Paul Summerside hoping for calmer waters – and a new man on the bridge

Monsieur Salut says: Paul Summerside and I joust regularly at Facebook about Brexit, a subject I broadly feel wisest to avoid at Salut! Sunderland. But he confesses, as a man who more than anything shares the thought that politicians should sort out the wretched mess they created, that this week’s turmoil also prompted some reflection on how things are going at the Stadium of Light …

As I write this, amid the embarrassing turmoil of Brexit, I am reminded of the divisions, and collections of varying opinions and ideas, among us part time “football managers”.

Fans/supporters we used to be called…

Not any more.

The power of social media, instant reaction to any incident, tactic or result, has empowered even the most placid and docile footy fan to aspire almost to pundit status. (Guilty as charged, your honour!)

The current moot points are …

1 Maja: stick or twist?

2 Wyke: another string to our bow or blunting an already sharp tool?

3 Transfer window: Will Grigg, is this really our plan A and a show of our ambition (or lack of)?

4 Atmosphere: has the SOL turned into the Ethihad, full of complacency and a dull place to be. Or is it fine as is?

5 Promotion: Champions, runners up or playoffs?

Twitter and fanzine threads have been rife with discussions on all the above topics, for the last couple of weeks.

Nobody can seem to agree on anything.

It’s been a wonderful optimistic start to the season, with everyone singing from the same hymn sheet. But cracks are beginning to show.

Things can be done, the solutions are there and available to Jack Ross and Stewart Donald. We just need to be realistic and balanced about it.

Before I say how, catch this gem from the past …

And now back to where we were (Speedie landed in Nottinghamshire where he now “drives a taxi and plays golf”) …

1 Maja must be retained and returned to the first team ASAP. We simply cannot replace his goals.

2 He can be played with Wyke to give us a target man and a finisher. Win/Win.

3 A couple of astute signings to add to Jimmy Dunn would freshen things up and help some of the tired legs. I’d like another wide player and a centre forward for cover.

4 Atmosphere has dipped slightly over the course of the last month, in direct proportion to results. Only improved results will change this, not different pre-match music or a half time pie off! Personally I see this as the season taking its toll, the team appearing leggy and one dimensional…in essence the winter slog. Same for us fans.

5 Good news is we still sit 3rd with promotion very much in our grasp, and no team no matter how slick, looks like scoring more than one goal past us.

The next couple of months offer us no fewer than 12 games against non-top six opposition. An excellent opportunity to get near the line before our potentially tricky run in.

So there you go, the five problems we have, and the five solutions to them, from someone who’s glass is very much half full.

I fully expect alternative points of view to all five points, after all we are Sunderland fans!

However, unlike the Muppets charged with running our country, I’m sure we will all pull together for the good of SAFC.

Onwards and upwards.

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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.

5 Responses to “View from the Avenue: a Sunderland rallying cry to still half-term wobbles” Subscribe

  1. Brian January 17, 2019 at 1:22 pm #

    Bring in a proper manager and the league will be handed to us on a plate.
    Seriously playing second fiddle to luton….
    The points we have thrown away on home draws alone would have us on top easily.
    Still people throw out excuses for this waste of space manager.
    If by a miracle we get promotion the tyre kickers that bought us will be well out of their depth. They are relying on parachute payments to pay back short who almost gave the club away ( and wiped off the debt )
    This team are woefully short on quality for the championship. Add ross to the mix and relegation will beckon again.
    Eyes need to be opened and reality faced

  2. Neil January 17, 2019 at 1:37 pm #

    Ah Brian, you remind me of the Tom Baker sea captain in Blackadder….opinion is divided…the rest of the world thinks Ross is good…i think he’s crap

    You are at least consistent. You are wrong in just about everything you say….it’s a gift

    Not sure why you hate the owners…and you are a hater Brian….they can only be meaningfully judged in time

    We will be promoted….we will do well next year

    You will still be whining and flinging clarts

    This is the way if the world

  3. Andy January 17, 2019 at 4:46 pm #

    Well, I think he’s a decent manager but won’t be really tested until he gets up to the Championship.
    Most signings are fit for purpose this season (one notable exception at the back), I doubt whether we’d stay up though without adding considerably to the quality of the squad.
    That’s where the new money-man comes in so we’re told, but very little sign of that at the moment.
    But we all still live in hope.

  4. David Miller January 17, 2019 at 7:01 pm #

    Good points Paul.

    I want Maja to stay as he is confident with the ball and tremendous in front of goal…..but I hate the way he has played the game with his agent and now have no respect for the boy.

    Like he cares……

    As for Brexit, my belief that “if your vote really counted, you wouldn’t have one,” is, sadly, being proven.

  5. salutsunderland January 17, 2019 at 8:10 pm #

    Among many famous Churchill quotes is the one about the strongest argument against democracy being a a five-minute conversation with the average voter. In fact, he said no such thing (a common feature of famous Churchill quotes), not even with uncanny foresight about the 17.4m. So I won’t say it either – it would just annoy someone.

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