Wise Men Say: Why Sunderland should cherish the optimism around the club more than ever this week
Well, Sunderland have made a better fist of playing against Premier league opposition than when theywere in the Premier League.
The unbeaten start to the season continued with a 3-1 win against a strong, albeit rotated, Burnley side. That said, Jack Ross made eight changes to the side that beat Wimbledon, including a first appearance for the lesser-spotted Jack Baldwin.
A huge bonus of course, and one that could reap long term rewards, was Will Grigg getting his first goal of the season – hopefully the first of many.
Obviously the Carabao Cup, like any cup this season, are not high on Sunderland’s list of priorities but a win last night will serve only to increase the belief and confidence in the side, ahead of a tricky trip to Peterborough, before the international break.
The squad, equipped with fringe players now pushing for starting spots, must be heading to Peterborough with the belief they can make it six wins in a row. The possibility of topping the league, something which Sunderland staggeringly have not done since dropping to the third tier (bar after the opening game win against Charlton, which was the first game played in the competition), is a real one if three points can be claimed this weekend. There is definite cause for optimism on Wearside.
This optimism comes in a week in which two Lancashire sides have been involved in a situation which no football league club should ever be in. Bury and Bolton Wanderers entered the week with a deadline approaching, which would see them expelled from the football league. Bolton have managed to complete a takeover to avoid this, but the deadline passed for Bury which, barring a miraculous takeover and reversal of decision, is now a town with out a football club.
This is genuinely upsetting. Whether you have an affiliation with Bury or not, witnessing a club disappearing from existence is absolutely catastrophic.
You see, they are more than football clubs, aren’t they? They are communities, jobs, they are a way of life for thousands of people.
This will be lost, and I can’t imagine going through that.
Many of us will only know some people because of football, some will only see members of their family when they go to football together, and football allows for memories to be created that could never otherwise exist.
Some of the highs, the highs that would mean nothing to people away from the game, that you just could not imagine being without are purely down to following a football team.
Football is an escape for many, an afternoon of pleasure away from the realities of a working week – no-one deserves to have that taken from them.