John McCormick writes: Wrinkly Pete is quite prescient. I was thinking of doing a relegation review before the end of the week and might still do so, depending on what comes down the Salut chimney in the next few days. I know there’s a “Who are you?” due but there may well be other posts – and you can take that as an invitation to send us something of your own if you wish. Like our esteemed manager we’re always on the lookout for young talent and not above taking on a good old’n.
Which, I suppose, returns me to Wrinkly Pete himself:
“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas” ………. except we’re not bottom!
Having read Sixer’s gloomy, if realistic, half term report, I thought I would get in before McCormick’s Dodgy numbers nail us.
I know things are not great at present and I am not naive enough to believe it when we sing “Things can only get better” although I love to hear our fans – home or away – belting it out.
However, I really don’t want to change things too much.
Our club is up for sale. So what? At least it is out in the open and I am confident that Ellis Short will only sell to a party that will be good for the club.
We have no money to buy players in January. So what? Unless we are hit by massive further injuries, let us see more of the “second string” players given a chance. Remember, Pickford wasn’t our first choice keeper until circumstance gave him the opportunity he has grabbed so positively.
David Moyes might not have joined us if he knew
(a) the club would be put up for sale
(b) he wouldn’t have any cash in January
(c) he would have to lose his Scottish accent.
Ok one of these may be made up. Hang on, could they all be? It wouldn’t be the first time a manager has appealed for help in a similar manner. In any event, so what? Even if David Moyes throws his toys out of the pram our club will survive.
We are £170 million in debt. So what? We will reduce that debt by £100 million with the end of the season TV money, thus making us more attractive to any potential buyer. At least we are adopting the Financial Fair Play rules.
Now let us look at some positives for us in the past (calendar) year.
We avoided relegation – again! Maybe not the greatest of things to boast about but it does at least mean we have the spirit and know how to do it. Experience counts for so much in football, as in life.
Our fans, through supporting “the twenty is plenty” campaign run by the Football Supporters Federation, forced Premier League clubs to limit the maximum price for away supporters tickets to £30. Make no mistake, not all the clubs would have done this without our action.
We now have real progress with more crowd surfer flags in the Stadium of Light. They may not be to everyone’s taste but anything that helps improve the pre match stadium atmosphere is to be welcomed.
Similarly, the pre match parades of former players. It is good to see the way the club values its past servants and is obviously warmly received by the generous people of Sunderland.
In the same way, how well the club and the crowd have handled the emotional situation surrounding Bradley Lowery and his family.
We have moved on well from the Adam Johnson crime and the negativity the club experienced as a result of media coverage of the subject.
We have coped with the loss of another manager. I can’t yet say coped well but I am hopeful that David Moyes will continue to get the best out of the players he inherited. I also hope that he can resurrect Jack Rodwell’s career as he seems to have done so with Victor Anichebe’s.
With all these points it is easy to tip the balance in the proverbial half-full/half-empty pint argument. My view, especially when I motivate myself for the eight hour round trip car journey that is necessary to attend home games, is that I might as well “Always look on the bright side”.
There, started with a Christmas song and finished with Monty Python. An idea for a new series, Colin?
H’away the Lads and Merry Christmas to all Mackems!