SAFC fan blog: Sunderland 1-3 Stoke City

The scoreboard after the final whistle Credit: PA

- SAFC blog by Paul Dobson.

Despite it being officially transfer madness time, nowt much has happened – at Sunderland or anywhere.

We’ve had the Defoe situation rumbling on, but the reality of it is that West Ham made an offer and we said no.

Elsewhere, Lens wants to stay at his new club permanently and would rather we went down to make that happen as we don’t want the dead wood plus the few euros they’ve offered us, Allardyce likes PVA so Palace must want to buy him, and some French team may or may not want Januzaj.

Apart from wondering if our branch was putting on a bus to Burnley (it is, thankfully), that was about it, really.

It was very sad to hear of Graham Taylor’s passing, as it always is when we lose a proper football person.

His England tenure might have attracted puerile media attention (that’s you, The Sun) and he might have given debuts to some players who should never have been near the national squad – which manager hasn’t? – but his win % for the Three Lions is virtually identical to that of Bobby Robson and Terry Venables at around 48%.

Stoke City's Xherdan Shaqiri (left) and Sunderland's Papy Djilobodji battle for the ball. Credit: PA

Anyone who was at Sunderland v Watford at the end of the ’82-’83 season, when they effectively fielded four wingers in a 100mph game that ended 2-2 (Atkins, James, Blissett 2) will remember the sort of football his sides were capable of, and anybody who says that he wanted to remain in football simply to hear the sound of a ball being kicked was in the game for the right reasons.

More locally, and as we try to follow our old boys, last weekend’s game between Shields and Morpeth in the FA Vase was abandoned with eight minutes remaining and Morpeth 4-2 up.

Hooolio was playing for Shields, but he’d been uncharacteristically sent off – was it he who, not fancying a bath, had pulled the fuse out and thus blown the floodlights?

Sunderland manager David Moyes (left) looks on from the touchline Credit: PA

To add insult to injury, he was available for the replayed game (at Morpeth) which Shields won 4-0. As SAFC supporters outnumber mags in Shields and more vice versa in Morpeth, we’ll claim that one as a moral victory over the barcodes.

As for today's game? Probably amongst the worst opening half hours in our history saw us dead and buried. The first chance we created saw Defoe pull one back late in the half, but despite showing a bit (just a bit, mind) more life early in the second, we were never at the races.

The reluctance of Moyes to give any of the youngsters a few minutes, despite Larsson and Borini having possibly their worst afternoons in the stripes, is very worrying.

At least they might have cheered us up on a day when we could have got out of the bottom three but blew it.

Typical of us to collapse, again, against a side we were probably favourites to beat.

Great escape? I wouldn't bet on it.