Post-match ponder: a Sunderland win & assuming it's not a one-off or a fluke is an unusual feeling

So it's "only" League One but there's a stirring in my loins - one which I haven't felt for a very very long time.

by Will_White Saturday, 04 August 2018 06:56 PM Comments

When was the last time Sunderland AFC won a game and as a supporter you left the ground knowing it wasn't a one-off, a fluke, or because the opposition had an off-day?

Aside from the few weeks in which Sam Allardyce had us looking like a side who could beat anyone back in 2016, it could actually be over ten years since any of us looked forward to the next fixture on the list with as much confidence as many of us are tonight.

Mr Loovens, meet Mr Ozturk

OK so Sunderland weren't great against Charlton today. A bit ropey in the first half, the ghosts of eras past will take some time to banish from the Stadium of Light. The first 45 minutes looked every bit like a bunch of blokes who have only just met - Mr Loovens meet Mr Ozturk for example. 

Gulping down my half time pint a little quicker than normal, the thought that a Charlton victory would spoil the new dawn's first day in the sun was a little disconcerting.

But there was enough about the Jack Ross tribe in the second period to suggest the smouldering Scot has already assembled a savvy side which will do us fine for this third tier season.

Lynden Gooch will scare League One defenders and Jerome Sinclair looks a classy model. Chris Maguire had a good game and the lad in goal looks decent enough (though his distribution needs a little work). Josh Maja needed a goal and got one as well. 

Classy Oviedo baby

There's been a paradox at Sunderland in recent years. Jermain Defoe aside, the higher a player has earned, the more rank his attitude has proved to be. Lamine Kone, Didier Ndong and Fabio "I work hard only for my own ends" Borini for example. But Bryan Oviedo's showing this afternoon was a refreshing one and proved that not every "high paid" player at the club is a cretin with a chip on his shoulder.

The Costa Rican international may still move somewhere else this week of course, and this afternoon's classy performance could well have been a "goodbye", but the lad proved an inspiration when he came onto the pitch just before the half hour mark. 

August football is lush at last

You simply can't beat August football. Shirt sleeves and optimism abound at this time of year for fans up and down the country. But for Sunderland supporters, that feeling has been awfully short-lived season after season. Poor transfer windows and poor starts to each campaign have typically given way to months of slog, year after sorry year. 

Yes, it's "only" League One. But didn't we all just enjoy ourselves today? I know I'm not alone in having had a few nagging doubts this pre-season. Perhaps I've worried that the new broom may have had a touch of "sweep it under the carpet and hope no one notices" amidst an onslaught of positive PR spin from the new fellas, but it's the football that matters and so far it's looking like it could be fun for the first time in donkey's years.