Editorial: Sunderland AFC Rise again, casting away the nightmares of the past
Sunderland’s 3-0 away win over Queens Park Rangers marked a sensational victory which has kept the black cats in the running for a playoff place, an achievement which is astonishing for a newly promoted side.
Although the road is long, and nothing is guaranteed yet, a wave of optimism is sweeping Wearside as Tony Mowbray has engineered a young, dynamic and talented side that continues to learn and grow. Recent setbacks including the loss of Stewart and effectively having no striker, haven’t dented the lads results as they clenched back-to-back victories.
Yet one thing is for sure, Sunderland AFC have rose again from the ashes and have cast behind them what was the lowest and darkest period in the clubs history, once again establishing itself as a club in competition for promotion to the Premiership.
It is painful to look back at the past few years of this club history, which was bleak. The lads suffered from catastrophic incompetence both on and off the pitch, bad decisions when it come to signing players, financial troubles, negligent and destructive owners, all of which accumulated in two successive relegations and stranded us in the 3rd tier.
Whilst down there, we learnt the hard way that league one was not to be taken for granted, and was not an “easy” division, that nightmare perpetuated itself for four long and hard years, a league which had a habit of kicking you down just as you thought you were getting somewhere. Despite absolute horrific memories such as losing 6-0 to Bolton, we made it, and we finally got out by the scruff of our necks through an enjoyable Wembley victory.
The new season started fairly well, yet Alex Neil’s decision to ditch us for Stoke City (a decision he now probably regrets) provoked fears our club would be deemed to mediocrity, with some even fearing we’d be facing relegation. The appointment of Tony Mowbray, an experienced, yet seemingly journeyman manager, seemed almost underwhelming at the time. We might have been back in the Championship, but were we doomed to obscurity?
Seemingly not, although we have had a bumpy ride, Mowbray ultimately has injected fresh life and energy into this team and transformed the black cats once again into a competitive side we can be proud of. For a team to go from promotion via-playoffs, to again fighting for promotion, is an absolutely incredible step up and it goes to show the work that’s been put in behind the scenes.
Now, Sunderland feels like it’s been born again. These horrible experiences we lived through are now longer our present reality. We may remember them, but that is the mark we bear for supporting this club no matter what. Here’s to the rest of the season, and that we keep this up!