Really not meaning to put a downer on things.....

Discussion in 'Sunderland' started by Culinary, Sep 2, 2021.

  1. Culinary

    Culinary Well-Known Member

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    ....just looking for some reassurance I guess. I'll start by saying I love the general positive and optimistic atmosphere around the club, I'm not a moaner or generally negative about SAFC and this isn't in anyway a criticism of the club as I think they've done fantastically well since KLD came in.

    They've already built foundations for us to have sustainable success for the long term future. We're demonstrating that we're a club that will provide a pathway to top Academy talent as well as being a place for the biggest of clubs to send their best prospects to be developed and given opportunities. I think we've placed ourselves perfectly as a club.

    This is all going to be invaluable for the future and if continued (and I see no reason why it wouldn't be) it will see us reaping the rewards and having plenty of success. But I only see it as a long term project and I still think we're a long way short of being able to gain automatic promotion this season and I can't understand where the optimism and, in many cases, the cocksureness in this regard is coming from.

    I'm not after short term fixes so not going up this season doesn't bother me as long as we're doing things right and have a proper strategy. So when I make the comparison I'm going to it's not from envy as I wouldn't swap places, or squads, or boards with them if offered. I look at both Sheffield Wednesday and Ipswich (Morsy is a huge signing for them as it addresses a load of their deficiencies) as, on paper being way ahead of everyone else. Both their second elevens would still be amongst the strongest teams in the division. Rotherham, Oxford and others are strong too. I still think we'll be some way behind the first two at least come the end of the season if their squads can be properly managed.

    I have concerns that all these young lads only play about 18 games a season in the junior divisions. I wonder if their bodies and particularly their minds are immediately up to the rigours of a 46 game league 1 campaign on heavy pitches and with high pressure and demands. I wonder how they'll react if things don't go their way, a robustness in that regard is often something that comes with experience.

    We've got what appears to be some amazing talent now but it still needs developing meaning it is still going to have shortcomings and the players are going to make costly mistakes. Neil is arguably the best of the bunch but even he was anonymous in certain games for the U23's last season, how is that going to translate to a full L1 campaign? Doyle is a phenomenon for a 17 year old but in every game (maybe except Wycombe) he's shown some defensive naivety/weakness, mind it's more than made up for in what he offers from an attacking sense. I like Cirkin but I've already seen a lot pulling him up on certain things. I was at Blackpool and Huggins, whilst looking enthusiastic, has a way to go, same can probably be said of Broadhead. Alves too but perhaps without the enthusiasm.

    I'm not criticising the players. Just acknowledging they're young and therefore not the finished articles yet. That's fine by me and I'm looking forward to watching them develop but we, as a collective, are going to need to be patient with them and the club. That may mean managing our expectations of not running away with the league against squads full of proven, seasoned quality professionals.

    Sorry for the long post. Does anyone else share my thoughts that we're not promotion ready yet or fancy countering my points to convince me otherwise?
     
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  2. The Berk

    The Berk Well-Known Member

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    You’re over thinking it mate.
    We’ve won 6 out of 7 and are top without our 2 new signings, get excited as **** like I am.
    HTL
    KTF
     
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  3. The Arnhem Bridge

    The Arnhem Bridge Not606 Godfather

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    Stop being so ridiculous <ok>
     
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  4. Jarca

    Jarca Well-Known Member

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    We've made a great start to the season in both results and performance. There's also been a massive sea change in personnel and the style we play. I can see once everyone is up to speed and match fit we will take some stopping.
     
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  5. FellTop

    FellTop Well-Known Member

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    I think these are fair points mate. Overall I dont think we are nailed on for the top two, but likewise I think we are in with a good shout.

    I look at the style of play and think it is a style that will win plenty of games. That for me is the key factor. The high press, the rapid counter attacks and the forward thinking. These are styles that will lead to plenty of wins. We are already top and I dont think we have hit close to our top form.

    Young lads will hit rocky patches I agree. I also think they come with a bravery, no baggage, and an absolute willingness to follow the coaches plans. Remember Hansen saying you win nowt with kids, well Fergie proved if they are good enough you will. We have to see how good they are but I am hopeful as they come from some of the best academies in Europe and that will have given them a very good attitude and technical grounding. Dont forget how well our own young lads did last year. In Embleton and Neil we have Sunderland lads who will live and breathe the club, and they are very talented.

    We still have a spine of experienced lads as well. Burge, Flannagan, Wright, O'Nien, Evans, Winchester, O'Brien, Gooch, McGeady. These lads look to me have winning attitudes and commitment. O'Nien talking about mentoring young lads tells me everything about the setup.

    Lastly I think we have a better manager than anyone else. That will be worth points based on his tactics and decisions. Dont forget he was the longest serving championship manager when he was sacked at 5 years. Had to have been doing something right.

    Not saying we are guaranteed anything but I do think we have a better chance than many and most teams will be looking at us as one of the favourites.
     
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  6. The Arnhem Bridge

    The Arnhem Bridge Not606 Godfather

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    Ipswich

    Hladky - Salford City
    KVY - Colchester
    Edmundson - Rangers (Not good enough for them) before that Oldham Athletic
    Burgess - Accrington Stanley
    Coulson - Middlesbrough (Loan) - Doesn't look to have played first team footy for over one year.
    Harper - West Brom. Good signing.
    Evans - Wigan Athletic
    Burns - Fleetwood Town
    Fraser - MK Dons
    Edwards - West Brom. Rejected by two teams before agreeing to join Ipswich. 37 first team games in the last 3 years.
    Piggott - AFC Wimbledon.
    Carroll - Qpr
    Chaplin - Barnsley
    Celina - Dijon
    Morsy - Middlesboro

    Sunderland

    Hoffman - Bayern Munich
    Alves - West Ham
    Huggins - Leeds
    Cirkin - Tottenham
    Evans - Blackburn
    Pritchard - Huddersfield
    Broadhead - Everton
    Doyle - Man City
    Dajuku - Union/Bayern


    We'll leave it at that.
     
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  7. cumbrianmackem

    cumbrianmackem Well-Known Member

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    I get where your coming from Culinary, we,are putting a lot of faith in youth but our squad also has smatterings of seasoned pro's, O9, Evans, Winchester, Geads, Pritchard etc and I feel we have a decent balance.
    Match that to what we had last season with Plodders all over the pitch, including our 30+ goal striker and I see both teams as chalk and cheese.
    No one can guarantee promotion, the same can be said of Ipswich and Wednesday it's the teams who perform consistently over 46 games that win the promotion prizes.
    LJ has his critics, Bristol fans call him Mr Streaky, going on losing runs as often as winning runs but we'll have to wait and see.
    As Berk says we've won 6 from 7, and we should have won at Burton and after this break we've got a run of fixtures that should see us keeping our top two spot, and once momentum starts in football it's difficult for other clubs to contain. Roy Keanes team once on a roll became unstoppable.
    All these unknowns is what makes us follow football.KTF
     
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  8. Roppa

    Roppa Well-Known Member

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    The reason morsy couldn’t stay at boro was the covid rebellion or so fmttm says, so he’s gonna miss half the season isolating
     
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  9. Sunderpitt

    Sunderpitt Well-Known Member

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    To quote a pundit who played golf with Lineker (but had kicked a ball around) "you will never win owt with kids".

    If Stewart gets injured/stops scoring are their others to step in, or will we just use the January window for another striker?

    But yes the young'uns will make mistakes as they are still developing. However fitness should be less of an issue.. especially as most of them have left the boozy culture of yesterday far behind.

    I also concur, rarely have play-offs done us any favours, I suspect it has to be automatic for us.
     
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  10. Essayyeffcee

    Essayyeffcee Well-Known Member

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    There's going to be bumps along the way - Burton for me was one of them, played great and got nothing but it's the way the team get over them that'll show how good they are. I reckon we will be fine this season, not sealed on for top 2 as yet, that'll become apparent as the season goes on but we should be giving teams a game and pick up more points than others. I don't think reputations of other teams and players will play on the young lads' minds as they'll just want to prove how good they are against them. In Neil we have a player with a great eye for a pass, Embleton who likes to run at people and has 2 good feet, Doyle who looks well above his 17 years and lack of proper game experience, Cirkin looks ok and is still finding his feet at this level and will get better. Then you have the more experienced players - Flanagan, who some would've let go at the end of last season looks a different player, Winchester who has fitted into rb (he has played there before yes but looks like he's enjoying it there), Gooch showing flashes (again) and that's before McGeady who doesn't seem fit to me but that shows that we're not relying on him as we have done and finally Stewart is scoring goals and stretching defences. Then there's others still to come in - Pritchard, AOB, Broadhead, Wright, Alves and the 2 new German lads.

    There's a lot to get excited about mate, it may not all go as we want it to but this could be a really good season and the start of something big. Enjoy it
     
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    Last edited: Sep 2, 2021

  11. Culinary

    Culinary Well-Known Member

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    You can leave it at that but it says nothing at all.

    I would rather have Luke O'Nien from Wycombe Wanderers than Ruben Sammut from Chelsea.

    A good player is a good player regardless of where they're from. I'd still love for us to get Key and he's from Exeter.
     
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  12. sad-eyed prophet

    sad-eyed prophet Well-Known Member

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    It's a thoughtful and interesting post marra. My take on where we are, for what it's worth,is that,at long last,we have many reasons to be optimistic,but I do think we are in the early stages of our metamorphosis,and we should avoid getting carried away.
    Initially,I'm delighted to feel that there is a plan,and we are slowly, but surely, embarking on the route to fulfil that plan. It's something we never appear to have had and it's very welcome! The Board appointments provide the initial evidence....seriously well qualified,experienced people with varied professional skills,and I have no doubt all of the deals we've entered into in this window will have had their scrutiny and,ultimately,their sanction. As a club previously at the mercy of a number of incompetents( I won't name them,but we all know who they are,male and female),this,combined with the expertise we've recruited in backroom,recruitment staff etc.is in itself is a huge step in the right direction.
    As far as on the pitch is concerned, it's clear from the squad we've assembled that there is an emphasis on talented youth,yet to fulfil their promise.....a mixture of homegrown,purchased and loaned,complemented with a smattering of experience,and the task is now for LJ and his coaching staff to get the best from them,something they seem to have been specifically recruited to do. It won't happen overnight, but they'll be working with the likes of Neil,Embo,Doyle,Huggins,Cirkin and the others to improve their overall game,something we should see the benefit of in due course.It's important we don't get impatient.....these lads are not world beaters.....it's a slight worry I have with the two German lads that we may expect too much too soon,simply because of their pedigree.
    From what I've seen so far,and I acknowledge we haven't seen them all yet,these players are well capable of imposing themselves on the other clubs in this division. I don't think we should fear anyone,but have appropriate respect. This is a stronger than normal division this year, but we musn't forget that we will present a major challenge to each and every one of them. They're already looking up at us. Our home form is crucial.....we've suffered far too many draws at home in recent years.....and good home form breeds the confidence of which I think we're already seeing the embryo.
    In summary, we're on the right road,our football looks as though it's going to be attacking,exciting and good to watch. We've had a decent start and a good window, but I'm affording a lot of patience to this,it will need time,and,as in any season,we will have our ups and downs.
     
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  13. Culinary

    Culinary Well-Known Member

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    Great responses! Thank you. I'm amazed anyone even read such a long, rambling OP.

    I'm not sure anyone is going to convince me that we're favourites to go up this year but as I say, I'm not all that bothered by that so I'm going to sit back and enjoy the ride as I still think it's going to be a cracking season and a very bright future regardless.
     
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  14. clockstander

    clockstander Well-Known Member

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    Cant add much to the replies above but we can all see as a Football Club we are moving in the right direction, OaU.
     
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  15. Southern A

    Southern A Well-Known Member

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    These are all very relevant and sensible points you are making.

    I guess my response is that I now have faith in what I am seeing both on the pitch and with our signings so far, that both LJ and the recruitment team know what they need / want to do to build a team we all want to watch and should be successful.

    I also trust these lads will give everything they can to achieve promotion. And they'll do it in a way we will enjoy watching and be proud of.

    The approach we are taking is definitely risky. But I'd rather we took a risky approach that the management believed in, than had no approach at all, which is the way we have been forever.

    We might not achieve it this year. Which will be bad but nowhere near as disastrous as previous years now that the right building blocks are in place.
     
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  16. Sunderpitt

    Sunderpitt Well-Known Member

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    Yep, timely thread.

    It looks as we have gone from tried and tested L1 players in order to get promoted, to younger players who might be the stars of the future, with some more experienced men to help guide them. Eg Flanagan and Doyle.... we live in interesting times.

    Mcgeady of course will come good...obviously not fit atm, as he is getting over an injury. He has often played with a pain killing injection, that can go on only for so long.
     
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  17. samwise_new

    samwise_new Well-Known Member

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    as a club, we have had so many knock backs in recent (and not so recent) years that supporters can be excused for getting a wee bit carried away...i also think many of us echo your thoughts, i have said so myself, while these young lads are performing at a level that belies the ages they will make mistakes and we need to allow them to do so as it is how they will learn.

    while promotion is obviously what we all want i feel we also realise that this is no quick fix that we are watching now, this is a well thought out approach to getting this club back up the leagues hopefully in a sustainable manner...if this means a further season in div 3 then i'm afraid we just have to wait a bit longer.

    yes, some teams have signed a lot more players and seemed to move fast during the window but we have tried this scattergun 'get those who have played here before' type of approach and while on paper the squad looked good enough to get us up they failed every time...this time looks exactly like it is, not only are players being specifically targeted but the backroom staff has been given the same 'head-hunted' approach and i think we will all agree, it appears to be working so now we keep that faith that it will work through the season.
     
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  18. SAFC2403

    SAFC2403 Well-Known Member

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    Look at our midfield compared to last season - it’s miles better IMO and has more goals in it.

    any side that wants success needs a good blend of youth v experience and I honestly think we have that. Yes there will be mistakes and bumps in the road but the younguns will overcome that imo and become stronger the more experience they get.

    I think this is our year. We’ll be there or thereabouts imo but we have players waiting in the wings for the injuries or loss of form.

    Keep the faith imo. Trust in this new squad and be excited about where it can go.
     
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  19. TopCat_SMB

    TopCat_SMB Well-Known Member

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    Not wanting to put a downer on things, but posts an unnecessarily negative thread :emoticon-0140-rofl:

    Put it this way - I'd rather had our squad that anyone else's in the divisions
     
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  20. Mr 55p

    Mr 55p Well-Known Member

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    That's just put a real downer on things that has.......:(
     
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