As a Sunderland fan, I had to watch the second season of Sunderland ‘Til I Die. Rather annoyingly, I knew what happened before tuning in. Having gone to plenty of games throughout the season, including the two Wembley finals, I knew the series would unveil yet more heartbreak for the City of Sunderland and it’s passionate people.
If I’m being honest, I thought the second season of Sunderland ‘Til I Die was disappointing – from a football fan perspective. In fact, I thought it was boring and painted quite a negative portrayal of everyone associated with the football club. Here’s what I did learn.
Some things take longer than a year to fix
There has always been an extraordinarily high expectation around Sunderland Association Football Club.
In the past, players have under-performed and let the club down, and performances haven’t been good enough. The fans don’t deserve this.
However, we’re in League One. So, the players we have are League One standard. They’re not going to finish top of the division by 20 points and they’re not capable of winning every game. I mean, if we still had the likes of Jermain Defoe up top – maybe I’d have a different opinion.
Personally, in Sunderland ‘Til I Die (season 2), I found it difficult to see some of the fans turn on the players. Sometimes, the atmosphere created by the fans has increased the pressure on a number of players who simply aren’t able to cope with it. If this happened in the Premier League – the players have to be able to cope. But, it’s League One. The players need absolute support from the fans at all times – win or lose, because without it, they won’t play to their potential (as we witnessed).
Stewart Donald often mentions his fear that the fans may “turn” on the players and owners. Honestly – this breaks my heart a little. It was his first season in charge and he clearly had good intentions. Finishing in the playoffs and just missing out on promotion was immensely disappointing but there are still positives that can be taken.
Will Grigg had a hideous amount of pressure on him
The amount of pressure on Will Grigg was insane. The poor lad had the weight of the whole club on his shoulders. He’s a lower league player and his performances suggested he wasn’t coping well with this pressure.
Every team needs a Luke O’Nien
Luke O’Nien is a very likeable chap who clearly appreciates the opportunity he has had presented to him.
His work rate appears to be brilliant and his positivity and appreciation for the club is exactly what fans want to see. I’m certain he’ll be one of the most popular lads in the dressing room and good on him.
Sunderland will have good times ahead
I’m not even 30 yet and I’ve seen some horrific matches as a Sunderland fan! I remember seeing us lose 5-0 away at Ipswich in the league back when Mick McCarthy was in charge (I think).
On the other hand, I’ve seen us beat the likes of Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United! These good times will return one day – I’m certain.
Charlie Methven surely forgot he was being filmed
Everyone will have their opinion on Charlie Methven. He’s certainly passionate but I wouldn’t allow someone like him to speak to me in the manner he spoke to a number of the hard-working Sunderland employees (especially his patronising and disrespectful rant at the Marketing Department).
I’m sure he’s capable of getting excellent results as part of a business, but he appears to be completely out of his depth at Sunderland. And, was I the only one who got the impression he didn’t actually know much at all about the club before investing?
The Stadium of Light is stunning
The home of Sunderland, the Stadium of Light, is stunning. Well done Stewart Donald for changing the seats and getting the players and fans to help out.
Too much emphasis was put on the Checkatrade Trophy final
This annoyed me. I was at both Wembley finals in 2019 and I knew that one was a bit like an “exhibition game” whilst the other one meant everything.
Sure it was disappointing to lose to Portsmouth but the match didn’t deserve a whole episode in Sunderland ‘Til I Die.
Josh Maja is far from blameless for his surprise exit in January
Did anyone else get really annoyed when Josh Maja was being interviewed? There was an arrogance, a smugness about him. He was clearly happy to lead the club on until his Agent was able to secure him a big contract in France.
I do not blame Maja for leaving – I don’t. He’s a young lad who was offered an escape from League One football to play in France’s top-flight. Oh, and earn a shed load more money too. It’s certainly a shame and the moment he left, so did our hopes of promotion.
Sunderland were not good enough to get promoted in the 2018/19 season
There were better teams in the league. Look at Luton Town – they were much better than Sunderland all season and deserved their promotion.
All season long, Sunderland couldn’t cope with being a goal up. Other teams went on to win game 3-0+ when taking the lead. Sadly, the Sunderland squad wasn’t good enough to do this and we ended up drawing game after game as a result.
Something confused me considerably
Why did Stewart Donald keep mentioning selling the club? He had only been in charge for under a year? Why buy something you can’t afford? You won’t see me buy a car that I have to return after a few months!
Surely he didn’t have all his eggs in one basket – hoping, praying Sunderland got promoted or he was financially in turmoil? I don’t understand. Comment below if you do!