We all know the narrative by now. The must win games of all must win games, to end all must win games and, of course, Sunderland do nothing of the sort! After we'd notched very satisfactory wins over Newcastle and Man City early into Poyet's tenure, it was very quickly business as usual for the red 'n whites. We approached Christmas and our gaffer kept reiterating that the time to start winning games against sub standard sides was now (or then, obviously).
It didn't quite happen.
Four weeks after looking doomed against Villa and we rocketed out of the drop zone courtesy of a very decent January, followed by spanking of them up the road in their own back yard again. Disappointing results and absent league weeks followed, resulting in that panic button being ominously glared at again. We're all sitting staring at it, admit it. It's fair to say if we lose at Norwich then it won't just be pressed, it will be smashed so hard into the ground that people will be claiming to see The Championship through it.
It really is time for the lads to turn up now though, surely? We've all sat here and argued til we're blue in the face that we look far too good for our league position. We excuse the results like we witnessed last Saturday in the hope that we'll show our true colours against sides who have the decency to come at us a bit. Norwich will do just that. To fire another cliche at you, this result could define the remainder of our season. Is that too dramatic? Doesn't feel like it.
We all have ideas in our head what the side should be, and most declare that Fabio Borini should be starting through the middle. I floated a couple of suggestions myself earlier in the week as to what other systems could be employed to accommodate this, and Craig Clark did the same yesterday. Luckily for you, he'll be joining us in the studio to force some of those ideas into your ears by the medium of podcast, and don't we all just want to hear what Gareth Barker has to think? It's been a while since the Christmas tree formation was suggested; I miss those days...
Damian Spellman from the Press Association will also be joining us to talk about the biggest game Sunderland have had since they failed to win the last one. If you haven't already, do subscribe HERE.
Or listen to it directly on Roker Report tomorrow. Oh, oh, it's on Wednesday this week! Alreet?