Soapbox: yet another bad day at the office

Another away defeat, but this time Pete Sixsmith knew the script so well that even a new roof over the visitors’ end couldn’t lure him to Fratton Park to suffer in person

These away games pieces are getting easier and easier to write.

Plenty of effort, lots of huffing and puffing, no penetration and a ropey referees decision that costs us the game.

Roy comes on TV and radio and says we have to be better and that some of the players need to be more aware of things. Pundits nod sagely and the whole thing is put to bed until we win the next home game.

It’s so predictable that I didn’t even bother going to Portsmouth.

Why spend a whole day of your life (and about £70) when the element of surprise is no longer there? I have constructed a template which covers all the major points and, as Jack Webb used to say in Dragnet, only the names have been changed.

Except the same old story is becoming monotonous and it is depressing to read newspaper reports which say that we were dull, we stifled midfield, we were neat and tidy and we would never have scored before the election of Clinton – Chelsea, not Hillary.

Why do we not play with two forwards? Why is Kenwyne left up front on his own? Why do we play midfielders who cancel each other out? Why does conceding a goal automatically mean that we are going to lose?

The last goal we scored away was a doubtful penalty at Reading. The last one from open play was at Everton.

Next week at Pride Park will define our season. Lose that one and the rumblings of discontent will turn to jeers. Play as we have in the last few away games and we will lose. As the old chant used to go: “Attack, Attack, AttackAttackAttack.”

ps Alan Pardew talking about Charlton’s 5-3 defeat at Blackpool: “I told the centre halves and the right back that they were not good enough.” Looks like Halford’s on his way back then.

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.

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