The time has come for Peter Reid to go. The shameful, humiliating disaster against the Mags was a defeat too many and the manner of our loss was appalling. In addition to no goals, few chances and no flair, which we’re already accustomed to, there was also no passion.
Reid himself admitted this after Saturday’s embarrassment but it is a sign of a manager living on borrowed time when he starts blaming the staff he hired for the team’s fallings. Remember when Smith sacked Busby? The Reid apologists, and especially the pundits on Sky and ITV, were quick to jump to his defence and asked us to remember what he had done for the club. Give him a chance to get it right, they say. Fair enough, but Reid’s team has been churning out this crap for for the best part of two years. How many chances does the man deserve?
OK, he’s got us into the Premiership, briefly provided the most exciting attacking football Sunderland have produced in about fifty years and laid the foundations for a successful future, but does he have the ability to make us a true force in the Premiership? It seems more than a coincidence that our fall from grace should happen shortly after Quinny did his back. Quinn’s a football genius, a one-off, and in trying to find another Big Niall, Reid is trying to replace the irreplaceable. The problem is that Reid hasn’t sussed that out yet and we are still playing as if we have got the big fella up front.
It’s time for new tactics, not that we seem to have any at the moment. Whatever the reasons for our downfall, the fact is Reid has had plenty of time to fix things and hasn’t. It took him twenty months just to sign a right-winger and even longer for him to sign a half-decent centre forward to play alongside SKP. On paper, we currently have the best squad we have had in twenty years or so that I have been watching the lads. In Phillips, Piper, Reyna, Sorensen, Wright, Craddock and Arca we have some real talents.
Regardless of this, we are playing some of the most clueless, boring, lily-livered football I have ever witnessed. Is the team sent out with any tactics or is just a case of “Win the tackles and pass the ball, lads”? As a paying customer. I object to seeing mediocre teams come to the SoL and outplay us. Fulham is the most recent example, but it’s happened time and time again. Other Premiership teams have looked fitter, sharper and hungrier, even the likes of already relegated Derby, who we couldn’t beat on the last day of last season. The general standard of our passing is poor, the midfield rarely push into the box and the forwards are left isolated. The list of fallings goes on and on.
If this is apparent to a fan, it should be glaringly obvious to the manager, yet we persist with the same brainless approach. We lack confidence because we can’t score, we can’t score because we don’t make chances and we can’t make chances because we lack confidence. Reid is now threatening to kick backsides and drop players. The last time he did this – after the 4-0 drubbing by Reading – it worked a treat and the team he hit upon by accident gave us unforgettable memories like the play-offs, Quinny’s lob against Port Vale, thumping seven past Oxford, 105 points and parading the Division One trophy in the May sunshine.
Will he be so lucky again? It would be great, but I doubt it. The time has come for Reid to pack his bags and let a new broom come in and freshen things up before it’s too late. If you look at our form going right back to January 2001, there’s only one way we’re going and it’s not up.