Writer: Andrew Dipper
Date:Thursday December 31 2009
I`ve never seen the logic behind New Year`s resolutions. I mean, if you want to change something about yourself - be it losing weight, having a little more patience when it`s needed, or perhaps cutting down on the alcohol intake - why wait until a specific date to do so? If you really wanted to change it, you`d change now, not tomorrow. I think that applies to most of us, but not a football manager. With the January transfer window on the frosty horizon, Steve Bruce faces his second big test as Sunderland manager; one which will determine the fate of the club in the second half of the campaign.
There`s no doubt about it, purchases must be made. Whilst Bruce made some stellar buys in the summer window, including fan favourite Lorik Cana, top scorer Darren Bent and Lee Cattermole, he allowed many to leave the club. Perhaps too many. The season started better than anyone expected, but as the first half of the season has wore on, it has worryingly mirrored last season`s bad run that saw Roy Keane walk away from the club. Bruce`s arrival initiated the predictable confidence boost that any side with a new manager is given but, as the buzz surrounding the club faded and injuries and suspensions ascended, the lads in the red and white have went on a poor run leaving us stuck in tenth place, but just a few points from the relegation places.
January is crucial. If Bruce buys well - just like in the summer window - then I`ve got no doubt we`ll finish in the top ten. A left back is vital, given George McCartney`s inability to defend and his embarrassing positional awareness; another centre-half to cover for the injury prone John Mensah would be advantageous; and a forth striker - someone like Emile Heskey - to compliment the trio of Bent, Jones and Campbell would give the squad much needed depth. I happen to think that six or seven new players are necessary for Sunderland football club to become a permanent fixture in the top half of the Premier League, but it`s unrealistic and unreasonable to expect more than three or four purchases to be made in the New Year.
My New Year`s resolution is simple - no more New Year`s resolutions. I`ll make the changes in my life when required. Don`t wait for tomorrow. Unfortunately, Steve Bruce will have to.
Date:Thursday December 31 2009
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