This time last year we beat Watford one-nil.
That’s three-hundred and sixty-four days. Fifty-two weeks and twelve months. ONE YEAR! One, flaming, year, since we last won a game at home.
It took a whole year for us to win our next game at the Stadium of Light - our home ground; our fortress. The place which should make opponents shudder.
But it’s not the opponents who have been shuddering, it’s us. The home team that has stumbled. Two managers have failed to oversee a win in the calendar year of 2017.
Until... until Chris Coleman acquiesced to becoming our manager. After a year of failure - after pathetic failings of management, which has resulted in the most apathy I’ve witnessed on the north banks of the River Wear since Mick Buxton was manager.
Back then he was replaced by Peter Reid and similarly, Simon Grayson has been replaced by as equally an exciting and unexpected replacement. The appointment of Chris Coleman has been as imaginative an appointment than anyone dared ever expect from the current administration.
Finally we got the monkey that is no home win since 17th December 2016 off our backs. Fulham succumbed, by the same score line. They had 70 per cent of the possession and 30 per cent of the shots. Coleman’s game of holding worked a treat, our third clean sheet in four games. It’s not pretty and not for the aesthetes, but if it’s good enough for Mourinho, it’s got to be good enough for us. For now.
Coleman knows it’s a small step, but that’s seven points gained out of 15 - a marginal improvement from his predecessor.
Still, the curmudgeons in the crowd weren’t satisfied; complaining that Fulham had all of the possession and that we should be getting stuck in more. Coleman clearly had a game plan and it was executed perfectly - a stock reaction from dinosaurs who have only ever played Sunday league football and think that flying out of position is a positive thing.
These are the same people who have waited a year to see the first win at the stadium in a year and leave ten minutes early. But I guess getting to the pub early is more important than congratulating the team.
I love the way Coleman isn’t scared to do the right thing. Putting on two 18-year olds for the last twenty minutes takes balls. Those youngsters are fearless, and have confidence.
I can’t wait to see the next installment. Neither can the fans, judging by sell out away crowds for our Christmas fixtures. It feels like 1998-99, when we sold out every Nationwide League One game away and sold out the Stadium of Light. Well... we’re already selling out our away allocations, so when we sell out the SoL, it should be tasty.