It’s become something of a cliche in recent years to state the importance of Sunderland’s next fixture. For almost as long as I can remember it feels like every game has been labelled as a ‘must-win’ that “might just turn our season around”.
Of course, if we actually did string several wins together then perhaps we could rid ourselves of this depressing platitude, but things aren’t quite that simple. Instead we’re often left with this worrying sense of unease as we prepare ourselves for another potentially depressing weekend of inadequacy and shame.
However, in spite of my dislike of the stereotypical cliches constantly bandied about when discussing our upcoming games, I really think the coming weeks are a great chance for us to live up to the cliches in which we find ourselves buried. The next several games might just turn our season around... or at least that’s what I’m trying to convince myself.
I know what you’re thinking - but I haven’t touched the sauce, I swear. I’m just trying to look ahead and be positive is all. Maybe I’m just a romantic fool, but there’s something about our upcoming fixtures that give me the smallest inkling of hope that maybe, just maybe, we’ll be able to get some points on the board and move up the table. So I’m putting all my faith left behind the assertion that we will win this weekend, and we will keep this run going into our upcoming October fixtures.
In our next three games we play Brentford (A), followed by Bristol City (H), and Bolton (H). Of course this is Sunderland we’re talking about, and there’s every opportunity for the above games to go well and truly tits up, but I just can’t afford to think negatively any more.
A couple of crushing defeats would have me well and truly back on the dejected bandwagon of despair, but this feels like the only opportunity for quite some time in which we might be able to find some momentum going forward. This is the theory in my warped mind at least, anyway.
Bristol are sitting pretty in fourth place, but Preston were up there too when we played them, and if truth be told the level of quality in this league is pretty pathetic. Brentford and Bolton are struggling just like us, and this is our chance to prove that we can find a way to win against those around us - something we’ll have to do going forward if we are to emerge from this season with any form of credibility intact.
I’m willing to put aside my irks and exasperation for a time because I don’t think I can go on being so critical. Every piece of news coming from the club right now seems to be odious, harmful and depressing. I need to find some positivity from somewhere, and I’ve decided to put all my eggs in one basket as I go all-in on my gamble with hope.
Forget the tactical ineptitude, the shite attitudes, the truly worrying lack of quality and the threadbare squad because for the next 3 weeks I’m literally hoping for the best.
Call it idiocy, blind-faith or whatever you want, but I’m buying into this fanciful dream of a club on the cusp of finding some positive results. I’ve scoffed before at people telling me to just “go with the flow” or to “let life take its course” but like I say, I’m at the point whereby it feels like all I can do is hope for something good to happen.
I feel powerless and dejected because there’s nothing I can do to make this club perform better. I’m not a billionaire, and I’m not a tactical genius - I’m just a Sunderland fan who likes to write about the club he loves as a hobby. Call it defeatism if you want, but this is all I’ve got left.
So, let this weekend be the first win of many as I let Sunderland take the wheel. I’m done with the worrying and anxiety for now as I look to live in the moment. Hopefully this disorder is infectious, and the lads develop their own cases too.