Will Benji Stop Our Winter of Discontent

The phrase "Winter of Discontent" is from the opening line of William Shakespeare’s Richard III: "Now is the winter of our discontent,” a chill that now whistles around the SOL.

Whilst I, as many fans do, hope and trust we turn this around sooner rather than later. The last few months point comfortably towards a long struggle rather than a quick fix.

The two main issues I have, like most genuine fans are a) the manager and b) the lack of effort of our senior players.

So, Phil Parkinson has come in, adopted a squad of players and basically been told to do his best, get to the January window in the hope we’re still in touch with the top six.

It’s evident the negotiations re investment were quite clearly well advanced prior to the departure of Ross, then the subsequent appointment of Parkinson. The latter being told funds would be available come January.

However, what has become transparent is the inability of the current manager to get the best out of the current squad, or is he, and the current bunch of players simply not good enough to mount a promotion challenge? The next six to eight weeks, plus the huge transfer window that approaches will answer questions on both these issues.

Saturday was as dismal as we’ve seen recently and an effervescent Coventry side we’re simply more hungry for the three points than we were.

Why for Christ’s sake? We are Sunderland and we were playing at home in front of 30,000 fans. The team selection looked cagey but bordering on negative with three holding midfielders. Was this an attempt to over-run Coventry and maximise possession, in the hope we created something.

Maybe it was, however for this to happen we need our front three of Maguire, Grigg and McGeady to offer us more. They didn’t, and we looked hapless.

As the game looked to have fizzled out Parkinson rang the changes with the initial introduction of Duncan Watmore, followed by Benji soon after.

Duncan did what he does best, direct and actually got at the Coventry back line. For the first time in the game their full backs had something to think about.

It wasn’t until the introduction of Benjamin Kimpioka that we actually pressed and looked like we might create opportunities. He duly obliged, salvaging a point that some may argue we never deserved.

In Benji it’s pretty evident he is still raw. For as much endeavour as he shows it’s clear he’s a million miles away from the finished product. He’s an impact sub at best.

We cannot and must not throw this kid into the deep and end hang our hats on him to push us up the league. He needs time and nurturing over the forthcoming years for us to get the best out of him. Desperate times do not always call for desperate measures.

What we need now is unity within the team, a miracle and a bloody good transfer window. We need them senior players to grow a set of balls and actually realise they need to stand up and be counted.

Keeping the faith, just.

Over to you Stewart, Charlie and Phil. Now’s not the time to hide…