Malcolm Dawson writes…….Rob Hutchison is a man of few words when sending us his post match ratings but every now and then he expands his thinking and tackles the issues that we might bounce about in the pub over a few bevvies. Today in the latest of his offerings where he plays devil’s advocate, he asks can we build a fortress out of plastic and card and has our record buy got what it takes? 

Rob as seen by Jake

Rob as seen by Jake

It’s just so Sunderland isn’t it?

Win a game memorably, get a bounce and then the predictable one step backwards lurches into view.

Didier Ndong arrived with a reputation and plethora of red and yellow cards. This week Gabon notified he’d been sent home for failing to show up for International duty. Reportedly in the capital Libreville since the Monday but failed to show up for training on Tuesday. Granted the rest of the players, by all accounts, were treating it like party week just days after Gabon appointed a new manager but for a player who’s hardly setting his club alight, it potentially gives us a taste of things to come from DND when the going gets tough. And therein lies the problem.
Whilst the fee we paid for him is not his fault, we’re seeing just about zilch from him at the moment. The odd shot (Bournemouth) the odd assist (QPR) and that been about it apart from a lot of anonymity and dreadful misplaced passes. I was excited when we signed him, but he’s showing precious little at present, and it will be interesting to see if Seb pips him for a starting berth against Hull or as will be more likely, comes off the bench to help us retrieve a point.

Onto Hull, yes, yum yum. One of our bogey teams? Probably. But 40,000 clap banners should whisk up an atmosphere eh? WTF? How we laughed when Norwich and Leicester called to arms with the fearsome clap banners of justice. “Never happen at our club would it?” Wrong. They’re here for Hull, and maybe with a drum for the long term.

You’d think an intern had been tasked with invigorating the SoL atmosphere – you know a lad dropped in somewhere and given a project to play with and keep him quiet for few days. But no! Even money says our new chief executive who wants to sort things out top to bottom think this is the answer. If this is the case, and of course I may be completely wrong, it show how little he really knows about the fabric of our club, our roots, heritage, why we do it week in week out, traipse up and down the country like lemmings to a cliff. The moment you try and manufacture something artificial and cosmetic to give a desired perception and result, you’ve lost the plot, sold the soul, gone down the river. Building a fortress I bet we’d be told. Aye, might as well use cardboard and sticky backed plastic.
Hey Martin, you want to sort it out, here’s the plan . . . . took me hours to come up with this one mind . . .  win some home games.
All the best . . . .  Rob

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Born in Hetton le Hole, deputy editor Malcolm Dawson’s first game at Roker Park was the three all draw with Leicester City at the beginning of the 64-65 season. Having spent more than thirty years living in the East Midlands, he was Chairman and Information Officer of the Heart of England Branch of the Supporters’ Association but has now returned to live in County Durham.

9 Responses to “Devil’s Advocate: Ndong in Gabon and a few home truths” Subscribe

  1. david miller November 12, 2016 at 9:45 pm #

    Spot on Rob, I have the misfortune to work in the midlands and the only saving grace I had last year in meetings with my Leicester colleagues was taking the piss out of their cardboard clackers…..

  2. david miller November 12, 2016 at 9:49 pm #

    I have never booed a Sunderland player, but i think dnd is dndisgraceful thus far.

  3. Johnm November 12, 2016 at 10:27 pm #

    Am I reading this right ? The club is giving out clackers ! Unless I am out of touch with how my fellow fans would like to encourage the team we love, then it’s probably down to my age. Just seems another example of how distant the clubs management team is out of their depth

  4. JPC 23 November 12, 2016 at 10:57 pm #

    Personally think Ding dong is hopeless. Resembles a traffic policeman, rarely passes forward and them misplaced passes mamamia. Did Moyes & co actually scout any of the transfers brought in ?? As for the clackers the CEO so far has proved as out of touch as the last one.

  5. Eric012 November 13, 2016 at 8:15 am #

    Dong – get rid. As for plastic clackers, the great Charlie Hurley will be appalled, all you needed for noise in his day was good strong lungs (and maybe a few pints).

    • Eric012 November 13, 2016 at 8:22 am #

      What I would like to do with these clackers is unsuitable for publication on a site where young children may be reading. However it involves a certain part of the CEOs anatomy.

  6. malcolm November 13, 2016 at 9:16 am #

    We have weaker players than Ndong but I continue to question the club’s decision to make him our record signing when we could have had M’Vila for less money.

    As for the happy clappers I can’t help but think it’s a response to the “we’re f****** s****” song which apparently (if RTG is anything to go by) some of the crowd think is a right good laugh rather than something that will impact on the team’s performance.

  7. Wrinkly Pete November 13, 2016 at 11:40 am #

    Trying to be positive,as I do, at least the club is trying SOMETHING. However, anyone who has witnessed us at our most intimidating, with the “Roker roar”, will know that we need that unique atmosphere to help us survive. In recent times it has only made brief appearances eg Chelsea and Everton last season.Why that is has puzzled me but I think the current crowd profile has something to do with it. Now there are more women and children present, which I welcome, the tone and volume of the cheering is altered. The main thing of course is that all of us find it easier to cheer when things are going well, either during an individual match or a season.What I am certain of is that cheering helps,booing does not and I KNOW the players can hear it. What would be good is for every Sunderland fan to understand that THEY have the power to decide our future and give their all for each of the 90+ minutes of every game.

  8. Pete Sixsmith November 13, 2016 at 10:23 pm #

    If there be clackers my season ticket be not renewed as Walter Gabriel might have said. Oh dear, O Lord,O dear.

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