Following last season I made the decision to delete Twitter and Facebook. One of the main factors in this was that after every Sunderland game for the last few seasons – which I’d enjoy watching and talking about with my dad – I would then spend hours reading through tweets and posts from a small group of Sunderland fans talking about how terrible the team was, and how (insert current manager here) was the worst manager we’ve had since (insert previous manager), and that we just need to go and get (insert Premier League manager / players) and we would be back beating the Toon and winning trophies again, just like the heady days of 2016.
This understandably started to completely ruin my enjoyment of the games, so for this season I decided that I’d stick to watching (more often listening as I can’t get to the SOL much) games and listening to my dad complain instead, and leave the tweeting to those better suited to it.
And up until recently this is the most I’ve enjoyed supporting Sunderland in almost a decade.
But after the last two games – which have left me as baffled and disappointed as anyone else – I couldn’t help but take a look at the opinions of some of my fellow fans to get a sense of how people were taking it, and I have to say I’ve been pretty amazed by some of the reactions I’ve seen.
Calls to sack Lee Johnson at this stage feel incredibly unfair and short-sighted given the start we’ve made to the season, the obvious improvements to the squad, and the fact that we were playing well as recently as QPR last week.
Yes, the last few games have been terrible, and something needs to change, but I think Lee Johnson has at least earned the chance to identify the issue and try to make things right.
We’ve been in this league for four years now and had as many managers in that time, and I think it should be clear that a quick fix is not coming. Eventually we need to commit and support a manager fully, and with this exciting young squad and a supportive owner and director of football in place, this is the best time to do that.
I’m not asking anyone to be happy with the recent results – I know I’m not – but I do think a bit of perspective is needed. Short-term thinking won’t get you to the Premier League.