It’s never easy being a Sunderland fan. Most weeks we lose, but I suppose in turn that makes the good times even better because we get very few of them.
For example, in a season where we looked favourites for the drop, we enjoyed a wild night at Old Trafford as we booked our place in the Capital One Cup final at Wembley; we performed the greatest of great escapes and we beat the mags six times in a row. We do however, hold some bizarre records that probably explain most mackem’s love/hate relationship with the club.
As I write this, I’ve seen three pretty depressing facts come up on social media and Sky Sports News. First of all, the club sacked Emmanuel Eboue after it was revealed that he will serve a one-year ban from “football related activity” if he doesn’t pay what he owes one of his agents. Just last week, Adam Johnson was sentenced to six years in jail and was, as well reported, sacked by the club immediately after he pledged his guilty pleas at the start of his trial. This means that Sunderland will have sacked as many players (two) as they’ve had home clean sheets this season. In fact, the lads in red and white have only kept three shut-outs this term.
Next up on the terrible stats reel is the fact Sunderland haven’t won a game of football in March since 2012. That game was under Martin O’Neill as the Black Cats beat QPR 3-1 with goals from Nicklas Bendtner, James McClean and Stephane Sessegnon. Since then, fans have seen three managers sacked and are onto their fourth in Sam Allardyce. Paolo Di Canio wasn’t in charge during March, but both Gus Poyet and Dick Advocaat duly followed O’Neill’s trend.
The final thing that just summed up what it’s like being a Sunderland fan was as I watched Premier League Years 2015/16. It had just explained how QPR became the first team in Premier League history to lose their first 11 away games of the season. Moments later, it was showing them comfortably dispatch of Sunderland at the Stadium of Light to pick up their first points away from home. It was possibly the most Sunderland thing Sunderland could ever do. There was a similar moment under Poyet when Aston Villa beat us 4-0 at home. Nothing new there I here you say? Well, no there isn’t, but when you dig deeper you realise Villa had only scored four goals away from home all season and it was now March.
There’s plenty more bad omens and what not and I could go on forever, but some of us have word limits. If you’re a striker who’s out of form you will relish playing against Sunderland as we’ll most likely let you score. For example, look at Wayne Rooney. He was very much on a goal drought but we managed to find a way to let him score as they beat us 3-0 at Old Trafford. It makes it even worse when you look at the quality of some of the players that seem to score against us. I don’t even think I could bear to type any on this article.
The game this weekend against West Brom is huge and a win is a must. With Newcastle facing Norwich, a win would be the best possible result. That means whatever the result, we’re in the best possible position we can be. On top of that, this game is a game at the start of the season you expect a result from with the greatest respect to West Brom.