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OPINION: Sensationalising Short?

After a turbulent week on Wearside ends with a draw against Swansea, Roker Report's Graeme Atkinson examines the effect media coverage has and asks for perspective.

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While a positive result against Swansea helps pour some salve on our emotional wounds, we would be naïve to think it solves all of our problems overnight. However after another tumultuous week on Wearside, some calm, measured perspective is surely now required.

What have we learned from the last seven days? Well I think we can agree supporters aren't just frustrated by the results of the first few games.  Instead, the fans' irritation is borne out of more sustained difficulties. Owner Ellis Short came under fire as a result, and some would argue rightly so.  In any walk of life, where there are continued failings the person at the top falls under the spotlight.  Last week was Short's turn.

It's how he handles the spotlight that may just define Short's reign.  We asked for a response from him.  He provided one.  Short has held his hand up and admitted there have been blunders in the running of the club.  To deny it would be foolish.  They're visible for us all to see.  What you now think of Short after this public reply is for you to decide.  I'm sure if asked he wouldn't expect anything else.

However, what he seemed at pains to point out, and what should be made clear here, is while mistakes have indeed been made they've been with the best of intentions of the club at heart.  While we're still reeling from errors of judgement made in previous years and under his watch, it would be wrong to question Short's integrity. That is a step too far.

Some of the press reports this week in certain news outlets have appeared to enjoy, almost gleefully, the situation we find ourselves and have helped fan the flames of anxiety. One report suggested Sam Allardyce is lined up as a replacement for Advocaat and another from a former player, claiming Short has even lied to supporters.  There are plenty of problems at Sunderland.  We certainly don't need anyone inventing more.

The level of intense scrutiny at times demonstrates the passion the supporters have for our club.  It can also work against us when we're desperately looking to someone for answers.  Press reports are veraciously hunted down and often taken at face value, which only exacerbates the level of fan discontent.  We'd do well to be more selective around what we believe in future.  We allow ourselves to be sucked in by the media coverage which paints an even bleaker picture than that which already exists.  I'd argue that needs to stop.  Who, and how, is this helping?

There were some green shoots of optimism against Swansea though.  M'Vila looks a level above what we have in midfield in terms of touch and vision.  Once fully fit he could be a serious player for us.  Coates was more assured alongside the returning O'Shea and Lens looked like the player we hoped he would be.

The remainder of the transfer window will help steer our season one way or the other.  The left back position looks suddenly in need of addressing quickly and a powerful striker to better fit into a 4-3-3 should also be a priority.  In addition a creative central midfielder to help feed the attacks would complete the bare minimum required until January.

All we can do now, in the circumstances though, is accept the regime currently in charge at Sunderland is the right one.  We also need to understand that the problems we're encountering were born some time back and won't be rectified as quickly as we'd like.  We're in a healing period, taking incremental steps forward making the best out of a bad situation.

It's not going to be easy and we shouldn't shy away from voicing our concerns on the way but lets stay out of the media circus, without us feeding it, it will surely blow itself out helping everyone connected with club to move in the right direction.

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