Friday, August 15, 2008

EPL: Previews: Sunderland AFC

You can't talk about Sunderland without talking about Blighted English Shipping Towns, Sex Parties, and yes, Roy Keane. Whenever they think they are going to turn the corner, there is someone there to kick them in the knees. Just a few days ago, a Tory-friendly think-tank ravages the northern cities like Sunderland and urging people to give up and move. In a quote from the report, they state:

"Sunderland demonstrates just how hard it is to regenerate such a city. It is time to stop pretending there is a bright future for Sunderland and ask ourselves instead what we need to do to offer people in Sunderland better prospects."

As goes Jones, so goes the season.

They have a point: stop pretending there is a bright future for Sunderland and ask ourselves why don't they move it along?

We strive to be positive here, so I'll be positive about Sunderland - their biggest fan website is named after a wonder John Coltrane Song that always moves me in a positive way. We can only hope it moves the Sunderland fans positively.

Sunderland is a team that will live and die by its coach. But when the coach overshadows their best players, this is a sign that it will be a team dragged through the season performing up to their level of mediocrity. They lost 21 matches last year, only registering six draws. Yet, they managed to hang on and avoided relegation. Now they feel flush with success.

They picked up Steed Malbranque and El-Hadji Diouf in the transfer market. This will help them hold onto the ball as they seemed to suffer from that fact last year. They picked up three of the four players from Tottenham that Keane wanted.

Chopra is sitting out a suspension for three games, and Kenwyne Jones and his hobbling knee was recently worked on, and the club is hanging its hopes on the idea that he can start practicing in October, and not Christmas as first thought. Jones is a leader on the pitch, and held up the line. This will leave a void for Coach Roy to scramble to fill. Keiran Richardson has come over from Man. U. and, if he can stay healthy, he will have something to prove.

No One Wants To Play Here
Keane spent 40 Million Pounds in the transfer market last summer, and the news was the WaGs were not happy with the shopping up there. Meanwhile, they managed to save themselves from relegation. He's spending all of his time trying to put a good face on the town. They need someone in the midfield to replace Jonny Evans, who couldn't wait to split town. They still need a striker.

Sunderland's idea of tactical planning is 'surprising' Liverpool and jumping ahead early. This will be somewhat of a challenge, as they conceded the first goal in 24 matches last year. They started fast last year, before shooting their collective wad early, and dropping off the map. Maybe someone should tell Keane the season is much longer than 8 matches.

Many hope this will be the year that they end up getting relegated. I for one, don't see that happening. They will end up in the middle of the pack, muddling along. Which may be the best this once-busy blue collar town can hope for.


strong like bull smart like tractor said...

Sounds about right. There's enough talent on the squad that they won't get relegated (barring some major catastrophes), but there's virtually no chance that they finish in the top 10, either. Looks like a long, dull, unmemorable season ahead...

Precious Roy said...

Richardson was already there. He came over last season.

MoonshineMike said...

They need another party, tractor. and I got my reality mixed up on Richardson. Maybe he didn't feel like he actually played for Sunderland.