Empty seats, dreadful goalkeepers and an array of amateur mistakes from our side summarise what was truly one of the most forgettable seasons in our recent history.
The 2017/2018 campaign was a truly turgid affair and you don’t need to document the abundance of mistakes that occurred during this season.
However, for today, we’ll reflect (briefly) on the 2-0 defeat to Ipswich Town that we suffered at the Stadium of Light on this day six years ago.
With the Lads sitting second from the bottom of the Championship table, Chris Coleman had his work cut out to arrest the downward slide. His appointment was thought to be one that would galvanise the club but in truth, it very little impact on our fortunes.
This match against Ipswich came just days after the January transfer window closed; a window during which our best player in Lewis Grabban left for pastures new whilst we could only draft in youngsters, loans and free transfers which included Ashley Fletcher, Lee Camp and Ovie Ejaria.
Camp’s signing was memorable for all the wrong reasons. He made his debut in this game but appeared out of his depth, even at the level we were playing at.
On the day, Camp conceded two goals and on both occasions, the argument can be made that he could’ve done better with them.
In the early stages of the game, we looked determined and created some decent opportunities.
Joel Asoro went closest after decent build up play from Fletcher saw him put the Swede through, but his shot flashed across the goal and wide.
Opportunities like this had to be taken, considering the vulnerability of the team.
We typically dropped our heads once we went a goal behind and nothing changed here, as Ipswich scored two quick goals between the thirty fifth and forty fifth minute.
Striker Joe Garner opened the scoring when he held off Billy Jones, turned in the box and found the bottom corner.
Ipswich doubled their lead when Grant Ward’s cross went in off Adam Matthews’ leg, and Sunderland offered little in reply.
Camp’s contribution towards both goals was damning.
He was slow across his goal line for Garner’s opener, whilst the second was just as baffling as the goalkeeper jumped off his line to stop a cross he was never getting to and the ball subsequently ricocheted off Adam Matthews and into the net.
From there on in, we were never getting back into the game.
As the game wore on, the stadium emptied and so did the hope and enthusiasm for a rescue mission by Chris Coleman. Indeed, the manager lamented the team’s softness when going a goal behind.
It was the second game running where we conceded a minute before half time, but it is what it is and we are where we are.
When we go a goal behind, we just don’t come back.
That’s a worry because we’re not always going to go 1-0 up. There’s only us can change that.
Saturday 3 February 2018
Sky Bet Championship
Stadium of Light
Ipswich Town 2 (Garner 35’, Matthews (own goal 45+1’)
Sunderland: Camp, Matthews (McGeady, 70’), O’Shea (c); Browning, Jones, Oviedo; Cattermole, Ejaria, E Robson (Honeyman, 57’); Fletcher, Asoro (LuaLua, 57’).
Subs Not Used: Maja, Gooch, Love, Ruiter
Ipswich Town: Bialkowski, Knudsen, Chambers (c); Skuse (Hyam, 84’), Waghorn, Spence; Garner, Connolly, Ward (Gleeson, 73’); Sears, Carter-Vickers.
Subs Not Used: Iorfa, Webster, Celina, Carayol, Crowe