Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughMid-term reports : good dreams, bad dreams - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Mid-term reports : good dreams, bad dreams - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Mid-term reports : good dreams, bad dreams


Recently I saw the Christopher Nolan film Inception. 

For those who know nothing about it (approximately 75 per cent of the audience at Darlington Arts Centre, judging by the shaking of heads at the end), it looks at how dreams can be on three different levels, which is a bit like us Sunderland supporters at the moment. 

Now I may do the admirable Mr Nolan a disservice by reducing his complex and visually stunning film to the level of an intro for an article on a “nearly there, let’s make a push for it” football team, but three levels is how I see us dreaming at the moment. 

Level 1 is a very pleasant dream, where we can see the spectre of relegation, which has stalked our club in five of the last seven seasons we have spent in the Premier League, banished well before Christmas. 

I don’t think that it is being premature to say that we will not be looking over our shoulder at 18th. place at any time between January and May 2011. We have as strong and harmonious a squad as we have had since Peter Reid took us to seventh place all those years ago.

Had we been going to slump, it would have happened when we went through the Great Centre Half Crisis of November. 

The Brucester was criticised for having a roster of central defenders on his book the size of a rugby pack, but he has needed them and has not even resorted to using the captain of Paraguay, the fourth best team in the world. 

The dream continues when we look at a front three which is worth in excess of £30m and always looks likely to score – unless Diddy David Hamilton is at the game. 

Whichever one of the three Bruce leaves out, the other two look dangerous; it’s been a long time since we had that kind of luxury. I can’t imagine Ken Knighton having the same difficulty in picking two from Wayne Entwistle, Alan Brown or Tom Ritchie. 

Add to that two goalkeepers as good as any in the League and a midfield which, although shot shy, keeps on running and running, this is a dream which I am quite happy to be in. Nothing can harm us and we look a good bet for a fifth or sixth place with maybe a good FA Cup run thrown in for good measure.


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