Those missed chances: a star writes …

In case anyone missed it, these great comments were posted to Pete Sixsmith’s thoughts on our squandered chances against Blackpool. The author was to The Northern Echo what Argus was to the Sunderland Echo, a doyen among North-eastern football writers …

Pete Sixsmith wonders what Frank Johnson would have written in the Echo about a team which created 33 chances and yet brought only one decent save. Well…..here I am.

My two sons told me all about it and I watched the lowlights on tele.

I think I might have been a little more scathing than some of the reports I have read……but there again it seems as though everyone has to keep in with the management/players/club these days.They don’t seem to like any criticism or caustic comments – after all they are superstars and expecting them to play two games in three days must seem to them like working on the pyramids!

I can’t believe the team created 33 chances and didn’t manage to put even one away. I wonder how many Len Shackleton, Trevor Ford, Brian Clough, Gary Rowell or Kevin Phillips would have scored? I’ll bet even Kevin Kyle and Thomas Hauser might have been on target (maybe I’m being a bit optimistic there).

In 42 years covering Sunderland I watched all kinds of games, from the sublime to the absolutely diabolical but I cannot remember any Sunderland team failing to score from 33 chances.

Don’t know if Steve Bruce should cut their pay or cut their throats. But he rarely has a bad word to say about them – they don’t half get off lightly these days!

But Pete, just keep believing. One of these days your dreams will come true (we hope!).

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3 Responses to “Those missed chances: a star writes …” Subscribe

  1. Birflatt Boy January 1, 2011 at 3:01 pm #

    They get off so lightly because they hold all the cards unfortunately. The manager is no longer the boss, or at least not like they used to be. That’s why we have so many substitutes, so they don’t get the hump when they get dropped to the bench for being crap. I’m not sure if Pete will ever see his dreams realised but it would be good to see some common sense restored. Difficult to comtemplate when the likes of Adabayor are on 160 thousand a week.

  2. Bill Taylor January 1, 2011 at 6:13 pm #

    How fantastic to hear from Frank! Boy, does that bring back memories. And, as always, wise, well-considered words.

  3. Frank Johnson January 2, 2011 at 5:29 pm #

    I wonder what Alan Brown (the manager, not the player) would make of today’s game and today’s players. He once sent the team into the sea at the Cat and Dog steps in the middle of winter – the training ground was snowbound – because after initially telling them to do it tongue-in-cheek one of the players refused!
    The “Bomber” was the boss in all respects and a disapproving glare from the ex-army sergeant was usually enough to bring any wayward players to heel. (Calvin Palmer was the exception and eventually the rebel was bombed out).
    The first real experience I had of money-motivated players (and their agents) was when Frank Worthington signed in 1982. Transfers were usually done and dusted quite quickly and the press corps were called in. We all got to Roker Park early afternoon but the negotiations dragged on and on into the early evening. The reporters (me included) ended up playing charades for hours in the Roker Park Club (unfortunately the bar was closed!). Big Frank insisted on every perk possible before putting pen to paper, ending up staying at the posh Seaburn Hotel and told to put everything on the bill. That was okay until Tom Cowie got the first month’s account and found that Frank had been living like a lord, ordering the most expensive meals from the a la carte menu and buying bottle upon bottle of the finest wines! Needless to say he didn’t stay very long and those two goals he got cost a lorra lolly
    Things just seemed to go on from there. One of the most telling indications of how player-power was going was when a young Michael Gray rolled up at the Charlie Hurley Training Ground at Whitburn in a Ferrari! They’ve all got them now I suppose.
    The money situation has got way out of hand and even mediocre players are earning thousands every week. They seem to spend it on gambling, cars, jewellery, big houses, blousy women and waste the rest!
    Bomber Brown must be turning in his grave!

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