AFTER a frustrating campaign, it was nice to end with a convincing victory in the capital, but, despite the three points, it would be wise not to let this paper over the cracks.
On the face of things, a top 10 finish is an acceptable achievement. However, there are still several concerns, including our injury list, our form in the second half of the season, few goals from midfield, and a real lack of strength in depth. If Steve Bruce remains the man to take us forward, then he has a lot of hard work ahead of him over the next 12 weeks.
Yesterday’s performance was carefree in the sun, although it must be said that the demoralised Hammers were there for the taking. It was pleasing to see Boudewijn Zenden sign off with a goal, while Stephane Sessegnon’s performance bodes well for next year. Even Cristian Riveros got in on the act to put the seal on a victory which means we are unbeaten in London this season, a fine feat.
With loanees leaving, and a threadbare squad at his disposal, Bruce will now turn to the transfer market. At least eight new players need to arrive, and if we can capture the likes of Seb Larsson, Carlton Cole, Charles N’Zogbia and Roger Johnson early, we can set ourselves up for a push for Europe in 2011/2012. That, I fear though, may be beyond us under the current regime. Only time will tell …
To read the rest of the Jury, please see tonight’s Sunderland Echo.