Monday 17th January 2011. Whilst hungover heads disect a dismal draw with Newcastle the day before, Darren Bent stuns Sunderland, handing in a transfer request, and what looks like a sealed deal to see him turn his back on Europe chasing SAFC for relegation battling Aston Villa.
First of all, I think any half-decent SAFC needs to thank the man for his goals, and performances in the red and white shirt. His goals have won us a hell of a lot of points over the past couple of seasons, and (until today) had shown tremendous passion and pride in playing for the club.
All that seems to have changed today with the shocking news. Although, perhaps we should have seen it coming.
We all salivated at the potential partnership with record signing Asamoah Gyan. However it was young Danny Welbeck who has shown both players up by being by far our leading striker this season.
Steve Bruce has struggled to fit all three on the pitch. Welbeck being deployed out wide at times, and the occasional 4-3-3. Neither of which have been particularly brilliant.
The partnership with Gyan has left a lot to be desired. Neither looked in tandem or on the same wavelength. Why? I think its because they're both effectively the same player. Poachers, and they need a worker like Welbeck to counteract this.
Could there be a hint of jealousy that with Gyan in town, Bent is no longer the main man? He was the record signing, he was loved. Now a World Cup star has come in, and done fairly well if not spectacular, and fallen into the fans favor with a string of different dances.
They clearly had no chemistry together, as anyone who has watched over the last few weeks will have noticed. Neither knows where the other is going, knows what the other will do, and can't seem to pass to each other. Could this problem be more than just two similar players not working?
There's also been quite a lot of backlash against this poor form on some SAFC forums. We knew for a fact Bent read them. Perhaps it's a small minority of idiots who have lead him to believe he doesn't need this.
James Else, who is more known to Twitter users as @elsey_who_else is often considered Darren's unofficial mouthpiece. He Tweeted after the game against Newcastle "We have Gyan's awful first touch to thank for something"... A sign Bent doesn't rate or like Gyan? Who knows. There could be truth, or complete cackbabble. From my point of view though I can't help but read between the lines (perhaps too far I'm sure your thinking).
The other option is, that having learned from mistakes past in not selling Super Kevin Phillips when the money was good, we're gonna do it this time, and reinvest.
What do I think? I think it's elements of all three.
Either way, there's a few things that can be said for certain. 1) He will be missed. Massively. 2) Every player has a price, and this is quite a good offer. 3) A transfer request being handed in means there's no coming back.
Steve Bruce will have gone down in some fans estimations, but I'll give him time to sort this situation out. He needs to correct this situation soon as possible. Whilst nobody might be in place for Blackpool on Saturday, I'm sure there will be by the end of the transfer window. Bruce's job will depend on it.
Who will replace him. Well we need a Welbeck-esque second striker. We need someone who would be a sign of ambition. We need a big recognized name. For me, you could go too wrong with either Forlan or his fellow Uruguayan Luis Suarez.
Some may think thats far fetched and wishful thinking, but with money in the bank, and Bruce needing to make a statement. I wouldn't be all that surprised. Or perhaps I'm still in a daze following the last two days.
One player doesn't make a club. We continue to support the lads. KTF.