I never believed I’d ever see David Bellion Play.
Ok I’m living in New York, and I don’t see much live football which is fair enough, I mean it’s hardly like I get to go to every home match, but even so he was one of the few shining graces from last season that I hoped to be able to witness (and lets face it there were so very few of them) and when I heard that he was leaving I could not say I was surprised.
Deffered wages hardly encourage new blood, or old talent to stay do they? And a ‘local’ pre season tour on the cheap, and closed SAFC shops were kind of a sign that things weren’t going to get any better soon. But even so I was always hoping that he would stay… I kind of wanted to see him play, at least once.
Seeing him play against Barcelona yesterday in his debut match for Manchester United was not what I had in mind and its no exageration to say that I showered the Chelsea fan sitting in front of me with Phillie Cheesesteak when he was subbed onto the field of play.
Bellie had crept up on me, all the way to Philadelphia and had indeed ‘got me’ as promised; I hadn’t even realized that he had travelled all the way from Sunny Sunderland to the Rainy United States East coast.
It had all begun yesterday evening…
I was meant, as part of my Safcsa USA duties, to meet “XPORT”, a young amercian interested in the American Sunderland supporters branch and talk about things during the match; but things didn’t quite turn out that way.
I turned up a bit earlier then usual to Nevada Smiths sports bar in NYC to secure my place in the throng that should have been heaving in a Bar that boats the Man U supporters association. But the place was half empty. The game, you see, was at Philadelphia (hence the phillie cheese steak sandwich)and everyone was on their way to see it in some coaches the bar had hired.
Now I had no wish to pay the 170+ dollars required to see the game (I’m interested in football; not Man U and I still haven’t been paid for my new job yet) but after everyone had gone; the Manchester United supporters (and one Birmingham supporter) clubbed together to buy me the tickets to the game!!!!
It was a four hour round trip in the VIP, lush-leather-lined coach with more then the odd free beer; and with some of the best tickets in the brand new Philadelphia stadium (Man U Barcelona was the first game to be played in it) I had a fantastic time; and it was all down to the NYC Man U crowd.
Of course I got a bit of stick from some of the other Man U fans but I was wearing my New Sunderland Away shirt (Cheers J.W. by the way!!!) and didn’t care. I was having a whale of a time; RohnaldMcDonaldDinio was there and getting some stick on the pitch, Barca scored first, we had some mexican waves, and even a comedy streaker courtesy of a man U fan celebrating the end of a sucessfull manchester tour of the states… Until bellion came on.
I was a little peeved. The Lad was fast, very fast. What I had heard about was true!! Until of course his first touch of the ball resulted in a Barcelona Free kick and what could have been a yellow card incident.
Yup; the old Sunderland Influence from that short spell with our Chuckle-vision Coaches and management had paid off. For what followed that awfull clattering tackle was the poor lad failing to impress any of the Man U fans for the rest of the match (“Who’s he where did he come from” I was asked time and time again by some of the old school Man U supporters around me) and several easily made mistakes by a player keen to impress in front of the world.
He was good. Obviously fast, but lacked the neccesary finishing of the other players around him on the field that day. It is my opinion that Bellion will be good. he clearly has a lot to learn and the capability to be taught it, but first, before he makes his mark on the world stage, and if he’s going to make it, he’s got to shake that hangover gained from his days with us. The lads young; its a shame we couldn’t be the one to teach him.
The lesson I learned from this?
Well besides from having to thank the Man U supporters for taking A Sunderland lad out on a great day (and even better sandwich) we need a new Coaching staff and a newer start to our approach to the beautiful game.
I’m beginning to wonder if those keepitupies before the matches at the SOL represent 100% of our training. It certainly seems like it watching them on TV (not that I’ll get to do much of that next season anyway)
Well at least, according to one rather comical entry page to the official website (why we can only guess, perhaps it was meant to be a moralle booster) Mic Is going to “give it some”. “Do we want some*?” The Image asks us…
Well Mic I have to ask what ‘Some’ is. Because right now it smells a bit like… Second Division Football.
* I am assuming Mic is not personally going to come round and beat each one of us into buying a season ticket of course.
If You would like to know more about Safcsa-USA, and sunderland in the United States of America, then feel free to give me an