Jake: ‘I did think a pile of manure might be the right image’

Ken Gambles has paid the price of being too conscientious. Ken’s end-of-season review arrived so quickly that by the time we got round to publishing the series, Monsieur Salut had completely forgotten it. Apologies to Ken. But now sit back and appreciate, later than intended, his thoughts – and a heartening conclusion even if one that has Ken questioning his mental health …

“I took a drink of Demotion No 9.” From a song for the oldies.

Yep, nine relegations in 52 years of supporting SAFC and each one a sickener from before the 1970 Roker defeat to a Liverpool side who weren’t really bothered about winning, to 1977’s shenanigans by Coventry/Jimmy Hill to last day defeat at Manchester City in 1991 etc etc etc.

This season’s demise has been totally dispiriting. I’ll grant it has not been easy for David Moyes, but fundamentally there is no area (goalkeeping excluded) where progress has been made: loans have been mediocre at best; transfers almost uniformly poor; a vulnerable defence; a midfield one-paced and unimaginative and an attack but for Defoe quite impotent.

Add to this the lack of match experience for the young lads and, well, relegation is the result.

Until his departure, stability (now where have I heard that recently Mrs May?) seened to be Moyes’s remit. Now he has gone and we await news of his succesor. Much can happen before August 5 but I won’t hold my breath that it will be a positive outlook when we start the long haul of a Championship season.

Apparently the Mags are going to have upwards of £70m to spend. Am I bitter? You bet.

After 10 years of Premier League income we find ourselves £100m+ in debt. Unbelievable Jeff.

This season has had an awful inevitability and sterility about it with little for our tremendous support to enthuse over.

Surely we’ve been put through the mincer enough what with 15, 19 and 20-odd point campaigns. This year’s squad could, and should, have done better but now we must look to the future.

Things might improve but currently GM Hopkins sums my feelings up in his poem:

“Hope had grown grey hairs,

Hope had mourning on

Trenched with tears, carved with cares

Hope had almost gone”

The title of this piece tracks how many years following relegation it has taken Sunderland to regain top-flight status.

What is the next digit to be added?

Despite the gloom I’ve renewed my season card. I must be tapped.

Ken Gambles: keeping the faith

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Salut! Sunderland is written, illustrated and edited by – and principally for – supporters of Sunderland AFC. The site aims to be sufficiently literate and entertaining to appeal to people who do not follow SAFC but enjoy good football writing.

2 Responses to “End of season reviews: (7) A Sunderland sequence … 6-6-3-5-5-2-2-1” Subscribe

  1. Phil D May 30, 2017 at 12:10 pm #

    GM Hopkins – the fine Gerard Manley, not Genetically Modified Hopkins.

    My dad read his poetry – a lot of woe, depression, dejection and despondency, rather like how we Sunderland supporters feel at present.

  2. KenG May 30, 2017 at 1:56 pm #

    You keep coming back to it though.The Dark Sonnets etc. are gloomy but marvellous language. I would have quoted ‘no worse there is none’ but I fear what next season might hold, Phil.

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