clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile
Luton Town v Sunderland: Sky Bet Championship Play-Off Semi-Final Second Leg

Filed under:

ITHICS Fanzine: What a season - I’m going to miss this team terribly over the summer!

My abiding emotion this morning is that I have no exciting football to look forward to for a few months. No waking up on match day, excited at the prospect of seeing some delicious football played with verve and a joie de vivre, the like of which we haven’t seen for years.

Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images

It wasn’t to be. This swashbuckling team of youngsters couldn’t quite get over the line against a roundhead team of physical barbarians.

It’s small margins though - one goal from us would have taken the game into extra time, and who knows what would have happened then?

For only the second time in 30 league and cup games we failed to score. We looked tired and unable to compete in midfield. It’s no disgrace. To paraphrase a line from the brilliant Kevin Smith film of the 1990s, Clerks, “we weren’t even supposed to be here today.”

Nobody was looking to the playoffs or a second consecutive promotion this season. Consolidation was the word of the moment.

Well, I think we’ve done a little bit more than consolidate.

Luton Town v Sunderland: Sky Bet Championship Play-Off Semi-Final Second Leg Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Much has been made of our lack of strikers (or indeed the spine of our team) through injury. The current regime has come in for much criticism for not spending more to back up our attacking line.

Necessity has well and truly been the mother invention with this team.

The lack of a front line has required us to find other ways to score.

Being clever, with intelligent, technical players, has seen a wonderful, spirited form of football evolve. We were the fourth highest scorers in the league. Without a striker. Eleven more than last night’s victors, Luton.

Some have been quick to criticise the regime over its perceived lack of investment - it’s almost killed them to acknowledge the relative success of this team which has been done without a recognised striker.

My abiding emotion this morning is that I have no exciting football to look forward to for a few months. No waking up on match day, excited at the prospect of seeing some delicious football played with verve and a joie de vivre, the like of which we haven’t seen for years.

Luton Town v Sunderland: Sky Bet Championship Play-Off Semi-Final Second Leg Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Which brings us on to the future. Now that our destination for next season is certain, the rumours and misinformation is in overdrive.

Apparently, Mowbray is fighting for his job. Well he’s stated in recent interviews that he’s relaxed about his position, he’s wise enough to know that anything can happen.

He has a year left on his contract and Kristjaan Speakman was quick to reassure him, the last time these daft rumours came about.

Given the recent record of the club, we will no doubt be targeting skilful young players, labouring in a huge pool of mega-club talent. Taking them out and giving them gametime at a club which is on the rise.

We will be sad to lose Amad Diallo, who has been mesmeric. The little magician, Nick Barnes, the commentator of BBC Radio Newcastle, dubbed him. Maybe we will get him back, but more likely we’ll find another like him.

There’s no doubt about it, this has been a memorable season. But this is not the end.

We go on, get stronger and get better.

ROKER ROUNDTABLE!

Roker Roundtable: What kind of strikers should Sunderland be targeting this summer?

ROKER REWIND!

On This Day (10 June 1972): Sunderland’s Anglo-Italian relations fall flat

FEATURES!

Sunderland in San Antonio: A pre-season guide!

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Roker Report Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Sunderland news from Roker Report