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Sunderland's Luck (Or Lack Of It)

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We really don't get lucky very often, so let's enjoy it when we do get some, eh? Guest blogger Michael Bowers gives his thoughts on the Stoke result.

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Well, aren’t we glad we aren't saying 'typical Sunderland' for a change? I mentioned in my last blog that we needed to make sure the Crystal Palace win wasn’t a one-off result and thankfully on Saturday that proved to be the case.

Would we have won if Stoke hadn’t gone down to ten men? Personally I don’t think so but no-one will care about that right now, I’m sure.

There is debate that Ryan Shawcross’ second booking wasn’t a yellow card but I think he was lucky earlier in the game on not to have been sent off when he needlessly brought down Steven Fletcher and tried to do the same with Duncan Watmore. Obviously he was booked for one of them but my point is he could have gone earlier, so I think it was justified, even though everyone else seems to slam the luck we get even though we don’t usually get any.

I’ll admit, we have got lucky at times this season, such as the red card in the Newcastle game or the two goals at Everton towards the end of last season but to be honest it really ticks me off when I see other fans complaining about the luck Sunderland get. If they seriously think we get lucky, try watching us week-in, week-out and then they’ll see that in fact we don’t.

When we somehow contrived to lose 3-1 at home to Hull on Boxing Day of last season, there were two blatant hand balls in Hull’s penalty area which, had the officials actually been awake, would have seen at least one penalty. Then we drew with West Brom in February, I think Joleon Lescott was lucky to not have been sent off early in the game when he clearly stopped Danny Graham potentially having a goal-scoring opportunity. That decision I appreciate might be more subjective but to me it should have been a red card and, surprise surprise, it wasn’t given, despite the whole of the Stadium of Light calling for it. I can go back further than that - anyone remember Wes Brown’s ‘red card’ at Stoke in when we lost two-nil at the Britannia Stadium in the 2013/2014 season?

When we lost one-nil at home to Aston Villa on New Year’s Day later that same season we scored a legitimate goal which was ruled out for offside from Emanuele Giaccherini. That’s potentially another point gone because of that decision. Who could forget the goal that never was from Jozy Altidore against Arsenal and the bizarre decision not to send Bacary Sagna from the field?!

Way back in 2011 on Boxing Day, we drew nil-nil with Everton who got a penalty when then-referee Howard Webb decided that Lee Cattermole committed a foul in the penalty area when in fact he had done nothing of the sort. I can at least appreciate that it looked like he had a very difficult view and from his angle it did look like a foul but nevertheless the decision was wrong. Another off the top of my head... Newcastle away in March 2012, when Cheick Tiote decided to hack all of our players over and over again yet only somehow got a single yellow card for them all. Pfft... don’t even get me started on his reaction when he got Stephane Sessegnon sent off.

I know the examples that I've chosen might have happened a while back but my point is that we rarely get any luck at all so, when we do (like at the weekend), I find it difficult to criticise. I know every fan of every club will probably bemoan their lack of luck but considering all we have had to put up with over the last few years, I think Sunderland are well due fortunes going in their favour for a change.