Wrinkly Pete: wise men say only fools rush out

Peter Lynn: What does he think of N'Doye?
Peter Lynn: players must take responsibility?

Amid a barrage of criticism levelled at SAFC ownership and management, Peter Lynn offers an alternative view of on and off-the-field problems that include, in his view, the spectacle of supporters leaving the Stadium of Light early …


Well, now that the media
and some of our fans have decided that SAFC, Ellis Short and Margaret Byrne are responsible for whatever has gone wrong on and off the field for the past few years, I would like to put forward a different point of view.

This will not be popular as I shall dare to question the part players might have played in our recent disappointments.

It seems to me that the modern trend of always “blaming the management” is deeply flawed. I have been told that one reason for this is that you cannot realistically change an entire workforce – in our case the players – but you can change the manager.

Well, we do that all too frequently and it has got us nowhere in the long term, yet. I happen to think that part of the motivation for this course of action is that no one wants to see their heroes taken to task.

Let us instead look at some on and off-field behaviour by just a few of these heroes.

On field

Steven Fletcher Can anyone honestly say that they have not seen this player look uninterested in numerous matches during this period?

Jack Rodwell I would like to think his lacklustre performances are now a thing of the past but how can a player simply disappear, so often, in midfield, of all places?

Adam Johnson As Fletcher.

Connor Wickham As Fletcher.

Now I can (sort of) put up with errors and inability but I don’t think it is too much to expect visible effort.

Off field

Should we be surprised that some of the above appear here too?

Steven Fletcher Apparently was rather happy to admit to spitting on the back of his London rickshaw driver.

Adam Johnson What on earth possessed him to think he could behave as he did?

Phil Bardsley Was he really drunk when he rolled on the casino floor covered in £50 notes?

Adilson Cabral Charged with rape though it must be stressed he remains innocent until and unless proved otherwise.

In my opinion, Margaret Byrne found herself between a rock and a hard place with regards Johnson. It is easy for people to now say what she should have done but with her knowledge of criminal law I think she probably felt her action was the only one to take.

In either event, the real culprit, literally, is Johnson.

Similarly, people have questioned Ellis Short’s passion for the club, as if bankrolling itself is not a statement of passion. I personally know of actions of his that demonstrate his passion for the club and just last week this website reported his emotions post match during a chance meet on a London underground journey.

These are genuine people doing their very best for the club, not something a number of our players past and present could honestly claim.

Now to the title of this article.

Something that both amazes and angers me is the exodus of thousands of our supporters before the final whistle at our home games. Where are they going I wonder? Would they behave the same in a theatre or cinema before the programme has ended?

So two weeks ago, it gave me great pleasure not only to reflect on Fabio Borini’s superb equalising goal against Crystal Palace but also to feel joy at being there to witness it, during my four hour journey home.

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6 thoughts on “Wrinkly Pete: wise men say only fools rush out”

  1. In most organisations, when they recruit , they look for people who meet the values and expectations which help shape where they want to be. SAFC should surely conduct checks on these criteria, in additional to those relating to technical football ability . Or am I deluded ?

  2. In any organisation, poor attitude and performance can almost always be traced to management. They select and train the staff and they determine the culture.

    Much of Sunderland’s failure to progress has been down to poor recruitment, of both coaching/management personnel, and of playing staff.

    This, allied to constant change and inconsistency, is a recipe for failure.

    The behaviour of certain individuals has not helped.

  3. In any profession which involves contact with children these days CRB checks are essential. When there is any suspicion of inappropriate behaviour or abuse, professionals are obliged to report this to senior management, who in turn have to follow procedures as laid down in their child protection policy.

    If Margaret Byrne didn’t tell anyone as she claims, then she was not stuck between a rock and a hard place. She showed poor professional and moral judgement. Johnson was allowed to play in March 2015. Cabral’s contract was terminated the same month. How can treating two players differently be justified, especially if she had facts that supported the view that Johnson had abused his position when interacting with young fans.

    Let’s not get hung up on the AJ affair though. This was only the latest example of continuing poor judgement.

    • How could I have forgotten him? Thanks John, it helps my case. How about pizza man Bentner too?

      • How about Stephane Sessegnon, Michael Chopra, John Oster, Jamie Lawrence, Jim Baxter?

        Of course no-one should condone anti social or criminal behaviour by anyone – and it is up to football clubs to discipline their players when they indulge in unacceptable behaviour, wherever it occurs. Too many turn a blind eye or attempt to minimise it I’m afraid.

        Players who don’t put the effort in when training or on the pitch should also be dealt with. But when Tesco see their profits fall the blame doesn’t lie with a few till operators who purposely “forget” to scan a few bunches of bananas.

        I’m not sure Dennis Wise, John Terry, Jonathan Woodgate, Lee Bowyer, Rio Ferdinand or Eric Cantona’s antics did much to spoil their teams chances of success.

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