Playing Patience

If there's one thing our team is currently excelling at it is being consistently inconsistent. Not a good characteristic when it's the one thing a team hoping for automatic promotion needs. If I have understood him correctly, Stuart Donald is trying to manage our expectations by saying if we don't go up this season, we'll still be ok financially.

 

Whilst that is hugely important bearing in mind the perilous financial state the club was in, we all know a club of our size and potential should not be in this league and we need to get out of it asap.

 

Donald has also said he still thinks Ross is the man to take this club forward, but I wonder if he will still think that if we fail again this season? Clearly the number of fans now having doubts about Ross is increasing judging by the comments expressed on social media and voiced during games themselves.

 

I think it would be fair to say that, if the honeymoon period isn't yet over, it is drawing to a close.

 

Last season gave the club the chance to look at the largely unknown territory that League 1 is (or should be to us). It looked for the first five months like we had a chance of getting out at the first attempt, but the January transfer window put paid to that.

 

We lost all the early momentum and finished the promotion race like a marathon runner on his last legs - we could see the finish line but instead we ended up in in a heap in the arms of the medical staff. You would hope therefore that Ross would learn from that experience.

 

Whilst it's still early days in this campaign I'm unconvinced. We look incapable of dominating the opposition, whoever it is. We can't keep clean sheets (even Wimbledon, a poor team, found it relatively easy to score against us) and we're not exactly creating loads of chances nor converting a decent proportion of the ones we do.

 

Our transfer policy hasn't set the imagination of the fans alight and we've let players in a key position leave (Reece James and Oviedo) without having adequate cover in place. To say that is poor planning is an understatement in the extreme. We are also hardly encouraging the promising youth talent at our club to come through - players flit around the first team squad without necessarily becoming regulars or are dumped out on loan again (Ethan Robson?).

 

Overall, I would suggest that, as a cohesive unit we're largely still 'unstuck'. So, is Ross still seeing the big picture? Indeed, is there one? Do I expect us to win every game? Yeah, at this level I think we should be, after all we reportedly have the biggest wage bill and one of the biggest squads in the league.

 

The buck has to stop somewhere - as in someone has to be responsible for the results, good or bad. I'm not yet calling for Ross' head, but the club certainly aren't currently helping me to manage my expectations.

 

They say patience is a virtue but judging by other fans' recent reactions, I'll lay my cards on the table and suggest I'm not the only one who is slowly running out of it.

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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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