Me fellow marras,
As we gather together at this very special time of year it’s time to look back on 12 months that has brought us a bit of joy, months of mediocrity and crushing, crushing disappointments.
It has been a testing 2016 for us all with the rise of fascism, Donald Trump, the continued existence of Jack Rodwell, that Brexit thing, Kylie being stabbed in the middle of Coronation Street and Toblerone’s bold new look. For those on Wearside it has been a year that has opened and closed with a sense of optimism with a middle which swung between elation and despair making for a sort of odd sandwich.
We gave a wink and a nod to relegation throughout and fell in love with Sam Allardyce’s sexy brand of football. Then, like the cheap floozy he is, he broke our hearts as he gallivanted off for a car crash affair with England in a sea of prosecco by the pint glass. You were our everything Samuel, our rock, our hope, what did we do wrong? And now he’s at Crystal Palace - joy.
Swapping the warm embrace of Big Sam for the furrowed brow and high school PE teacher demeanour of David Moyes has been a trying experience. Starting off abysmally but then winning us round thanks to unearthing the unknown, precocious talent of Victor Anichebe has been a real curveball for what looked like a lost season.
While 2016 has been associated with so much bad in the world, we must not dwell on the negativity and look to the good memories the past 12 months have given us.
Beating Chelsea and John Terry getting sent off in what was supposed to be his last ever game, staying up by only losing once in 11 games, Jermain Defoe being the absolute boy, buying Emmanuel Eboue for sheer banter, signing Donald Love, Norwich away, the emergence of Jordan Pickford, erm...erm...Watford was good I guess? Alright, I’m struggling now.
Okay, it’s not been great and we’ve had to endure some pretty unprecedented lows as a football club but there is grounds for optimism in the future. Yeah, we have no money and we’ll probably have to sell one of our very few good players but it is slightly encouraging that ol’furrowed brow Moyesy is starting to get us grinding out wins, so that’s a plus.
As we look ahead to 2017, there is something we must never forget about the past 12 months. It’s something that we can look back on and smile about for years to come. We sent Newcastle United down.
The best team in the land, with the best manager, the best players, the best supporters, the best stadium, the best city centre, the best Greggs’ outlets, the best nightlife, the best airport, the best tram network, the best owner (or worst depending on which week it is) and the best abstinence from cheesy chips because they don’t sell them over there, were sent down by little old Chicken Town. And that was just brilliant (I’m also assuming they’ll write some kind of counter article in The Mag about this saying we’re obsessed or some shite like that - so there’s that to look forward to).
So, enjoy this very special period with the ones you love. Be merry throughout and look forward to a 2017 full of Moyesy, Sunlun goodness (unless we sack him at some point).
Peace and Donald Love to you all.