R ob Hutchison’s about to indulge in a flight. But before he does he has time for a little flight of fancy:

My first trip back to Jersey for 20 odd years. If we’d sacked a manger when I was here last time, I may have got a txt from a mate, or caught it on the 9 o’clock news that evening, but thanks to social media I’m living every minute of it live before my steaming eyeballs from afar, in real time baby, real time!

Rob: 'wishing I was stuck in a desert'

Rob: looking forward

Here we go again. 18 months or so later and we’ve hosed another manager.

Rollercoaster ride? In hindsight there were a handful of massive highs but a plethora of huge drops and the tactics at Hull and Villa finally did for Gus. The derby wins were massive; smelling the hot dogs on Wembley Way was fantastic, and being lucky enough to be at the Bridge for the destruction of Chelsea was simply sensational. These moments will be with us long after Poyet has gone, but then so will Norwich away last season, the shambles at St Mary’s and the clueless performances mentioned above that nailed him, and of those, sadly there were plenty more.

Like the previous few incumbents, Poyet looked on the face of it to be a decent enough appointment, but like the others turned out, he was clueless in the transfer market, and also tactically when the going got tough. For every Craig Gardner (£5m FFS), there was his Liam Bridcutt, Will Buckley or a Seb Coates to take his place. Over recent years we’ve sold our handful of crown jewels and supplemented the profits with Ellis’ precious handouts and the various managers have spent it on overpriced tat in Harry Enfield’s “saw you coming” nouveau boutique. Poyet, like Bruce and MoN also had no plan B. Gifted a gem like Defoe, tweaking the system and we should have been up up and away by now, but one point from games against Pieface, Tim nice but dim, & the hoops and we’re down down, deeper and down instead.

Sir Niall, by Owen Lennox.  The lastfootballer on the board

Sir Niall, by Owen Lennox.
the last footballer on the board

There is one constant to everything in the last few years of failure. Ellis Short. But how much of it is down to him? He’s bankrolled every manager, converted countless shares into equity, and he’s doing everything to makes us fit for purpose in the 21st century, but he’s no football man and never will be. I’m sure he shares our passion and desire for success and has nailed his chequebook to the mast until he rightly climbed upon the FFP train we’re riding today. The problem manifested itself when Quinny left. He’s not had a football man to guide him, and we’ve seen the horrific consequences of this. In Di Fanti and mad Paolo he created a debacle and a far bigger mess than Bruce or O’Neill left us in. So yes Short is culpable too, to a degree that we can all debate.

But frankly this blame culture is not going to get us anywhere. Time to look forward and try to develop something akin to Niall’s five year plan. If that means a step backward to go forward so be it but the next appointment has to be gold. Congerton has the ball in his hands now. This is the time to genuinely earn his corn and show why Short employed him in the first place. The CV that won him the gig now has to deliver, and Ellis has to step back and trust his right hand man and support him.

Who would I appoint? No idea. The managers none of us seem to want at the club have all done pretty well elsewhere; Sparky, Pulis, Fat Sam, even Pardew, whereas the people’s choices like no brainer O’Neill turn out to be disastrous, so bring on the new man, and let’s just get it on!!

One thing’s for sure, sitting in a departure lounge waiting for a flight has never been so stimulating.

Rob


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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.

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