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On 4/19/2021 at 8:08 PM, Michael* said:

 

Well, the less said about this one, the better. We have a few weeks to get over it, solve some issues and find some form to hopefully take into the play-offs.

Any particulars to explain the recent wobble? The defeat to Wigan in particular looked a real groaner. 

 

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6 hours ago, Frederick said:

Any particulars to explain the recent wobble? The defeat to Wigan in particular looked a real groaner. 

 

After the home defeat to Charlton which was at least somewhat tolerable given the relative quality of the opposition, the Wigan game and the manner of the performance were especially disappointing, so much so that the Blackpool result felt like an inevitability afterwards.

 

I know for me, the constant chopping and changing of personnel has become an issue, with the starting eleven and with the regular quadruple substitutions which almost always give the impression that the panic button is being pressed. Presumably Johnson would point to a catalogue of injuries (losing Sanderson in particular was a bitter blow) as well as the fast turnover of games, but at times it's felt like rotation for rotation's sake.

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  • 4 weeks later...
21 hours ago, Frederick said:

Gonna tell my kids this is Crick and Watson.

 

How do you think it'll go with Terzic now, Fred? Despite the initial expectation that he would continue to work under Rose next season, one wonders if he'd be fine with going back to his old role, having led Dortmund back into Champions League contention. Or would a full-time gig elsewhere be too much too soon?

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Fair play to Steve Bruce for winning April's Manager of the Month after taking Newcastle all the way from 17th place in the Premier League to 17th place in the Premier League.

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23 minutes ago, Michael* said:

 

How do you think it'll go with Terzic now, Fred? Despite the initial expectation that he would continue to work under Rose next season, one wonders if he'd be fine with going back to his old role, having led Dortmund back into Champions League contention. Or would a full-time gig elsewhere be too much too soon?

No doubting he's been a galvanising supply teacher for a meek minded/supremely talented if underachieving squad but whether he'd make a good fist of it at, say, Bremen is an entirely different prospect. I won't begrudge him the right to move on but (from my admittedly partisan POV) I'd be more impressed if he stayed, at least for a time, and grew his tactical acumen. 

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59 minutes ago, Michael* said:

Fair play to Steve Bruce for winning April's Manager of the Month after taking Newcastle all the way from 17th place in the Premier League to 17th place in the Premier League.

Without trying to diminish a Young English Manager, it was awfully decent of Fulham to resume their early season rubbishness just as there seemed a possibility of a decent relegation scrap. Hopefully the lads and lasses on the sofa can ensure Scotty gets 990 games to perfect his craft like Brucey. 

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8 hours ago, Frederick said:

Without trying to diminish a Young English Manager, it was awfully decent of Fulham to resume their early season rubbishness just as there seemed a possibility of a decent relegation scrap. Hopefully the lads and lasses on the sofa can ensure Scotty gets 990 games to perfect his craft like Brucey. 

 

It was supposed to go down to the wire of course with a Fulham-Newcastle shootout on the last day, instead Fulham let Leeds cruise to a win at Craven Cottage, contrived to turn a seemingly competitive game at Villa Park into a crushingly daft defeat, and then were awful against a really-not-very-good Wolves side. Cue much relief from Ashley and Bruce, who can now concentrate on securing 17th place in May 2022.

 

Parker is like the Wile E. Coyote of the Premier League, the necessary qualities for a successful jump often look to be there but every time he's up in the air, gravity kicks in and he tumbles into an abyss.

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On 5/17/2021 at 3:41 AM, Michael* said:

What a moment, what a header, what a guy for it to happen to. Simply incredible.

 

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"YESSSS, IT'S A MART POOM HEADER!"

As stoppage-time goals go...🤯 pic.twitter.com/2iYU9pTnyN

— Sunderland AFC (@SunderlandAFC) February 26, 2020

 
The Alisson one was alright as well, I guess.

Do love me some Mart Poom, I'd bracket him in that Marcus Hedman tier of goalies that for a brief shining moment in the early 00s seemed to have a blue chip move a few paces away (I'm discounting the Poomeister's later tenure at Arsenal as he was only ever intended to be back-up). Unlike many a flowery Euro dandy that rocked up at the Stadium of Light over the years you know Big Marty never complained about the weather in Sunderland a day in his life. It's a shame Estonia haven't qualified for the Euros as he'd no doubt be a steadfast pundit even in his non-native tongue.

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2 hours ago, Frederick said:

Do love me some Mart Poom, I'd bracket him in that Marcus Hedman tier of goalies that for a brief shining moment in the early 00s seemed to have a blue chip move a few paces away (I'm discounting the Poomeister's later tenure at Arsenal as he was only ever intended to be back-up). Unlike many a flowery Euro dandy that rocked up at the Stadium of Light over the years you know Big Marty never complained about the weather in Sunderland a day in his life. It's a shame Estonia haven't qualified for the Euros as he'd no doubt be a steadfast pundit even in his non-native tongue.

 

I think I'm right in thinking that the closest Estonia ever came was a losing effort in the play-offs for Euro 2012, although I'm struggling to recall if Mart was still playing by that point.

 

Hard to believe now that he only spent couple of years with us (and that Mick McCarthy once considered Kelvin Davis a better bet in goal), but the header and the image of him receiving a standing ovation afterwards from both sets of fans will stay with me forever, I think.

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That storming run of results after Lee Johnson's arrival in December feels like a very long time ago now. Perhaps an outside chance that the 10,000 fans allowed in for Saturday's return leg could give the team a lift, but overall this group looks leggy and devoid of ideas.

 

If by some miracle we do end up getting promoted, the squad would need a massive revamp to have even the slightest chance of being competitive. Although come to think of it, that revamp will be needed even if we're still in League One. Desperately, desperately poor.

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On 5/20/2021 at 3:47 PM, Michael* said:

That storming run of results after Lee Johnson's arrival in December feels like a very long time ago now. Perhaps an outside chance that the 10,000 fans allowed in for Saturday's return leg could give the team a lift, but overall this group looks leggy and devoid of ideas.

 

If by some miracle we do end up getting promoted, the squad would need a massive revamp to have even the slightest chance of being competitive. Although come to think of it, that revamp will be needed even if we're still in League One. Desperately, desperately poor.

Commiserations Michael. I'm sure by now somber inquests are a staple of every Sunderland supporter's diet, is there a consensus among the brethren on where blame rests for another failed campaign? Does LJ, for example, evade any culpability given the preceding miserabilist reign of Parky? That sudden downturn in form in April was a real head scratcher from the outside looking in.

Something that came up the other day that hadn't occurred to me before was that Sunderland haven't done the Big Club Loitering in the Doldrums thing of hoovering up the better players of the smaller overachieving teams in and amongst them, I suppose because the Netflix owners had had enough. By no means a bulletproof strategy (Scott Hogan, etc) but I'm presuming the new owners have a bit of financial muscle relative to the division, so it'll be interesting to see how they go about recruitment in the months ahead. 

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On 5/23/2021 at 1:10 PM, Frederick said:

Commiserations Michael. I'm sure by now somber inquests are a staple of every Sunderland supporter's diet, is there a consensus among the brethren on where blame rests for another failed campaign? Does LJ, for example, evade any culpability given the preceding miserabilist reign of Parky? That sudden downturn in form in April was a real head scratcher from the outside looking in.

Something that came up the other day that hadn't occurred to me before was that Sunderland haven't done the Big Club Loitering in the Doldrums thing of hoovering up the better players of the smaller overachieving teams in and amongst them, I suppose because the Netflix owners had had enough. By no means a bulletproof strategy (Scott Hogan, etc) but I'm presuming the new owners have a bit of financial muscle relative to the division, so it'll be interesting to see how they go about recruitment in the months ahead. 

 

Well done to Lincoln of course, I thought they were by far and away the better side across the two legs, although in truth it doesn't seem to take much to expose our limitations these days. Once our first half energy began to dissipate, we offered precious little.

 

Naturally I suppose the question for most fans will be whether or not Johnson should stay, because it feels like most of the goodwill he earned from December onwards has been squandered. While I'm not necessarily in the camp that thinks we'd be better off getting rid, our usual calling card of sacking the manager in mid-October and then drafting someone else in to try and galvanise a patchy squad assembled without much in the way of joined-up thinking is an area that I'd like to think Dreyfus would be sensible enough to stay out of. We shall see.

 

As things stand, I don't think anyone of note in the league will be looking at us as a genuine threat for next season and I suppose you'd have to say, rightly so. This is a squad mostly comprised of plodders that has never really screamed "promotion favourites" to me, we don't seem to poach youngsters from the divisions below or take loans from those in the divisions above, nor do we even attract in-form players from League One rivals. The hope is that we operate sensibly over the summer and change that, and with a bit more financial clout than Donald and Methven could muster.

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Youth Cup win a nice exclamation mark to the best Villa season in years (can't be reiterated enough how doomed we seemed pre-Project Restart (and a fair way into it, too)). If you don't believe in miracles, consider the fact that Matt Targett has been one of the best left-backs in the league this season. One never quite knows what the market will or won't be like for Jack, but taking that off the table for a second, with some canny moves in the summer I see no reason why we can't finish higher next time out. Failing that, can we at least beat Burnley (and ten other teams but definitely make Burnley one of them)? 

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4 hours ago, Frederick said:

Youth Cup win a nice exclamation mark to the best Villa season in years (can't be reiterated enough how doomed we seemed pre-Project Restart (and a fair way into it, too)). If you don't believe in miracles, consider the fact that Matt Targett has been one of the best left-backs in the league this season. One never quite knows what the market will or won't be like for Jack, but taking that off the table for a second, with some canny moves in the summer I see no reason why we can't finish higher next time out. Failing that, can we at least beat Burnley (and ten other teams but definitely make Burnley one of them)? 

 

The thumping of Liverpool and the double over Arsenal were particularly eye-catching for Villa this season, overall it looks as if the spine of the team and the back line are pretty solid. Perhaps with another three or four additions of real quality added to the mix, and there's probably a good chance that the owners will deliver them, I dare say a push for Europe could be on the cards.

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On 5/27/2021 at 8:10 PM, Michael* said:

Maybe, just maybe, Villarreal are quite good.

Their recent tonking of Sevilla caught my attention (while the victory over Arsenal raised the barest of chuckles given its sheer inevitability); Lord knows an outfit with Bacca, Moreno and wee Paco should have a certain agreeable flavour to it. That being said, the Europa final was absolute pants till the banter ending. 120+ minutes in the company of BT Sport's deep bench of cack pundits didn't help.

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On 5/31/2021 at 7:45 PM, Frederick said:

Their recent tonking of Sevilla caught my attention (while the victory over Arsenal raised the barest of chuckles given its sheer inevitability); Lord knows an outfit with Bacca, Moreno and wee Paco should have a certain agreeable flavour to it. That being said, the Europa final was absolute pants till the banter ending. 120+ minutes in the company of BT Sport's deep bench of cack pundits didn't help.

 

A pretty awful game, but I will admit to getting a kick out of some of Savage's commentary. Particularly during the shoot-out when, having spent the previous 120 minutes treating Villarreal like a team who'd collected enough crisp packets to win a trip to Gdansk, he kept predicting that their players would miss penalties, only to see them dispatched with ease into the top corner. "That was probably the best one of the night Robbie."

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