UK time is: 12:17:13
Vital Login
Social Login

Choose your club

Other Sites

Network Navigation

Vital Partners

'If It's Football, It's Vital'

Stoking Some Memories

It wasn`t so strange seeing Deano, Danny, Higgs, Tommy and Liam (never did have a nickname for him) on (or around) the pitch today as much as it was seeing a slightly aged Peter Reid. I don`t think I`ve seen him on the telly since he was our manager. And since the telly is the extent of my Sunderland experience (barring seeing the lads in North Carolina on their preseason tour under Mick McCarthy), it`s been awhile. But it brought back a lot of memories, mostly good, of a Sunderland team that seemed pretty electric for an inconsistently-short bit back in the early part of the last decade. Unfortunately so many other things seem to have remained exceedingly consistent, hovering just above relegation territory being one of them.

We Yanks don`t understand relegation. Well, I do. But most of us don`t. For whatever reason, Major League Soccer has not adopted it. And I`ve always thought that to be odd. After all, we`re a very punitive culture where success and failure are concerned. And yet, certain teams in certain markets go for years languishing in the lower reaches of their divisions, making no headway, eternally disappointing their fans. But in the league they remain. Just ask the Cleveland Browns.

Try to explain relegation to a Yank and you`ll get that blank stare. It doesn`t compute. Try to explain to your Yank wife that the reason you`re tense has to do with Sunderland being in relegation territory again and you`ll get a worried stare. It does compute, but she thinks it`s silly. And I see her point.

Why should I be worried? I can walk away at any time, no questions asked, no love lost. I`ve no father or father-in-law to report to as to why I`ve abandoned the family team. I`m not a season ticket holder whose absence would be noted by his fellow season ticket holders in the adjacent seats. I can disappear from the message boards at any time. (Believe me, I`ve tried cold-turkey and it doesn`t stick.)

So what`s keeping me here, again, in the mire, with the Same Old Sunderland? I don`t know. Maybe I`m a masochist. (Possible.) Maybe I have an inferiority complex. (Without question.) Maybe I just love the underdog. (Reflexively, all my life.) Either way, there`s no getting out now. I`m on record. I love Sunderland like it was my home team and I can`t/won`t do anything about it now.

Regardless, despite the pain of dropping down a division, it certainly keeps things interesting. In the way a car crash can be interesting. Or a major disaster. It`s not fun. People cry. But it`s certainly not boring. And 'boring` is certainly not how I`d describe being a Sunderland supporter. (That`s how I`d describe being a supporter of Tottenham or Everton, however.) I would like, though, for the excitement to once again be tinged with a shot of happiness, rather than dread.

And it is with that feeling of dread that I write that Sunderland find themselves once again a couple points off the drop zone in a worryingly familiar position. This despite playing what I thought was a much better game today against Stoke. And by 'better` I certainly don`t mean it was good. Or exciting. Or creative. We just didn`t get battered by a Stoke squad that is looking more and more like the Sunderland Reserves and that`s a slight plus, if you`re looking for plusses. And I am. Because I`m not happy anxious. I`m worried anxious.

Our defense looked better and calmer, despite a couple of scary moments courtesy of Turner and Mensah. Gordon kept us in it, saving early on from Whitehead`s free run at goal (finishing like that was just one reason Bruce sold you, lad!) and generally looked more composed. Cattermole completed a full 90 and looked much better. (Sending Deano arse over tip was THE match highlight.) And Jones seemed more interested now that the transfer window is shut and he knows he`s staying at least until May.

So you know things are a little dire when those were the positives. Truthfully, I cannot be - as you lot would say - 'arsed` to run down the negatives. I was expecting a loss today and was also expecting to write about how I thought it was time for Bruce to go. Today`s draw, as boring as it was, threw Stevie B. a lifeline. So did having Cattermole back from injury. (Might be time to give him the armband, Steve.)

I sincerely hope we can build on this and snatch three from Wigan. But our service to Bent and Jones needs to improve. I`m also looking forward to Alan Hutton`s debut and seeing if a deal for Benjani is actually going to happen. Neither is going to propel us back up the table or anything, but just not losing for a couple games might do enough to keep this big boat from sinking. It`s certainly keeping my spirits (slightly) up.

Can I have a Ha`way? Thanks.




Use your social login to comment on front page articles. Login using you Facebook, Twitter, Google or LinkedIn accounts and have your say!



Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The Journalist

Writer: JJ Burch Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday February 2 2010

Time: 10:00AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
I think a lot of Sunderland fans feel exactly the same, they wish secretly they supported another club but always have hope the years of pain will be repaid by a good season and maybe a trophy. After last nights game we are no where near the years of glory promised on the magic carpet. KEEP THE FAITH certainly sticks to mind.
GazJohnson
Report Abuse
02/02/2010 12:05:00

 

Have Your Say

Log in...
with your social network     OR     with your Vital account

Recent Sunderland A.F.C. Articles

Shrewsbury Snap Up Sunderland Starlet. (Wednesday January 28 2015)

Mavrias Interesting Celtic (Wednesday January 28 2015)

U21's Beat Man City Again (Tuesday January 27 2015)

Jones Looking To Go On Good Home Run (Monday January 26 2015)

Turnaround To Start With Burnley (Monday January 26 2015)

Gus: 'Poor Game Overall' (Monday January 26 2015)

Stats: Black Cats v Fulham (Saturday January 24 2015)

Archived Sunderland A.F.C. Articles

List All Vital Sunderland Articles
Have your say
Click here to suggest an article
Click here to suggest a poll

Vital Members League (view all)

1. Dirty Dave 32
2. Gregory Pecker 26
3. Book Thief 24
4. idle eric 21
5. Sunderlandsno1 18
6. Barry Green 17
7. JoJoGrant 9
8. smegma 6
9. roggy 5
10. andyj1973 4

League Results (view all)

League Table (view table)

Team P W D L GD Pts
13. Crystal Palace 22 5 8 9 -8 23
14. WBA 22 5 7 10 -9 22
15. Aston Villa 22 5 7 10 -14 22
16. Sunderland 22 3 11 8 -14 20
17. Burnley 22 4 8 10 -15 20
18. Hull City 22 4 7 11 -10 19
19. Q.P.R. 22 5 4 13 -16 19

Breaking League News

Liverpool: FA Cup Games Live On TV
Liverpool : 29/01/2015 11:09:00
Wenger Highlights Gabriel's Qualities
Arsenal : 29/01/2015 10:32:00
Qatar hospitality was phenomenal
Everton : 29/01/2015 10:00:00
Ospina Enjoying Life At Arsenal
Arsenal : 29/01/2015 09:53:00
The Ox: Arsenal Are In a Good Place
Arsenal : 29/01/2015 09:34:00

Current Site Poll (view all polls)

MOTM v Fulham
Suggested By:  
Mannone 9%
Vergini 0%
O'Shea 0%
Coates 0%
Jones 42%
Larsson 7%
Bridcutt 0%
Rodwell (sent off) 0%
van Aanholt 7%
Fletcher 0%
Defoe 21%
Wickham 66' 0%
Buckley 76' 0%
None of the above 14%