Writer: Paul Wallis
Date:Friday February 12 2010
BATTLE FOR SURVIVAL AGAIN!!
Well..a relegation scrap it is then. Two winnable home games and an away game against the bottom club yielded three points. Simply not good enough. The club now have a 10 day break to prepare for an almighty scrap that we really didn't think would happen this time around. Let's be honest here, three relegation battles in a row is devastating for a set of fans who's hopes and dreams have been raised over the last few seasons to such a point where we were expecting to be taken to the next level and mid-table. 12 Premier League matches without a win is astonishing after the early season promise and if that statistic gets any worse it'll be an extra 8 games to look forward to in the second tier next term. I honestly don't know which way this season is going to go. Recent improved performances have given me a bit of confidence and if we weren't on this winless run i'd be pretty certain we would stay up. Sadly though, with tough games to come, this horrendous run just looks like getting longer. We need a win and soon!
Tuesday's performance was a definite improvement, especially first half. I though Craig Gordon was approaching the form that persuaded Roy Keane to splash out Ł9M on him, although his unwillingness to catch the ball is infuriating at times. I like the look of new signing Alan Hutton at right back. He's been giving 100% effort and has shown glimpses of quality too. Kenwyne Jones was my man of the match. I thought he was absolutely outstanding and was everywhere. At times he's our most effective defender which says a lot! It's good to see him really show the desire he should be week in week out although some would say he's only playing like this now to get a move in the summer.
FOOTBALL FREE ZONE
I get the feeling i'm not alone in saying Tuesday night's last gasp equaliser was like a massive kick in the nether regions for me. I was absolutely fuming and couldn't sleep. I'd managed to calm down about lunchtime the next day but i'm still keeping away from any football. The whole game was so frustrating. From believing we were at last about to win a game..playing really well 1-0 up and a man up, to going a man down and letting a 96th minute goal in. Gutted! I'm actually looking forward to a weekend for once, as there'll be no misery to ruin it for me. I don't plan to watch much FA Cup either and I've even sold my FIFA football XBox game. Fed up with football!
An occasional feature on a random moment in SAFC history
Cold Tuesday night at Roker Park in February 1996 and only 14,000 hardy souls in. Ipswich Town the visitors and there is snow falling, but not enough to cause problems. Craig Russell scores the winning goal at the Roker End and his new partnership with Lee Howey (his brother is a ....) is beginning to look promising. Sunderland were fortunate to win the game though and looked unconvincing for an automatic promotion spot. On the evening ITV highlights, Eric Gates said 'I think if Sunderland buy they'll go up..if they don't buy they don't go up..I still take that view' For the record we didn't buy anyone and went up as Champions.
My weekly football bet
Apologies for lack of a tip last week, although i've been in poor form recently so it was probably no real loss. Back to basics this week to get a run going I think. I'm going for Birmingham to bounce back from a rare defeat in the Premier League with a win at Derby in the cup. Pair them up with Man City to dispose of.
That's all for now,
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Date:Friday February 12 2010
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