Letting It Wither Away

We have all heard the saying Form is temporary, Class is permanent. Well I'd like to know where our form has gone (because we clearly don't possess class).

 

Quite a number of followers of this website have rightly said our form tailed off in January last year and it has never recovered. That has to be the biggest damning indictment of the managerial team at the club. We are talking about a period of 10 months. By any standard that would be judged unacceptable (unless of course your greatest ambition was to simply just survive in League 1).

 

As a team we have become consistently inconsistent and in away games we don't appear capable of working as a cohesive unit. How can the team which produced the first half performance against MK Dons produce the same abject surrenders as against Bolton and Lincoln (I know we got a draw against the Trotters but I don't regard scraping a draw in the dying minutes against a club hanging on for its survival as anything other than totally unacceptable).

 

We struggled to register against two teams who have been shipping goals for fun in recent weeks. And therein lies the conundrum. At home I know we've hardly set the world alight, but our away form shows us to be incapable of defending, unable to dominate opposing sides in midfield, bereft of creativity going forward and lacking any lethal finishers in front of goal.

 

Apart from that we're brilliant. Whilst the inconsistency shown by any team permutation Ross currently puts out should have him (and the Board) scratching their heads, one of the biggest things puzzling me is how some of our strongest performers last season are now falling well short of those standards this term. I've always thought McGeady blew hot and cold, so I know what to expect from him.

 

I would instead offer two more obvious examples of previous 'Talismen' who were most influential last time out but who are way off their best at the moment. Chris Maguire and John McLaughlin. What has happened to them? Their confidence seems to have totally deserted them. Please don't misunderstand me, I am not using these two as scapegoats.

 

I like both of them, but their form is indicative of the problems which actually run through the whole squad. Ross said the performance against Lincoln was unacceptable. Thanks for that Jack because without that insight I wouldn't have known.

 

What I would ask for instead is a more forthright explanation as to how a team and squad supposedly as strong as ours can frequently just not turn up in a game? Perhaps Ross himself doesn't know or doesn't have an answer in which case.

 

Someone at the club has to take responsibility and address the current problems or are we just going to drift along in a state of limbo until the takeover does or doesn't go through. If it's the latter, then the club is clearly happy to accept midtable mediocrity. I know the fans won't be.

 

Meanwhile, leaving formations and tactics aside, the management team and players should be asking themselves 'whither form?' instead of just letting it wither.

 

 

 

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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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