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View from the Cemetery - December

Submitted by Ghostly Gadgie on Saturday, 4 December 2021

A fair bit of damage to the stands and a few ad boards knocked off, but overall it looks like Sunderland LGV Park got off lightly in Storm Arwen compared to some fellow Northern League clubs. Especially given the multi talented and hard working ground staff we have. Or Dave, George, Graham and Norman as they are better known. Top class operatives, if a little on the aged side. And even better they work very cheap ...

Your heart goes out to those who have suffered more, with Boldon CA and Chester-le-Street Town among those worst hit. Two clubs who have put a tremendous amount of work into their grounds in recent months and years. Must be heart breaking for them, but a lot of good lads, there, and across the league, who will set to and get it sorted. Best of luck to them, and it seems like the Football Foundation is willing to help, which is good news.

A week off for us after the Whitley Bay game was postponed in the aftermath of the storm, and the Bay were obviously very shook up as they got well and truly tonked at Newton Aycliffe during the week. Might have been a good time to play them. But I don’t think it will do us any harm to have a week or two off anyway. We have pulled ourselves into a respectable position and have the chance to crack on now, and a breather to sort a few injuries and absences before next year won’t come in wrong I reckon. Three weeks gap over Christmas and New Year is a first mind.

Past the halfway point now and overall I think it must be at least eight out of ten for progress this season so far. Up and downs anong the games, as you would expect with a new look team, but some great results included, with Frickley in the FA Cup and West Auckland in the League, both away, probably the stand outs for me. And still a good few league games to play before the end of April, and the two local Cup competitions to add a bit of midweek interest as well.  Hopefully a Happy New Year.

Will it be a equally happy new year for our friends in the north, I wonder? Does young Eddie Howe know exactly what kind of establishment he has found himself temporarily in charge of? I doubt it myself, he is normally deep-south based, and I don’t think the telly ever manages to convey the entire screwball nature of the the football world as perceived from St James. Occasionally on Dr Who maybe. Bit different when you can see it up close and personal. Be a right boost to his CV to be fair if he can pull it off, but I doubt it myself. Will they manage a win before 2022?

And will the Tyne Wear derby be on next season? I think Newcastle will manage their end of the bargain comfortably, but can Sunderland do their bit? Fifty-fifty is my betting. It could be worse, but you get the feeling that the sort of banana skin pratfall that the residents of the SoL have traditionally specialised in could always be just around the corner. I hope I’m wrong ...