Let us hear it for Steve Bruce’s makeshift finishing squad and a storming last game. It meant we not only finished above Newcastle United but somehow met the owner Ellis Short’s target of reaching the top 10. There has been criticism here as well as elsewhere, but we are thrilled to salute a heartening finale …
We called for urgency and resolve in the final game of a season that has at times flattered to deceive, and that is what we got. This was a thoroughly efficient performance and it brought the sort of routine away win we should be able to expect in so many of our games.
And on a matter of immense pride to all supporters of Sunderland AFC, we end the 2010-2011 season UNBEATEN IN LONDON.
But there is something else to be said before any more is offered here in what will be a brief preliminary to all else that follows, from Sixer’s Sevens to Steve Bruce’s e-mail to Sixer’s Soapbox.
On a day when the names of the other clubs accompanying Hammers down to the Championship changed every few minutes, commiserations went in the end to the supporters of Blackpool and Birmingham City.
We have been there so often that we know precisely how those fans are feeling just now. We were not so far from dropping into the mire ourselves yet climb above Newcastle, who threw away a three-goal lead to be held at home by WBA, to finish 10th – and the North East’s top dogs.
Bolo Zenden’s interview on BBC Radio Newcastle, broadcast just before today’s match, at least left it a possibility that he’d be staying on the North East. Heading to Toon? Who knows, but he got the scoring started today and should be remembered for his many positive contributions to the SAFC cause. Bravo, too Stephane Sessegnon and Cristian Riveros for sealing the victory on the last visit we will ever pay to Upton Park.
Simon Mignolet played his part handsomely, with a string of excellent saves when the Hammers looked, as they did now and then, like scoring. But it was, in the end, a solid, impressive all-round display.
Ha’way the Lads, and well done on just the end to the season we needed.
1 Man Utd 38 41 80
2 Chelsea 38 36 71
3 Man City 38 27 71
4 Arsenal 38 29 68
5 Tottenham 38 9 62
6 Liverpool 38 15 58
7 Everton 38 6 54
8 Fulham 38 6 49
9 Aston Villa 38 -11 48
10 Sunderland 38 -11 47