SkyDaz Sunderland Preview

Last updated : 24 November 2005 By Darren Porter

Hands up if you think the fog was a blessing. It stretches our unbeaten run to one and that’s just about equalled our best so far this season.

The only other blessing was that no one else got injured and everyone has another week to complete their return to full fitness. The line up against Bolton has not been revealed apart from the guaranteed starting berth for Kilkenny. Quite rightly so.

Five days further on and Bruce has the option of shuffling his pack and dealing a side capable of winning at the Stadium of Light. Some Villa friends of mine visited there last weekend and commented on how poor Sunderland are. The pressure is on then. Especially if the Lions of Lozells can get three points up there.

It’s going to be grim up north for sure and Bruce badly needs his troops to start performing like they want to win. Sunderland themselves are also under extreme pressure to make a fight of their season in the Premiership. They will be heartened by Albion’s escape last season. And by how poor teams like ourselves and Everton have been!

This week we have been linked with two new players. Firstly Ingi Hojsted has been drafted in. I’m all for signing internationals but young Ingi has only been capped by the Faroe Islands. I know they drew 2-2 with Scotland once but they are on a par with Smethwick Comprehensive’s Under 14 girl’s team. Where are the Faroe Islands? For a few days in the eighties I thought the Falklands were off Scotland. I reckoned the Argies were well brave travelling all that way for some barren outback home to some gulls and the odd hermit. But wait. He’s played for the Arsenal academy, the very place we kidnapped Kilkenny from. And he left there to return to B36 because? Yep he’s injury prone. B36 is the name of his club by the way, I didn’t mean he went back to Hall Green or wherever that is. I wish him well. He’s only young and no doubt not used to such things as electricity. One thing’s for sure he wouldn’t feel the cold in Sunderland.

Secondly we were linked with Yoann Lachor, a 29 year old defender with Lens in France. The French have certainly made an impact in the Premier with players like Henry, Pires, Cantona and Dugarry to name but an illustrious few. Lachor however is keen to leave Lens because? Yep that’s right he can’t get a game! The target defender to save us is the Lens reserve full back! Surely a better proposition would be the guy keeping Lachor out of the Lens first team?

I’m never one to doubt the wisdom of the powers at St Andrews. They all have far more experience than little old me but surely the acquisition of a boy from a tiny island and a has been from the French reserves are not the players who are going to inspire us all for the battle that lies ahead. Do not be mistaken. We are in a battle and even if we finish half way at the end we should all give a huge sigh of relief for the narrow escape.

The players we need are like Roy Keane. Note that I said like him, not necessarily him. He doesn’t quit, he doesn’t give the ball away, he defends, he attacks and he cajoles his team mates to adopt the same belligerent attitude. Someone has to take this talented team of individuals and drag them to a victory. Someone has to stand up and be counted. As much as I love watching King Kenny play he always strikes me as a quiet unassuming guy who is softly spoken on the pitch. Where is the leader? Where is the inspiration?

Position by position Steve Bruce has done an excellent job in improving the side. There is talent in abundance, energy and experience. But there isn’t fight and more importantly they don’t play as a team. Yet.

Sunderland away is an almighty fixture. The two sides are slowly being cast adrift and the gap needs to be closed if either is going to stand any chance of surviving.

Brucie, it’s time to tell them some home truths, to wind them up, to put fire in their bellies, to let them know that the travelling supporters deserve better. Earn a standing ovation. Throw away the Coldplay cds and put some Killers on. Dump Clinton’s So Solid Crew records in the bin, put Kenny’s Country and Western in there too. No one wants to hear about some soppy cowboy who has had his heart broken. It’s time for Take That, Duran Duran and a little Slipknot.

Keep Right On. Relight my fire cos we’re all hungry like the wolf so spit it out. Three nil. I’ll get my coat.