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The opposition view: Sunderland

Filed: Sunday, 23rd October 2016
By: Staff Writer

Losing to an injury-time winner is the last thing you need when facing a 300-mile coach journey, but that was the fate awaiting Sunderland's fans as they began an arduous trip home - with the spectre of relegation looming ever larger.

Read what the Mackems had to say about their trip to the smoke yesterday in this week's edition of the OV...

"Interesting day at the London Olympic Stadium. The ground wasnt as impressive from the outside as I thought it would be although, inside, atmosphere apart, it was a cracking ground, with a great view.

They have put tarpaulin over where the temporary seating was for the Olympics and that looks daft. The SAFC fans at the front of the ground were 100 feet from the back section where we were, with the tarpaulin in between.

Unfortunately WHU in adding 20k fans to the season ticket list have also attracted a fair degree of their old time scum. At the end the WHU fans were telling the SAFC fans that they would see everyone outside - and they duly turned up - with virtually zilch police presence (WHU refuse to pay for police) so it is left to stewards basically to separate people, although where the coaches are parked there was a small police presence.

The SAFC fans however didnt seem overly preturbed at their welcoming committee and skirmishes ensued on the way from our end to the coach park. Harry and I walked back in between the WHU fans away from the main SAFC fan group and it could have got slightly hairy, although we were joined by four other old time SAFC fans and no one said anything. Unlike the M'Boro game down there the WHU fans ventured nowhere near the SAFC coaches.

Even when we got away from the ground there were pockets of WHU fans dotted along Stratford High Street, looking for SAFC fans in cars, a la Stamford Bridge in the '80s. However this has prompted the Met to trawl the streets in and around the ground in police vans to watch for this.

This trouble will be multiplied by 10 next week when they play CFC. The problem is that the area around the ground is vast, the tube station is a 15-minute walk and there aren't enough police. Put that together with WHU reverting back to the 1970s and there will, I'm afraid, be trouble every game there until WHU and the Police get a grip. If there is trouble when they play M'Boro, Sunderland, Watford and Bournemouth; I shudder to think what will happen when Millwall eventually turn up there."
- MrRAWhite

"Brian Clough always said 'if you're offside, no matter where you are, you're interfering with play' - and it's true. Even if someone's stood in an offside position, he will be still be taking up the attention of a defender or obscuring the view of the 'keeper etc. There's no consistency these days. I still don't get how the linesman didn't raise his flag yesterday. From his position, it was impossible to tell that the lad who was clearly offside wasn't blocking Pickford's view."
- castoff

"Offside or not, it was a shocking goal to concede. Last attack of the game and they decide to go for a short corner? We should have been over the moon. Send two players out, prevent the cross, make them play it back and time would have been up. Instead we stand around, let them play it and give one of their players enough time to go off and make a brew, before hitting it."
- maghater

"Words cannot describe how much it defies all levels of human logic and understanding us being this bad. How could it get this bad? What could have caused it to get that bad? Things happen that don't happen to even the poorest of teams. Losing in the last few seconds of a game is something unheard of even among those who are low or non-existent in every possible aspect of the team and club. Little or no confidence. Little or no passion. Little or no investment. Little or no idea about how to approach a game. Little or no idea about what formation to play. You just don't see any microscopic chink of light in the future when things have gotten this bad. A time when even the smallest of good things will happen. You see nobody who can turn it around."
- ShieldsBlackCat2015

"I'm normally a glass-half-full man but I fear the worst this time. The first half hour was some of the worst passing and tackling I have ever seen. How we weren't two or three down was a miracle. We then drag ourselves back into the game and after half time looked a much better side. We then let it slip with 10 seconds to go. I'm absolutely gutted and my glass is well and truly half empty."
- ywcmackem

"Watmore and Khazri caused all sorts of problems. They got us up the pitch and gave the West Ham defence something to think about. We had a massive chance to win, so why go so negative and invite them on with 15 minutes to go? Bring fucking Gooch on man, he can't pass watta that lad. Moyes invited them on like the negative bastard he is - and he got exactly what he deserved."
- Tinyfooty

"Can't pass long, apart from maybe Pickford, but persist in trying. Defend too deep inviting them to take pot shots. Looking like they don't have the confidence, or have been told not to play the ball out of defence. FFS, they are paid tens of thousands of pounds a week and can't even do the basics. There just doesn't seem much fight or effort. If they are playing to instructions the manager has to go. The team has gone backwards quicker than I thought was possible. The only thing that Moyes can cling onto is that he has a fair few injuries."
- safc boro of peter

"It's an impressive stadium to look at in and out, but having most of the lower bowl on temporary scaffolding with those big canopies covering the original, derelict-looking seating is a farce. It's nowhere near a football stadium, the pitch is lop-sided, all seats are miles from the pitch and the atmosphere feels watered down compared to Upton Park. The lack of stewards and police was amazing, leaving fans readily available for a scrap. I'd be gutted if we had moved into something similar, it's not a football ground and never will be. It will take them years to make that arena feel like home."
- penno13

"Apologies, have had a skinful. I'll not be going back down there in a hurry although it looks like that choice is out of me hands. Just an absolute clusterfuck of a 'ground' from the restrictions walking there from the Tube, the congestion outside the home turnstiles just trying to get through and the total organisation all round. Nee wonder there's been bother there. Me and me mate found ourselves almost into it after, with them right in our faces within seconds of walking out and pushing and shoving owt that walked out. We're fucked regardless, but I've been there. The atmosphere's just shite with the layout and I won't be bothering next time we go there. I'm too old and got more important things in my life than battling at a football ground, but by fuck I could have today. Anyway, off to bed I'm pissed as a fucker and sick of football. Wish I didn't love this fucking bastard football club."
- John J Rambo

"Simone Zaza? At the minute I think our defence would struggle to keep Zsa Zsa Gabor in check ... darling!"
- andyw

* Comments originally posted at readytogo.net, not606.com and twitter.

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