Ok, as this was conceived to be a blog devoted to the trials and tribulations of supporting the mighty NUFC, I will open up by expressing my acute joy that on the (official) opening day of the transfer window, we have made 3 signings! Like London buses and all that…
– Ayoze Perez – will most likely go into the development squad (and judging by our previous record never been seen again.) Hopefully not because by all accounts he is a talented boy and does come with a decent goalscoring record of just under 1 in 2 (albeit in the Spanish second division). Unless sufficient investment is not made in our striking department then I we’ll probably be seeing Ayoze get a run out in the cup games
– Jack Colback – A young man (older than me still) who has finally seen the light and crossed over the troll infested bridge of the river Wear to come and ply his trade at the best club in the North-East! One of Sunderland’s more consistent performers last season, Colback is hardly a marquee signing by any stretch of the imagination and he is certainly no replacement for the almost irreplaceable Yohan Cabaye. However, Colback is a local lad, a boyhood Toon fan, versatile and almost ran the show in midfield in the last Tyne-Wear derby. Considering we got him for free as well, I would say it is a good piece of business and can help to cover our increasingly leaky defence.
– Siem de Jong – This one moved uncharacteristically quickly and quietly by our boards’ standards. I have to acknowledge here that I have a complete lack of knowledge of Dutch football, but the guy is the captain of a title-winning side and there appears to be a groundswell of good feeling around this one. Shame really as this is probably the most exciting signing we’ve made thus far.
Whilst this is good business thus far, I still feel we need 4 or 5 more bodies in through the door. Definitely need 2 or 3 decent strikers in, as well as another creative midfielder (although I am still firmly behind bringing HBA in from the cold, stick him as a number 10 and absolve him of defensive work.) I would also like to see another defender come in as well, we conceded far too many goals last season and the defence needs shoring up badly, I’d also like to see MYM get a stretch at centre-half, clearly isn’t a full back and he + Iron Mike had begun to form somewhat of a decent CB partnership. Do all of this and we could be in for a decent season!
On the World Cup front, sadly it’s the end of the road for the US of A and by God it was a hell of a journey!
Since England’s spectacular collapse I have been closely following the fortunes of our friends Stateside and to be honest, I have genuinely enjoyed it! I know it’s somewhat of an overrated quality but still, can’t help but admire the spirit with which they played each and every game. The sheer energy they put into pressing the opposition to win the ball, and they’ve even looked reasonably tidy on it as well. The team was well drilled and hard to break down, each and every man fought like a lion out there and it is somewhat a shame to see them out. Make no mistake, Belgium unquestionably were the better side, and were it not for a Herculean performance from Tim Howard plus some Belgian profligacy then it would have been over so much quicker. But still, the US did their nation proud in Brazil and I am so glad to see that the people over there have been getting behind it, sure they’ve done it in the typically American style (over-the-top and endlessly positive/patriotic) but it’s been really good to see and I really hope football takes off over there as a result of this. I truly believe this game is the greatest in the world and it would be brilliant if it could finally take off in America. The US are what I want England to be in both Euro 2016 and World Cup 2018, a team who presses high, who never gives up and a team who can contribute to the atmosphere.
I never thought I would seriously say that in footballing matters we could learn a lot from America, but after tonight, we really could learn a trick or two from those who still give it the wrong name.