A Love Supreme: 'I have my club back'

Let’s face it, Saturday was amazing.

Despite the game’s early kick-off and it being shown live on Sky Sports, Sunderland’s pubs were fizzing with the sort of optimistic energy that only the start of the new football season can bring.

One local boozer had placed a 40-minute wait on food, but even a lack of quality scran couldn’t spoil this Sunderland fan’s day.

For so long, supporters have had to endure crushing disappointment after crushing disappointment.

Not this time.

Jack Ross adjusted, the players responded, and Wearside roared their team to a rare comeback victory.

How different could this week have been had Sunderland failed to score a winner?

A draw would have been acceptable, but the nature of this victory, like England’s against Tunisia in the World Cup group stages, builds those vital footballing intangibles – confidence and momentum.

Poetic justice, then, given he has been at the club for so long and witnessed the various shortcomings, that it was Lynden Gooch who nabbed the winner with virtually the last kick of the game.

One of our own, what a feeling.

Gordon Armstrong was right, too, he tweeted the American after his headed goal at Grimsby, encouraging him to continue to ghost in at the far post on crosses and he could nab a canny goal haul this season.

We’ve all by now watched the videos emerging on social media from the concourse of new director, Juan Sartori, caught up in the emotion of Gooch’s winner.

It was moving to see, especially after the lack of enthusiasm which undoubtedly permeated the club previous to Stewart Donald and Charlie Methven’s arrival.

The new trio may well make mistakes in the future, they are human just like you and I after all, but for now, we really should give thanks for electrifying our previously forlorn club.

And what about Bali Mumba? At 16-years-old, the kid dealt with everything that was thrown at him.

To play a full 90-minutes in such a physically challenging league was impressive.

Worth noting, too, that the midfielder’s attitude and application must be first-class if Ross is starting him this early on in his fledgling career.

It appears we have a rare gem, and I for one cannot wait to see him develop in front of our adoring eyes.

I mean, what were you doing aged 16? I think I was drinking in a park!

A word for Chris Maguire, too. The winger displayed immense character, constantly showing for the ball and, along with new captain George Honeyman, drove Sunderland forward at every available opportunity.

That sort of responsibility-taking character hasn’t been witnessed at the Stadium of Light for quite some time.

The mood inside the ground was charged, a feeling which continued into the city centre post-match throughout the afternoon and evening.

Songs were sung, ale, mead, cider, lager, and just about anything supporters could get their jubilant hands on, was downed in celebration.

It was great to see Messrs Methven and Davison out in the city joining in the party and chatting to fans.

As another A Love Supreme writer, Micky Lough, quipped in a well-received recent piece, ‘I have my club back’.

Next up, Luton Town away.

It’s vital that we build on the Charlton performance and force another positive result.

It won’t be easy, though, we’re a big fish in a small pond, a scalp for smaller teams, we must be wary of complacency.

But above all, it was downright nice to feel so caught up in ecstasy after years of hurt.

Long may it last, and Ha’way the Lads!

The views expressed within this article are the views of the individual contributors and not necessarily those of Sunderland AFC.

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