Wise Men Say: Pitifully sad way to end Stadium of Light’s 10 Premier League years

Empty seats at the Stadium of Light on Saturday. Picture by Frank Reid
Empty seats at the Stadium of Light on Saturday. Picture by Frank Reid
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The Stadium of Light’s 10-year Premier League tenure didn’t get a proud send-off.

Instead of bowing out gracefully, Sunderland’s home ground meekly bumbled off into the wings with a whimper.

Something that began in such jubilance, when Michael Chopra scored a last minute winner against Tottenham in Auvgust 2007, ended in a slow, dull curtain call.

There was no dramatic ending, just a weak second act, that everyone wished would hurry up and end.

Usually a match goes over quickly when you’re losing. When you’re winning, the minutes seem to drag like hours as you just beg your team to get over the line.

If you’re chasing the game, each 60-second period feels like one second, as time runs out for your club to salvage a result.

It was the opposite against Swansea, during a second half where you were pleading with the referee to just bring the match to a halt so you could get on with your Saturday.

That’s if you hadn’t already elected to leave, an act that I can’t condemn any Sunderland fan for.

Those who had enough when Kyle Naughton scored Swansea’s second were right to show their disgust by exiting the ground and the same goes for those who didn’t even show up.

Personally, I thought I would give it until at least The Lads went 3-0 down, a comforting killer blow which sadly never arrived.

If I was a more paranoid man, I would have sworn that Sunderland were not conceding on purpose, just to drag out my own, personal, pain a little bit more.

It may be up in the gods but the Stadium of Light away end might as well have been all the way back in Swansea, such was the contrast in both fanbases.

As I looked at the Swans faithful, 3,000 strong, boisterous and enjoying a day that will probably be remembered by them for years to come, it really brought home our situation.

I remember when we were like that at this stage of the season – full of passion and none stop singing.

Instead though, we’re now a group very much in our managers image.

The negative and dour disposition that David Moyes has poured onto the players has now drenched the terraces and washed away any hope and enthusiasm.

That says so much about how little faith the fans have in the current regime.

Apathy may have been bubbling under for some time now but remember, the Sunderland fans are a group who sang “Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life” after a last day of the season relegation in 1991.

The same supporters who were leading conga lines away to Aston Villa, at the end of a campaign where the team only accumulated 15 points.

Sunderland supporters can handle relegation but they still need a reason to believe it will turn around, even if it’s just false hope.

Which is precisely why Moyes and those above him need to reignite the lifeblood of the club.

It’s hard to see those scenes we against Spurs back in 2007 being replicated any time soon.

That was a time us fans believed in the man in the dugout and in those residing in the boardroom.

Thoughts of either leaving the club would have sparked outrage, where as now, if we found out any of the current leaders were heading out of the door, it would be the biggest reason to celebrate in a long time.

* The Wise Men Say podcast is available from every Monday, with SAFC debate from a variety of guests and post-match reaction from David Moyes. You can stream it direct from wisemensay.co.uk or subscribe to it on iTunes