Even before the announcement that Dick Advocaat would not be staying at Sunderland, the End of Season Review series had produced some exceptional reads.
As already indicated, no more contributions can be considered. The series will end with the assessments of our deputy editor, Malcolm Dawson, followed by our home-and-way sage, Pete Sixsmith.
Here, though, are some of the highlights so far.
* Pete Sixsmith, launching the series with the reproduction of his (unpaid) remarks for the Observer: ‘yet another season where we scrambled away from the bottom three late on’
‘We desperately need some pace in the team, particularly up front … Sebastian Coates has done well and should be offered a deal. Another central defender is needed and Jim Baxter and Brian Clough would not go amiss. Sorry, showing my age.’
* Ian Todd: “would a short extension suit Mrs Advocaat (and us)? [sadly, not – Ed]
‘So here we are, back in almost exactly the same position as last year.
Sadly had we capitulated to relegation there were few memories this time to appease us, bar the double over Newcastle.’
* Peter Lynn: “blaming the owner, managers, players – and fans”
‘… the away fans are almost perfect. But at home, who amongst us can say that they never let out a groan when a pass goes astray?
When you get 40,000 fans groan it is loud and must destroy the already frail confidence of a struggling player.’
* John McCormick: ‘got lucky. Twice as many wins as defeats’
‘What a season. Only I don’t ever want one like it again.’
* Ken Gambles: “pathetic, spineless lows but a Montyesque goalkeeping high”
‘if Pantilimon continues to turn in displays like that at Arsenal, then I feel he’ll be the best since the Magnificent Monty.’
* Marcus Procopio: “tough love in a far-reaching view from a ‘positive’ guy”
‘This season’s messiah: having one of these come along each season has been like death and taxes for us. This year it was Dick Advocaat. Last season it was Poyet. The season before that it was di Canio. The season before that it was O’Neill. You get the picture.’
* Michael Robinson: “bring on the cricket but build on Advocaat’s example”
‘I hope now that the club will build on the positive legacy Advocaat leaves behind’
* Jeremy Robson In Short we could do with another Advocaat
‘The most accomplished manager to ever arrive at Sunderland AFC in my life time had come to try and save us. Most fans had more or less given up the ghost. We were as good as relegated. Except of course we weren’t. All of a sudden there was some cohesion, organization and a much more attacking formation which might actually pose a threat to the opposition’
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