Following on from John Joseph’s article yesterday I’d like to add some views on the falling crowd situation at St James’ Park.

Its the usual cycle:

* Ashley stays for the money

* A section of our fans believe staying away will help force a sale

* A section of our fans don’t believe staying away will change anything

The only consistent factors here are Ashley still owning the club and the same fans turning up to watch the same rubbish every week.

The appointment of Steve Bruce should have been followed by an emptying of the ground, but you still had plenty of supporters pedalling the usual garbage of “support the team and not the regime…” Well so far this season, the fans who have turned up to watch have been party to some of the worst atmospheres I have heard at the club, so just exactly what are they supporting?

All you hear is moans and groans (and rightly so based on what they are watching), so naturally you ask yourself, what exactly are they supporting here apart from their inability to find something better to do on a Saturday? There are ways and means to watch the games as I am sure we all do one way or another, so it’s not like you don’t get to watch the garbage served up, you just get to make the biggest statement possible by refusing to put money into a club that is a sinking ship.

Make no mistake the 10,000 fans who have walked away will soon turn to 15,000. Speak to any number of Sunderland, Villa or Birmingham supporters about Steve Bruce and they will all tell you the same thing. The teams he sets up looks out of ideas, the players look like they haven’t trained together, the teams lack any pattern of play. Defenders don’t spend any time in possession just lumping the ball forward and Bruce also makes bizarre substitutions at bizarre times.

So far in his time managing us, all of these things are true. The fans turning up will soon turn off when it gets a bit colder and when it becomes clearer (not sure how it can be any clearer, but clearly we have some very slow fans) that the current form won’t change under Bruce, and the gates will drop even further.

Despite Rafa not setting the team up to play entertaining football, as we have all mentioned and acknowledged previously, the identity the team had under Rafa made us proud to support the team again.

We were prepared to sacrifice free flowing attacking football, as the large majority of supporters realised that Rafa’s setup was the best way to go with the players at our disposal. Those who banged the drum for an expansive brand of football were too stupid to see we had Championship standard players and the best hope we had was to stay organised and compact. Well they got their wish, they got Steve Bruce, and beyond Steve Bruce, it’s frightening to think who else would come and work for Ashley.

The summer just gone was the biggest indication yet that any manager worth his salt won’t touch this club with a bargepole whilst ever Ashley remains the owner.

The only thing that looks certain now is that relegation beckons, the crowds will drop further, and yet despite this, the 3 points I made at the top of this article will remain the 3 sticking points as to why nothing at the club will really change.

To be honest, it’s scary to think that circa 44k (minus away fans), are still prepared to turn up, pay their money, and watch the absolute garbage on show.

Until fan attitude changes en masse, we will continue to get the same things we are seeing every single week.

What do you think? As ever, we would welcome your comments, opinions and views below (We use Disqus).

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