There are just two weeks to go until the season starts, and yet there’s only one thing on my mind - doesn’t Stewart Donald sound exactly like Ricky Gervais?!
I just can’t listen to his podcasts without thinking of the clever-clever star of The Office and Extras. Surely he’s about to do his David Brent… no, he’s talking about how irritating football agents are again. He’s about to mention how he’s seen James Corden’s buttocks… no, it’s something about George Honeyman. Truth is, I just can’t focus on what he’s actually saying without imaging that it’s Ricky sat in the little booth, perhaps with wise-cracking Stephen Merchant about to join in.
I focused enough during the most recent podcast to admire – again – Donald’s straight talking and the sheer reasonableness of all that he had to say.
The club is in good hands, at last, but that’s not to say that I feel confident that we’ll go up.
Donald is right to point out that it will take time to build and gel a squad, and there’s a big risk that we won’t be properly ready for Charlton, who are one of the stronger sides in the division. It could take a few weeks for us to get going – but then it was the same in 1987 and we stormed it, so perhaps my pessimism is misplaced. Let’s hope so.
We Sunderland fans are always asked to stay patient but for once it’s a fair request as the new regime deserve time to complete their overhaul and see it bear fruit. The first few weeks may well be underwhelming, but let’s give Jack Ross time to sort things out.
Donald is, I see, being criticised by some fans for over-promising on transfers, but from what I’ve heard he’s simply putting out the facts as they are at the time. Not all plans work out. Clubs agree deals for players but the players themselves may refuse to go along with the move.
I’d rather be in the picture and understand the club’s transfer business than go back to knowing nothing until we see an official announcement.
Some fans are also unhappy that they haven’t heard of the players we’re in for. Who are these people? Have they been in a coma for the last two years? Wake up to League One!
No, we’re not buying Peru’s third choice left back for £15 million and nor are we signing on loan a bloke who plays for Chelsea’s under-23s who might be the next big thing in Angola.
Good. I’ve had it with that crap. Bring on big, honest lads who were great at Oxford or cult heroes at Sheffield Wednesday.
Honesty off the pitch, honesty on the pitch. Let’s do it.