Let’s just go through what has happened in the world of SAFC this weekend. On Friday night as we’re having our post work pints the news starts to break that Dick Advocaat has finally had enough and is finally brining his Ross & Rachel relationship with Sunderland to a close. He was on the plane by Saturday night and, unlike Rachel, he wasn’t getting off with the club confirming on Sunday afternoon that the Dutchman was finally off to enjoy retirement. But Dick wasn’t the only man saying his goodbyes, Sporting Director Lee Congerton is also set to leave the club after he has reportedly finished working a year long notice period.
Between these events though, some football happened on Saturday afternoon and some of it was pretty good as well. Steven Fletcher decided to remind us of slightly happier times by recreating Ki Sung-yueng’s goal against Fulham in January 2014 and Jeremain Lens scored our best goal of the season so far with a magnificent chip over Adrian in the West Ham goal. What then followed can only be described as “typical Sunlun” as the fragile confidence of the players started to crack when Fabio Borini missed a golden chance to make it 3-0 and not long after, Carl Jenkinson pulled one back for the Hammers on the stroke of half time.
More cracks appeared when Lens earned himself a silly second yellow card and just before the hour mark, West Ham were level. There was no interest shown in going forward to try and regain the lead after the equaliser and Sunderland managed to hold on for a point that we’d have all probably settled for before the game. I just wish it had came in a dull 0-0 now instead of being taken to the sweet shop window and being tantalised by a first win of the season.
What is truly remarkable though is how as supporters we’ve reacted to what most clubs would class as a pretty crazy weekend with a mere shrug of the shoulders. We’ve lost our manager, lost a board member, played some of our best football this season, scored our best goal of the season, had our most creative player sent off and it all just seems like a standard Sunderland weekend. It all just shows just how accustomed to this kind of circus we have become bouncing from the sublime to the ridiculous, with almost nothing in between.
People often say how they just want their club to achieve stability, it’s became one of the greatest supporters cliches. I’m not sure if “stability” is the right word though, I think we just mean “boring.” After relegation battle after relegation battle, Sunderland have driven me to dreaming of a boring life under someone like Sam Allardyce, that’s what it has came to. Convincing myself about how West Ham looked alright under him last season and how he usually leaves a club in a better place than we he walked in. Or how about Nigel Pearson? Sure, he seems like a genuinely awful person but look at what he started at Leicester. Or what could Sean Dyche do with some better players and a better budget? None of these are what my Sunderland supporting heart wants but it’s sadly where we find ourselves now.
It’ll be like after all our flings and experimentation, we’re finally settling down. Sure, we wont go for impulsive nights out anymore and probably go on the same holidays every year to the same place to see the same people but the bills will get paid on time and there’ll be food on the table. Sunderland need to stop acting like Shirley Valentine and start facing the reality of being the managerial equivalent of the last girl on the dance floor and just accept the Big Sam/Nigel Pearson/Sean Dyche (delete where applicable) figure walking into our arms and enjoy having steak every Thursday.
Here’s to the boring times!
Join us at Port of Call in Sunderland on Wednesday 14th October for a live show in order to raise funds for Pop Recs Ltd. We’ll be joined by former SAFC men David Preece and Michael Proctor, as well as ALS editor in chief Martyn McFadden. Tickets just £4. Raffle. All proceeds go to Pop Recs Ltd. 7pm start. You can buy tickets here. Feel free to share the event on Facebook, you’ll find it here. You can find Pop Recs Ltd Kickstarter page here.