When we started the podcast in March 2013, we had two league wins to talk about for the remainder of that season and they both came in subsequent weeks. Often we say that losing games can be good for the content of the show; more to analyse, which becomes like creative moaning in a sense. But that little spell became tough to do.
And this one was getting tough also. When you lose week in, week out, there's little insight to be offered really. The players kept shooting themselves in the foot and were offering nothing encouraging. The tone of the conversations across Wearside pubs had turned into one of acceptance; the tone of our show had turned into one of acceptance. The local media used the term 'probable relegation' and there were calls to ditch the senior players in favour for some of the younger crop likely to feature in next season's Championship campaign.
When Martin Smith was on the show a few weeks back, he maintained that the management and players would keep believing and trying, no matter how ominous the outcome was likely to be. Now we've given ourselves a chance. A chance is still all it is, however, this is Sunderland remember and three defeats from here isn't at all incomprehensible.
There's no doubting the player who's been at the heart of our transformation. And, Mr. Wickham, the Brylcreams are on us! What's interesting in the new-found love for the former Ipswich striker, is the amount of people who seem to feel guilty about doubting him prior to this little burst of good form. I'd argue previous criticism of him was justified and that HE is the one who has transformed himself.
He looks like a proper, capable front man now with a mixture of talent and good attitude. The latter had been notably absent thus far. Remembering he's only 21 and you start to feel as excited as when he initially signed during that ill-fated summer transfer window of 2011.
Joining us in the studio this week was Nick Barnes who plenty of you no doubt listen to commentate on the lads on Radio Newcastle. We had two guests from our Sportsbyte panel in Michael Lough and Sam Lightle, two lads looking to make headway in sports journalism. Dom Raynor from the BBC offered some Manchester United insight via the telephone and we had two tickets for the West Brom game to give away in our question of the week.
So get on it on iTunes (HERE) or just used the SoundCloud Player below to listen...