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ITHICS Column 20/21

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ITHICS Fanzine: The fume at SAFC for everything and anything must stop!

“The level of fume at SAFC is now out of all proportion to recent events and has to stop. We’re in danger of throwing away what should be our only target for this season – a place in the playoffs and a crack at promotion,” writes Mark Egan.

Danny Roberts

I was as unhappy as anyone at seeing the Blackcats Bar decorated, very briefly, in Newcastle slogans but it’s over and done with now.

No amount of raking over the coals is going to make things better. Indeed, it makes the situation worse by given oxygen to our friends up the road. How they must be loving the fact that we keep going on and on about the events surrounding the derby.

Move on everyone, the past only hurts us if we let it.

I have been trying to avoid social media but took a glance this morning to see a letter from a “fan” who wants her season ticket cancelled. One of the reasons given was that the club had changed pie supplier. Sorry, what? I thought we were “Sunderland till I die” not “Sunderland as long as I am okay with the in-stadium catering offer”?

The rest of her comments related to Saint Tony Mowbray. I like and respect Mowbray but the fact is that he had lost the plot at Sunderland and we were going backwards. The Huddersfield game was a particular low point.

Sunderland vs Huddersfield Town Sky Bet Championship Photo by MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

I was quite impressed by our ruthlessness in looking for a better option in order to save the season and get us back on track for the playoffs.

Like everyone, I was underwhelmed by Beale’s appointment but give the lad a chance.

Some fans have written him off from the start - how does that help the club move forward? How does that help us attract players? If he does fail, then big questions need to be asked about Speakman. But I hope Beale is a success because that means our club is continuing to make progress, on the pitch at least.

The early signs are varied – points per game have improved, but the evidence of superior tactical nous is mixed. The win against Hull was impressive, our lack of game plan against Newcastle less so. The next ten games will be crucial in seeing whether Beale really is making a difference or whether the change in coach was a mistake.

As I said, give the lad a chance.

I am not expecting an influx of talent in January. The January window is over-hyped with few good players moving at this time of year.

Some of our January panic signings have been disastrous, so let’s avoid them. A couple of astute loans to strengthen us in midfield and up front would be a good return.

Sunderland v Newcastle United - Emirates FA Cup Third Round Photo by MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

I hope Jack Clarke doesn’t move on just yet but there’s a lot more to transfers than the club wanting to get rid, as some fans expect to happen. If a big bid comes in and Clarke wants to go, best to take the cash and move on.

Our progress under this ownership is not down to one or two individual players but to a system of investing in talented young players, which by and large I’ve enjoyed watching.

For me, the main benefit of the ‘model’ is that it’s sustainable and won’t lead to the financial problems that dumped us in league one.

The suggestion that the club is only interested in selling players simply isn’t borne out by the facts - the only ‘big’ names we’ve sold are Wyke (no loss) and Stewart (a good deal, given his fitness). And if anyone thinks that we haven’t made progress and the current owner should go, take a look at the teamsheets in 2020 and let me know which of the players from that era you’d like to see in the squad today.

OPINION!

Sunderland can’t afford to follow a flawed process in their search for a new head coach

ROKER REWIND!

On This Day (28th Feb 1989): Missed penalties and wonder goals in Ewood Park deluge!

FAN LETTERS!

Fan Letters: “It felt like a natural ending for Tony Mowbray at Sunderland”

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