I woke this morning to the sight of a new alert on my phone: “Breaking – Sunderland have completed the move of Fabio Borini for a reported 8 million fee.” Say what? Fab is back? You don’t say? His famous goal celebration is back? The man who led the charge to Wembley is back? Nah. I don’t believe you. But there it is on SAFC.com. He’s holding the ball in the official picture.
We’ve had a rough couple of weeks opening up in the Prem. A couple of supporters have called for more heads than Marie Antoinette, you’d think there was a guillotine stationed outside the Stadium of Light. Ellis Short, Dick Advocaat and nearly every player, manager, trainer and club official that could be found was lining up to be chopped after the first two games. But you don’t get dropped down to the Championship after the first two games.
In fact the calls were so bad that Short decided to come out and re-iterate his position as owner in the club’s matchday program. For a man who doesn’t speak much to the media or give many interviews, this was a pretty amazing feat. I have said before though, Short does love this club and he does engage with fans and there’s no doubt in my mind that he’s not in this club to take, he’s in this club to make it better.
We’ve also seen that Advocaat is trying to piece together a line up that can score goals and defend. After successive defeats to Leicester and Norwich where the team gave up 4 goals and 3 goals respectively, he dug in deep to try to find the right combination to stop the bleeding. You know the old saying about keeping your head while everyone around them is losing theirs? Apparently in this case it meant trying to stay away from the fans with the SOL guillotine.
Coming back from those two defeats we’ve seen the Cats play better defensively although, I still re-iterate that those damn corners are a problem. I don’t know what it is or why it is, but those corners are going to be the downfall. It keeps coming back to haunt the team seemingly in every game.
As for what is happening with the management and the club, I think the transfer market is taking it’s time to open up but I think the club is doing it the right way. Jermain Lens has taken a couple of games to settle in and get used to the team but I think he’s going to be a good player for the club.
Yann M’Vila has been quite the player as well and his free kick against Aston Villa was a hell of a goal. I’ve liked his intensity and his ability to work his butt off.
Ola Toivonen was brought in right before the Villa game but in the second half of that game he came in and made a couple of key plays and those led to the tying goal. If he continues I think he’ll be a good loan signee as well.
We are just starting to see what Younes Kaboul can do with John O’Shea, and I’m liking their partnership.
I think Sebastian Coates needs some more time to develop, I don’t think he’s ready to become a full-fledged leader of the back four, I think O’Shea and Kaboul are the best options at the moment, but as a sub and an injury fill in, Coates is a handy replacement.
Now the signing of Borini will bring some much-needed added firepower as well, he can play down the wings and in the middle to give Defoe some service.
I find it really interesting that anyone could question the club’s desire or ambition to stay in the Prem or to move forward. If anything I think Ellis has no doubt put a huge stamp on this club by opening up his wallet and dropping cash on this team.
The club has also put in place many new projects to try to attract new players as well. The development of the Academy of Light, the improvements made there, state the ambition of the club and the improvements around the Stadium of Light show that the club is serious about putting forth its Premier League journey and attracting players. There’s no doubt the club is serious, and it’s time to get serious about supporting them.