The hordes of fans trudged towards the Stadium of Light yesterday to bask in the sunshine. There was hope and optimism oozing with a tinge of apprehension, which was expected after last season and the huge upheaval during the summer.
The game wasn’t perfect, we all know that, however, here are a few things I noticed that was clearly absent yesterday.
There wasn’t a mercenary in sight. The big earners strutting their self-indulgent enlarged egos aground our stadium had disappeared. They had been replaced by a hungry, down to earth bunch of honest lads who wore that shirt with pride. The intelligent SOL crowd spotted this within minutes and welcomed them with open arms.
After a frustrating first half it was evident we weren’t going to win this game had we re-entered the arena with the same formation and players. It was at this point we noticed another thing was clearly missing. A manager that was more than content to “see how it goes for 20 minutes”. The astute Ross made the call during the internal and changed to a 3-5-2. We became a force going forward. The defence looked more comfortable after a cagey first 45 minutes.
Furthermore, there wasn’t a sniff of capitulation. Ross had pulled off a master stroke. 11 hardy souls in red and white shirts believed in themselves and their ability to succeed. We had the bit between our teeth.
That now well documented Gooch header showed us the final thing that was missing. There was no self-destruct button. Ross has clearly removed this and lodged it firmly in the club safe, never to be used again.
Saturday August 4th was the day our club began to regain its identity, an identity that was ripped away from us through neglect. That’s all history now as we look to a shiny future. There’ll be blips and bad days, for sure. However, this time we’ll ride them out. Why? Because we’re together again.
Stewart Donald, Charlie Methven and now Juan Sartori. Brace yourselves, this is going to be an incredible journey. Climb aboard and hold tight, we’re with you.
Ha’way the lads