My Vantage Point

July 1, 2019

Sat on my sun bed, enjoying the weather and relaxing, when I hear someone say “the seasons are changing,“ in relation to the record temperatures across Europe. There is one thing about football seasons that does not change, which is every season my emotions are a rollercoaster.


The players need a rest, the manager and coaching staff need a rest and so do the owners and the club staff, but so do we, the supporters. So much so after dragging our battered bodies around Trafalgar Square for the last time before falling to a Wembley curse once more.


Five weeks later it all starts again, takeover talk is stumbling, which places pressure on the recruitment policy, speculation on who will leave and who will come through the door and that overriding variant feeling in the pit of your stomach that this is either our time or we are doomed once more to failure.


Ok, it’s someday one or the other, but the beauty of a groundhog day is we get to go again, every season since is history, we cannot change it but we can use it as a reference, but let’s not use it as a stick with which to beat ourselves.


When we play Oxford on the opening day we go again with renewed hope and optimism, whoever owns the club, manages it or is playing in the first eleven I know I will be there supporting this club as I have been for 48 years.


And whatever the result, remind myself it’s not where you start it’s where you finish…


Arguably the best season in my time was the seventh finish but we got smacked away at Chelsea 4-0 on the opening day, I recall Dennis Longhorn hitting a beauty in against Chelsea on the opening day in ‘75 when we won the league.


Also, Ally McCoist’s debut away at Ipswich 81 after they had finished 2nd (we were 3-1 up and they pegged us backed to draw); we beat Villa on the Tuesday night 2-1 and they had won the league and then the European cup, we stayed up by two points we beat Man City 1-0 on the last day to stay up.


I’m ready now to go again and believe that one day when I look back I will say, this was our season.


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At the back end of the 1980s, football fanzines began to sweep the country and in 1989 we were presented with a new vehicle on which to enjoy some of this ride – A Love Supreme. ALS was a place we could all go to celebrate and commiserate being a Sunderland fan. Win, lose or draw, the pages of the fanzine became solace for many of us as we stumbled our way through our day to day lives, punctuated by the ups and downs of more match days than any of us care to remember.


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