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.
Anyway, enough of pithy stuff. We lost the game rather unfortunately. Our bunch of injured/grumpy players was considerably stronger than the 11 we put on the pitch at 1.30pm on Sunday so getting it in perspective it was a pretty decent effort. True, the first half was a bit patchy, but in the second half Pienaar was just superb, controlling the middle of the pitch and spraying passes around and switching play across the park. He may well turn out to be our best signing of the summer.
While we’re on with signings, it seems finally at last we are trying to get our financial house in order. It’s been long overdue, no clear and plain strategy to deal with the legacy left us by previous clowns meant limping on from one window to the other, and really just paying in effect overdraft charges for wretched business. Our spend this year will probably still be end up being around £15m net which is probably along with Moyes expectations and should suffice if the loan market is exploited in a sensible Manquillo-like fashion.
After spending the thick end of £40m in 12 months (Kone, Khazri, Borini, Coates, Matthews, Lens, Kaboul, not to mention loan fees), the bleaters among you can hardly complain at Short for drawing a line in the sand. About time too.
Finally the Twitter rumour mill has mentioned Gyan has been linked with a return to us today. This would be great news, a proven striker, it seems maybe he knows he has unfinished business in the NE.
Although it’s pretty unlikely that it will happen, he must be welcomed back with open arms if it should happen, as this sort of quality would undoubtedly in Reidy’s words be “better than we already have” and any baggage would be no problem for David Moyes looking at how he’s managed the lad Lamine.6