I’m a believer in continuation or building on something in order to try and improve it. If you have a house you start with a foundation and put in a floor and work your way up. You will need walls and support beams and various piece in place so that your house doesn’t crumble.
The thing is that sports is no different and in general, I’m having a hard time figuring out what the hell the plan is at Sunderland. I will start by telling you this important fact: after Gus saved the team from relegation last year (I have a hard time saying “saved us” since I can’t be there in person to bleed with you Lads) I swore the next pet I adopted would be a male black cat and I would name him Gus in honor of the Sunderland gaffer’s heroics. The only thing is I don’t know where the team has gone since, but it’s been headed down a slippery slope for quite a while.
There’s fans now calling for Gus’ head and this is yet again another relagation scrap. It’s beginning to look like the tradition for the past couple of seasons, survive by the skin of your teeth, look like you are going to do ok, flat out tank for months and end up in a relegation battle. I can’t figure out why it has to be that way.
Is there something I’m missing? To be fair this is the third year in a row we’ve seen controversy: from Catts and Bendtner Bardsley and the casino to Sess and the driving to Johno now it seems there always ends up being something. There’s always something to take the focus off the field. Why does it have to be that way? Why can’t we be honest with ourselves and say this has to stop?
While we are on the topic of Sess, what happens to these guys? Sess was one of the best players at the club. Why did he have to be sold? You see guys like Giac come in and for all the things I saw him do at Juventus he’s a completely different player in the red and white stripes, is it the water? The addition of Altidore at such a steep price now looks like a terrible mistake and one that set the team back multiple steps. It may continue to haunt the team for quite a while. It just feels like guys who exhibited such promise elsewhere come to Sunderland and disappear.
The only thing Sunderland seems to have the market on is goalkeepers, it’s amazing what we’ve seen some of them do between the sticks. Well, Mignolet, he’s gone too, here we are folks, lavishing in the basement. I don’t know it just doesn’t seem right. But at least we have seen our fair share of good keepers the past couple of years, although I suppose they’ve had to be good because the centre backs are getting older without much help.
So I’m just trying to figure this out without pointing fingers or calling anyone out but with all the changes where does the team go now and who is going to step up and fix it? I don’t believe it’s all Gus’ fault. He didn’t make all these signings and transfer all these players. Sometimes we have to realize managers can only work with what they are given. I believe after the season some serious questions have to be asked and money has to be invested in making the team younger and faster. There needs to be a little bit more proven talent and maybe a little less “hope.” It’s time to stop fighting for safety every year and instead go out there and fight for the fans and supporters and each other. Start a winning foundation and build on it because the Stadium of Light can be a fortress that no team wants to play in but it takes the desire to make it so.