So our club captain has followed in the footsteps of footballing greats such as David Meyler, Elmo, Mark Lynch, Paul McShane and Frazier Campbell by swapping Sunderland for Hull City albeit the latter went via Cardiff and Palace but you get the jist. The overriding emotion I felt once the deal had gone through was relief. Relief for George, relief for Jack Ross and relief for our supporters.
Honeyman has massively divided opinion throughout the club, he’s been the easy target for supporters who aren’t happy unless we are tonking teams 6 nowt, people are quick to jump on his back for a sideways pass or stray one for that matter, However afford the likes of Maguire or McGeady much more patience. On the flip side there are fans who see a local lad not only trying to learn his trade but also lead by example to the rest of the players as his role of club captain.
George Honeyman was given the captaincy when there wasn’t really anyone else to give it to, the boat load of new signings cobbled together by Ross and Donald at the start of last season were a big unknown for most of us. Catts looked to be leaving, other seniors were jumping the ship as fast as they could. So who else do you give it to? Someone who’s been in the door 5 minutes or someone who has a bit of an idea of just what it means to be a Sunderland player. He has also had the unenviable task of making himself into a player while playing alongside players who didn’t want to be here, players who couldn’t give two f**ks about the club and players who were in horrendous runs of form. He’s also been thrown into this shitstorm of one of the worst collapses in footballing history. People gloss over the fact we have been shite for years. We were lucky to stay up when Sbragia took over from Keane. We had a steady patch with Bruce which turned sour, Martin O’Neill looked to have ran out of ideas, Di Canio, well we all know what happened there. Poyet had flashes of doing well ruined by too many draws and ultimately heading towards relegation after a great escape and a cup final. Advocaat managed to get us over the line and could obviously see the problems so left as quick as he could. Big Sam finally got us playing well but I think he was leaving regardless of the England job as he didn’t seem to be getting his own way in the transfer market and do I really need to mention Moyes? I saw a list of his signings that he made while he was here and it was a horror show. People were actually arguing that Anichebe and Oviedo did alright for us, they never. They just weren’t quite as shit as Altidore and Celustka. So obviously relegation quickly followed and what happened after that was just a diy guide on how to ruin a football club.
So while all this is going on, George Honeyman is trying to become a professional footballer for the club he loves. He’s willing to stand up and do something about it. He’s got no-one to learn from because nobody is anywhere near any sort of form that he could possibly follow their lead. Now he may be restricted by how far he can go with his career due to lack of ability; it certainly won’t be down to lack of effort. I hope he goes on to have a good career from here. He hasn’t had the fair crack of the whip from a section of Sunderland fans and in a time when all we wanted was players who wanted to be here. Im sad to say that I’ve witnessed grown men celebrating the fact a local lad has left. It was never his fault that he didn’t reach the heights that we wanted him to, this would have been his first settled season. I watched his interview last night, his body language and choice of words made it quite clear he didn’t want to leave. Had we gone up last season and a big championship team came in for him he may well have left but given the choice I believe he desperately wanted to stay.
Good luck George