What are we to read into Sunderland’s latest triumph?
The 6-0 victory over St Mirren in the imaginatively named St Mirren Park was a highlight of the last two years.
A cursory re-examination of the last two years is enough to confirm that I’m not being sarcastic. But how good was the opposition?
St Mirren had a ramshackle line-up, fielding three players respectively named Trialist A, Trialist B and Trialist C.
It must have been an emotional day for Mrs Trialist, watching her three boys in action.
This was very peculiar. We were never given their real names. When one of them was substituted, the PA man announced: “Going off, number nine – Trialist.”
Nevertheless, St Mirren are never to be taken lightly. As everyone knows, they have won the Renfrewshire Cup on no fewer than 55 occasions: even more than Greenock Morton (booo!). They are a grand old club with a good set of fans.
But it’s lovely to beat any club, at any level, managed by Alan Stubbs. His disgraceful stint on Wearside has not been forgotten.
It would be a bold fellow who predicted Sunderland to do similar at Middlesbrough on Friday or, more importantly, against Charlton Athletic eight days later. When we say “bold” we mean someone whose brains have been replaced with pickled onions.
But while pre-season results are not entirely insignificant, they aren’t hugely important either.
However, they do serve to make us even more excited about 2018-19.
Dull people everywhere are free to sneer at the idea that Sunderland can provide excitement. There is much to support the sneers.
SAFC are in the third tier with Wycombe, Fleetwood and Accrington Stanley. We can’t be certain how good or otherwise the new players and manager are. Meanwhile, unwanted overpaid “professionals” continues to “earn” money from the club.
To describe the last two years as miserable and bleak would be to bring misery and bleakness into disrepute.
The few years before that weren’t much cop either.
But the prospect of the Charlton game in a mere 12 days has all genuine supporters a-tingling.
Granted, the anticipation tends to surpass the event, with optimism taking an invariable battering by October.
Experience should illustrate the irrationality of looking forward to a new campaign. But then the feelings of football fans immediately before a new season owe nothing to rational thought.
Who cares? The World Cup was all well and good. But you can’t beat the real thing.
Jack Rodwell has been put on trial, but not the right sort.
The “footballer” was inexplicably given a game by Watford on Saturday; the club that borrowed Didier Ndong last season, even though they soon realised what they were getting and he consequently never played for them.
Keen to enlist even more of this type of footballing dynamite and value for money, they have now given an opportunity to another midfield piston.
Whatever Rodwell had, it is long gone; probably six years ago when he left Everton.
If any Watford supporters are reading this, don’t say you weren’t warned.
Sunderland are now a third division club and Rodwell isn’t good enough to play for them.
And as for him as a human being: we won’t dwell upon that.
Yet a Premier League club thinks he could be an option – that they will pay handsomely for. They are entitled to their doolally opinion.
Agents may be a disease that football has to live with. But let’s be fair. Rodwell’s must be a genius.
Just be grateful he is no longer Sunderland’s problem.