Skip to content

Tyne and Weary

Well, it’s another point…

Your editor was asked to make a few predictions before the game, for Sunderland fanzine A Love Supreme.

I have to admit, I like getting it badly wrong when it’s in our favour.

By all accounts, yesterday was notable for one of two things. Firstly, the referee’s absolutely abject performace that ruined the game.

Secondly, the notion that we seemed to buck our ideas up as a team.

I’ll leave the discussion on whether the official was hung like a mouse to others better qualified to comment.

But one wonders if the players themselves have had a bit of a wake-up call.

Whichever way you look at it, getting a point against Sunderland is never a bad result.

Sure, they’re not exactly in good form themselves, but they look like world beaters compared to our current stats.

Yes, we still haven’t won since that blizzardy (?) evening in Accrington.

But we should know by now that when you’re down the wrong end of the table – every point counts.

We’re not yet in the situation where only wins will do. That will come this time next month if we’re still sans victoire by then.

So we’ve got to start getting a few three-pointers on the board at some point. But right now, perfect is the enemy of good.

I’ve read Robbo’s post match comments on the OS**, and I wonder if his frustration has come with some of the recent brickbats he’s had.

** – as a quick aside – I don’t know if it’s just me, but that big picture of the flats overlooking PL at the top is spine-tingling.

I think it’s because it’s recognisably *ours* – a feature that you would struggle to find at most grounds.

Which considering the whole AFCW “thing” is about identity should tell you why I mention that…

His seeming over-focus on “process” and other jargon hasn’t helped, and criticism of him being too Academy-minded is valid.

He needs a win as much as anyone, if only to justify what he’s trying to do with us.

While this sometimes doesn’t feel the case at AFCW – results are the most important thing.

Nobody likes being slagged off. But when you haven’t won since early December, seemingly prefer gimmicks to basic winning of contests and give the impression relegation is merely a flesh wound – you shouldn’t be surprised when you are.

Our fans are no different than anyone else’s. A fact some still don’t seem to fully grasp…

We now have a week off, which is not only as rare as a Michael Folivi goal but also excellent timing.

You can see the run of games we’ve just gone through yourselves, and credit to anyone getting through that unscathed.

We have about fourteen games remaining (I’ve lost count of the postponed fixtures) and they’re all important from now on.

Yes, Gillingham then Doncaster may make or break our season. Though they probably won’t.

We’re not in a great position, and you don’t need me to remind you that our last victory coincided with Omicron arriving.

But are we as doomed as some currently think?

In the AFCW bubble, and certainly within some circles, we like to catastrophise a lot. Your editor is sometimes guilty of that.

Step outside that cocoon though, and the league table suggests we aren’t.

We have a game in hand over Morecambe, with a better goal difference and one more point.

I don’t know who our extra game is against (Charlton?) but we could do ourselves so many favours if we even just draw that.

From the games I’ve seen recently, our problem is the lack of quality and not the lack of effort.

That may yet relegate us, but there’s also a nagging theory in my mind that if we need to get a result when we really have to – we’ll get it.

We’re also expecting other teams (especially Gillingham under Neil Harris) to suddenly become a hybrid of Liverpool in the 1980s, Yernited in the 1990s and Citeh today.

The vast majority of teams we need to match/better will remain crap.

That’s not including the inevitable team who looks safe now but suddenly goes on a slump at the worst possible time.

We’re undeniably in trouble, but we still shouldn’t get out the maps for League Two grounds at this stage.

And besides – if you’re Doncaster, Crewe, Gills or Morecambe this morning, you’d kill to be in our position…

Published inUncategorised