking and tackles the issues that we might bounce about in the pub over a few bevvies. Today in the latest of his offerings where he plays devil’s advocate, he asks can we build a fortress out of plastic and card and has our record buy got what it takes? 

Rob as seen by Jake
Rob as seen by Jake

It’s just so Sunderland isn’t it?

Win a game memorably, get a bounce and then the predictable one step backwards lurches into view.

Didier Ndong arrived with a reputation and plethora of red and yellow cards. This week Gabon notified he’d been sent home for failing to show up for International duty. Reportedly in the capital Libreville since the Monday but failed to show up for training on Tuesday. Granted the rest of the players, by all accounts, were treating it like party week just days after Gabon appointed a new manager but for a player who’s hardly setting his club alight, it potentially gives us a taste of things to come from DND when the going gets tough. And therein lies the problem.
Whilst the fee we paid for him is not his fault, we’re seeing just about zilch from him at the moment. The odd shot (Bournemouth) the odd assist (QPR) and that been about it apart from a lot of anonymity and dreadful misplaced passes. I was excited when we signed him, but he’s showing precious little at present, and it will be interesting to see if Seb pips him for a starting berth against Hull or as will be more likely, comes off the bench to help us retrieve a point.

Onto Hull, yes, yum yum. One of our bogey teams? Probably. But 40,000 clap banners should whisk up an atmosphere eh? WTF? How we laughed when Norwich and Leicester called to arms with the fearsome clap banners of justice. “Never happen at our club would it?” Wrong. They’re here for Hull, and maybe with a drum for the long term.

You’d think an intern had been tasked with invigorating the SoL atmosphere – you know a lad dropped in somewhere and given a project to play with and keep him quiet for few days. But no! Even money says our new chief executive who wants to sort things out top to bottom think this is the answer. If this is the case, and of course I may be completely wrong, it show how little he really knows about the fabric of our club, our roots, heritage, why we do it week in week out, traipse up and down the country like lemmings to a cliff. The moment you try and manufacture something artificial and cosmetic to give a desired perception and result, you’ve lost the plot, sold the soul, gone down the river. Building a fortress I bet we’d be told. Aye, might as well use cardboard and sticky backed plastic.
Hey Martin, you want to sort it out, here’s the plan . . . . took me hours to come up with this one mind . . .  win some home games.
All the best . . . .  Rob

Devil’s Advocate: stand by our man Moyes despite the Stoke nightmare

Rob as seen by Jake
Rob as seen by Jake

Monsieur Salut writes: Genius in adversity or just Pete Sixsmith in tip-top form yet again? Read his terrific report from the Stoke City game and make up your own mind. And here’s another excellent piece, this time from Rob Hutchison, who argues passionately against yet more upheaval …

Read moreDevil’s Advocate: stand by our man Moyes despite the Stoke nightmare

The Devil’s Advocate: a SAFC fan prepared to say ‘about time too’

Rob as seen by Jake
Rob as seen by Jake

Rob Hutchison, master of the occasional one-word, one-mark matchday ratings, returns to devil advocacy, with some strident and, doubtless for some, controversial thoughts on our plodding progress in the transfer window …

Hola kiddies . . . .another week in the life of Sunderland’s little devil.

Middlesborough. Was it a derby? Of course it was. They’re our almost nearest if not dearest. To claim otherwise is merely pouting that we don’t really care about these perceived also-rans. Bragging rights are everything, and when we beat them at the Riverside, oh it will be glorious.

Read moreThe Devil’s Advocate: a SAFC fan prepared to say ‘about time too’

The Devil’s Advocate: the unbridled joy that lies ahead for Sunderland fans

Rob as seen by Jake
Rob as seen by Jake

Rob Hutchison – find him at Twitter on https://twitter.com/RobHSafcis best known around here for his one-word ratings, always welcome and always arriving just as Monsieur Salut is about to go out, obliging little white lies to Mme Salut to cover the delay. He now launches an occasional new column, the idea for which appeared as a light bulb above his head as he returned from the opening game at City. He aims it to be weekly – I think occasional is more likely! – and also to devote it to the counter view to the norm on all things Mackem. Over to Jake to come up with a magical image …

Read moreThe Devil’s Advocate: the unbridled joy that lies ahead for Sunderland fans