Adnan Januzaj, ropey defending and the hope that kills Sunderland supporters

Good heavens, Manchester United fans are smiling once more and it’s not because David Moyes has been sacked. Instead it took two well-taken goals from the Belgian-born, Albanian, Kosovan, definitely-not-English Adnan Januzaj for them to get excited again in the kind of way that brought adoration to Cristiano Ronaldo’s curly bangs and stepovers.

They must really miss those days. Of course this all came after Manchester United’s meltdown in defence when both Phil Jones and Nemanja Vidic lost the plot and conspired to assist the opposite team in scoring their first goal— the kind of defending that would make Alan Hansen smear the words “thou shalt not fluff the clearance” all over his living room walls with the blood from a nosebleed that they just gave him.

Yet despite unlucky defeats against Liverpool and Arsenal, and year-on-year disappointment since Sunderland fans can remember, they still hope that this will be the day their fortunes turnaround. I wonder how they’re still able to hold hope when they see Connor Wickham warming up for a last throw-of-the-dice substitution— wait, when was the last time you heard Alan Smith or Gary Neville screaming “GOAL from Connor Wickham!” Never. Even Titus Bramble scored for Ipswich Town once, and that was against Torpedo Moscow in the Europa League.

Should Sunderland fans keep some sort of optimism and pray for a run of wins to improve their league position by Christmas? Probably. It is only October and their feisty local derby against Newcastle could be a good turning point, especially if they’re continuing to show the gutsy endeavour from the first half of last Saturday’s game. Keep the faith Sunderland because you might actually survive long enough to see United fans change their minds about David Moyes enough times until they faint alone in their armchairs.

It will just hurt more when you get relegated.

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