Ken Gambles does not write often enough for Salut! Sunderland but when he does, it’s worth reading (his call for football cheats to be made to wear pink mittens was priceless). Here’s his view on the season, with some end-of-term awards and gripes of his own …
Oh, me of little faith. Yep, after the West Ham home defeat, I renewed my season card firmly convinced we’d be playing Championship football and I’d be able to savour again the delights of Blackburn, the ‘Boro and Leeds for example. A hammering at Spurs (on blooming Sky again) apparently signed, sealed and delivered our relegation, BUT, along came “a miracle”.
Not until about five minutes before the end of the West Brom game however, could I let myself fully relish our survival and take in all that had been achieved. Do I feel guilty? No, I’m a Sunderland supporter of some 50 years standing who has had it battered into him that if anything can go wrong at SAFC it will, and I’m sure there’s no need to provide a litany of disappointments here.
In August 2013 a 12th/14th place finish, a cup final at Wembley, a double over the Mags and wins at Chelsea and Man United would have had me drooling with pleasure and yet for most of the subsequent months it’s been a depressing sense of déjà vu (as they say, all over again). Anyway we’ve survived, it’s memorable and it’s brilliant.
Looking back I’ll be honest and award myself brickbats and bouquets.
Best moment: The final whistle v West Brom last Wednesday.
Worst moment: The final whistle at Hull in the quarter-final.
Funniest moment: Jozy on the verge of falling over at Fulham then kicked in the stomach by Senderos to save his blushes and gain a penalty.
Best ref: Mike Dean
Worst ref: A few contenders here, but I’ll go for Kevin Friend
Biggest grouse: Time-wasting. It’s becoming endemic and serious action needs to be taken. Adrian of West Ham was taking over 50 seconds for every goal-kick. Ridiculous.
Hopes for the future: My 18-month-old grand-daughter becoming a Sunderland fan like her mother and grandad.
Fears for the future: My 18-month-old grand-daughter becoming a Sunderland fan like …….!