Sunday, 8 May 2016
What a difference a week makes. All of the optimism dissipated in 90 (well, 96) minutes thanks to a dreadful performance more in-keeping with the managerial stints of John Carver and Steve McLaren than the recent upturn in our fortunes under Rafa Benitez. Yet again, Moussa Sissoko's twin brother turned up while our man clearly spent the day at home. This has happened all too often for the last few seasons but the blight seems to have spread to others, whether it's Colback and Gini ambling around or Cisse and Perez (remember when he had potential?) flicking on to nobody in particular. Last week's hero, Andros Townsend, reverted to type with another performance that made Obertan look like Ronaldo. To be fair, most of the team did very little and it could be argued that Rafa ought to have gone for the jugular right from the kick-off.
Because we're fans, we'll not give up hope that Sunderland will lose their next two games and we'll manage to beat Spurs, but Sunderland did what we refused to do: buy a proven striker - and one who was linked with us more than once but considered too old/expensive. Great decision there, Mike.
So, as we rush headlong into the Championship, what does the future hold? Think about it: last time we went down, even after - perhaps especially after - Owen and Duff left, we had a strong squad with Nolan, Barton, Jonas, Colo, Carroll and Enrique at the core. This time, after the vultures have swooped and the mercenaries have all pissed off to Stoke or wherever, we'll have what, precisely? We haven't even got Ameobi. Taken a look at the so-called development programme and the reserves lately?
Look how long it's taken Middlesbrough to return from the Championship. That could be us in, say, ten years time, thanks to an owner who has gutted the club and removed its last vestiges of pride.
Cue another story from the Chronicle blaming Coloccini...