Vital Football

Latest Sunderland AFC News



This morning I woke up and went outside to check on my vegetable garden. I do this every morning after planting season to see how things are growing. The butternut squash were coming up. Sunflowers were growing. Tiny poppy shoots pushed up through the soil. Rain clouds were gathering, but despite this, the air smelled distinctly of spring. It has for a while now. And with spring - usually - comes the end of the Premiership season.

On that note, today I watched Hull lose to Aston Villa.

I found myself focusing on a couple of former Sunderland players plodding their way through their paces, staring relegation in the face, and I thought, "well, this is strangely familiar." How many times have I seen this before? Indeed, how many times have I followed Sunderland down to the Championship? (A telling statement, as I`ve only seen them drop that far!) Only twice, I guess. But considering the amount of time - eight years? - that I can consider myself a supporter, that`s a lot of ups and downs. I`m so used to it, in fact, that I didn`t really think we`d be safe this early. So used to it that when we hit our winless streak this season, I was first in line calling for Bruce`s head. So used to it that it has been strange to be taking deep, relaxed breaths of late. To be enjoying the green shoots of spring. To be, well, safe.

Strange that I`m not finding myself at a slightly heightened state of anxiety. I`m not doing BBC results predictors online. I`m not biting my nails to the quick or skulking around the message boards arguing over why and how it all went wrong this season. There is a lightness in the air, even over here, far away from Wearside. I wish I could be sharing it in person.

Someone posted something about the last day`s match and organizing a cowboy-themed costume thing in tribute to Ellis Short. Sounds totally ridiculous, to be honest, but I can`t express how jealous I felt at not being able to be there - regardless of what everyone wears. Once again, the isolation I feel puts a damper on even the best of occasions. I find myself really quite desperately wanting to talk to someone in person about the season. I`d love to be able to join in on the songs and chants and jump up and down like an idiot and drink and celebrate in an actual, live group of like-minded supporters, for once.

When I was at the pub to see the Tottenham match, I was seated outside by myself on the patio (if you`ll recall). Inside, the Arsenal supporters were watching their match against Wolves. When they put one in in the dying minutes of extra time, there was an explosion of cheers, followed by a spontaneous song. I just sat there, slightly dumbfounded. I couldn`t help but feel more shitty, despite our comprehensive victory. I wanted to join in, but I obviously couldn`t and wouldn`t. I waded through to the bar, paid my tab, and went home - happy and sad, satisfied and unsatisfied.

In any case, we`re safe. And thank fuck for that. And this summer is World Cup, so I don`t have to go months without decent football. If Capello gives his head a shake and takes Bent along, that will round things off quite nicely, thank you very much.

Switching gears somewhat, I`m now happy to report that my son is now fully red and white. He refers to Sunderland as "we" and sent away for Benty`s autograph about three weeks ago. We`ve heard nothing from the club, so I`m hoping they send something soon. I don`t really care what form it comes in - just that he gets something back. Don`t they know what`s riding on this??

Here`s hoping we batter Hull this weekend and push for tenth place. Ha`way the Lads and thanks for a great end to season 09/10.

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

Writer:JJ Burch
Date:Thursday April 22 2010
Time: 10:44AM


I will be at the KC Stadium on Saturday and if we cannot win away to Hull we really are dreadful away from home!
22/04/2010 10:51:00
I will be at the KC Stadium on Saturday and if we cannot win away to Hull we really are dreadful away from home!
22/04/2010 10:51:00
Yeh. Hull looked utterly crap. And if Jan V of H is truly out for the season as suggested by Dowie then all we really have to worry about is Fagan. Which isn't much of a worry. But here's hoping the Lads don't take their foot off the accelerator. Have a good time!
22/04/2010 14:56:00
Page 1/1
  1. 1

Login to post a comment

Recent Sunderland A.F.C. Articles

Changing Manager Is Not The Answer says Moyes

David Moyes wants the club, players and fans all to pull together and back him as he tries to turn things around at Sunderland.

Sunderland Stuff On Twitter 1

A quick look at a few things on twitter that involve Sunderland in some way.

David Moyes Far From Happy About West Ham's Late Winner

David Moyes spoke of his anger that his side were robbed of a point in the press conference following Sunderland's 1-0 defeat against West Ham on Saturday.

Bilic Thought West Ham Win Should Have Been More Convincing

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic was of the opinion that the result should have been more convincing.

Archived Vital Sunderland Articles

Vital Sunderland articles from

Site Journalists

Editor email

Current Poll (see more polls)

MOTM v West Ham (a)
Suggested By: Harry Redknapp
van Aanholt 7%
Watmore -750%
Pienaar -800%
Khazri -8615%
Jones +860%
McNair +800%
Gooch +757%
ScoopDragon Premier League Network Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Man City 9 6 2 1 20 11
2 Arsenal 9 6 2 1 20 10
3 Liverpool 9 6 2 1 20 9
4 Chelsea 9 6 1 2 19 10
5 Spurs 9 5 4 0 19 9
6 Everton 9 4 3 2 15 5
7 Man Utd 9 4 2 3 14 1
8 Southampton 9 3 4 2 13 3
9 Watford 9 3 3 3 12 0
10 AFC Bournemouth 9 3 3 3 12 0
11 Crystal Palace 9 3 2 4 11 0
12 Leicester City 9 3 2 4 11 -4
13 WBA 9 2 4 3 10 0
14 Burnley 9 3 1 5 10 -5
15 West Ham 9 3 1 5 10 -7
16 Stoke 9 2 3 4 9 -7
17 Middlesbrough 9 1 4 4 7 -4
18 Hull City 9 2 1 6 7 -14
19 Swansea 9 1 2 6 5 -7
20 Sunderland 9 0 2 7 2 -10
The Vital Football Members League
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News
Vital Football Comment

Recent Sunderland A.F.C. Results (view all)

Sunderland A.F.C. Fixtures (view all)

Oct 26 2016 7:45PM : Southampton (a)
Capital One Cup
Oct 29 2016 12:30PM : Arsenal (H)
Barclays Premier League
Nov 5 2016 3:00PM : AFC Bournemouth (a)
Barclays Premier League
Nov 19 2016 3:00PM : Hull City (H)
Barclays Premier League
Nov 26 2016 3:00PM : Liverpool (a)
Barclays Premier League
Dec 3 2016 3:00PM : Leicester City (H)
Barclays Premier League

Vital Members League Table

1.Gregory Pecker37
2.idle eric25
3.Dirty Dave21
5.giant pig14
7.francis batter7
8.acid man7
10.Tommy The Turd4
Write for Vital Football