Chris Young column - Let’s keep the Stadium of Light atmospheric

Sunderland supporters at the WBA game. Picture by FRANK REID
Sunderland supporters at the WBA game. Picture by FRANK REID
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NOW that the furore has died down over Gus Poyet’s ill-conceived comments on the crowd, perhaps there is a discussion to be had about the Stadium of Light atmosphere.

The entertainment on offer at home this season hasn’t been thrill-a-minute. In fact, an afternoon with the missus in The Bridges has nearly (nearly) been tempting at some stages.

Any side who has won just nine league games on their own patch in more than two years is going to earn a few moans and groans when they are repeating the same old problems.

But the Stadium of Light is one of the few remaining grounds in the Premier League where there is an atmosphere. Go to one of the top flight’s heavyweights and it’s too often like a morgue.

You could sense it watching the first half of Manchester City’s Champions League clash against Barcelona on Tuesday night.

At its best, the Stadium of Light is a raucous, hostile place to play for visiting players, as it was against West Brom last weekend, despite the drab nature of the game.

Let’s keep it like that, rather than letting away teams fulfil their target of prompting frustrating in the stands by subduing the hosts for the opening 20 minutes.