Only 55 days ago, March 6th to be exact, I wrote a blog saying that the Derby Day return was looking imminent, with Sunderland closing in on the top two just as our 0-0 draw at West Brom was followed by a Fulham win at Anfield – leaving us just ONE point clear of the drop zone at the time.
How wrong was I? Well, it looks like I was very wrong indeed almost two months on. Although I did have a few caveats in my blog, I was beginning to become convinced they were coming and we were going.
My reasons were simple. We were in free-fall and Sunderland were in the ascendency. I watched with angst and despair as game after game The Toon produced meaningless rubbish that failed to give me any other thoughts than relegation.
Sunderland meanwhile were on a fantastic run albeit in League 1. They were the division’s highest scorers and had lost the fewest games and it only seemed a matter of time that they slipped into the automatic promotion places.
A remarkable turnaround in fortunes and one that tells us if does nothing else to never count your chickens! We faced relegation and losing several key players that wouldn’t have accepted Championship football. Now those players seem set to stay and us too at Premier League level!
They faced promotion, keeping all the players they wanted to keep and then attracting some better ones. Now it’s the likes of Wyke, Sanderson and McGeady that may not be SoL stayers next season and will take some replacing.
Now, we’re NINE clear of the drop zone with just five games left, while Sunderland are 10 away from the top two and just five clear of the chasing pack pushing to land a play-off spot!
Someone said that when a Sunderland fan talks about six-in-a-row he now means seasons in League 1 rather than Derby wins and, if he’s going on holiday, that it’s hard to beat Blackpool at this time of the year.
Now, yes, the unthinkable could happen. We could, mathematically, still be relegated and Sunderland could come up through the Play-Offs. But they are both possibilities rather than probabilities and ours looks a distant possibility at that.
Amazing that all that can change in a mere 55 days and it just shows that things are never quite what they may seem!