Loans v Free

Baily Wright arrived yesterday on loan for the rest of the season, but his Bristol City contract expires in the summer. So why loan? Obviously a short term deal protects Sunderland, if he’s injured or a flop then he leaves come June, but what do Bristol gain from officially having him remain their player? His contract is up, so they’ve no investment to protect; they can’t recall him due to the transfer window ‘slamming shut’. Just one of football’s little quirks I guess

Well, it’s happened……

The day arrived yesterday that we’d been heading for all season, second successive relegation. For me, there’s no one person who you can point at and say “it’s all your fault”. Obviously Ellis Short as owner and chairman takes the ultimate responsibility, but it’s the constant change at the club which has affected it most. I don’t just mean managers, in 12 years we’ve had three Chief Executives, a Director of Football, a Sporting Director and one or two other Performance Directors which came and went with Allerdyce and Moyes. No one has been able to stamp any personality on the club since Keane, there’s no sign there’s any kind of scouting system in place; mainly due to most managers coming in, firefighting for 14 months and then losing their jobs.

So that’s where we need to restart, scouting. There’s no white knight coming over the hill with a large pot of gold so the club needs to generate it’s own funds. If we have a good summer we’ll start next season with an attacking core of Asoro, Gooch, Maja and Watmore backed up by McNair and Love with the promise of Ethan Robson and Elliot Embleton, potentially a potent combination for League 1 level but there’s every chance we’ll lose one or two of them. So we need to have back up plans for every eventuality; if we lose a player, to have 2, 3 or even 4 properly scouted as a back up. I’d hope by the opening of the January transfer window, we’ll have scouted just about every senior player in Leagues 1 & 2, had the stronger candidates watched 3 or 4 times so that we know whether they’d be capable of playing for Sunderland. We’ll have to become a selling club, no doubt about that but hopefully if we’re in a stronger financial position we’ll be able to hold out for better deals.

This might feel like the end of the world but it might just be the perfect opportunity to put Sunderland AFC’s world back in order.

Only ever bad luck….

I had an interview on Thursday which went as bad as an interview could go. I knew it was a train wreck as soon as I walked in the door so my heart wasn’t really in it. Getting back into the car at Heworth I saw someone getting out of his and heading for the ticket machine so I wound down my window and gave him my all day ticket. He thanked me profusely and I hoped that somewhere down the line that karma would repay itself……

Since then, we’ve been plagued by kids lobbing eggs at our windows; three times on Saturday, the oven has blown up meaning we couldn’t cook supper on Saturday and both me and my wife have had rejections for jobs we’ve gone for. Would good luck be too much to ask for?

Still, Sunderland won on Saturday………………………………..

Technology Test

As the telephone interview on Thursday night petered out, I’d given up all hope of getting that job. it was in Stockton, which is quite a hike and it was for a Senior Software Designer, which seemed like a lot of responsibility for someone not used to being a leader. The recruitment agent phoned and said they’d liked me but were unsure about my technical skills and so asked me to take the technical test part of the interview first! Sat and done it today and lo and behold, it turns out I can remember more .NET than I thought. Guess we’ll see where that ends up!

Elegant code vs ‘just making it work’

I love being clever. I love clever little tricks, clever little bits of code. So when I’m trying to pass several rows of data from a Php script into Javascript so I can use it to put markers on a Google Map. The really clever thing to do would be to create an array of objects in Php, encode them into JSON and then decode the JSON and use the object notation for each instance of the object

class Incident{
public $incidentDate;
public $desc;
public $latitude;
public $longitude;

public function _construct($incidentDate, $desc, $latitude, $longitude){
$this->incidentDate = $incidentDate;
$this->description = $desc;
$this->latitude = $latitude;
$this->longitude = $longitude;

But can I make it work?? Nope. So I’ve JSON’ed up each array, passed them in and then used the Javascript method to populate my arrays and create my oh so clever markers. Now, should I get them to bounce or not……………………

Payment holidays

When do you think you’d most need a payment holiday from the largest financial commitment you can make? In your hour of need, normally. Seems no one has told the Halifax that as they’ve just told me I can’t have a payment holiday as I don’t have a job or a start date for a job. I’m not asking them to forgive my debt, I’ve every intention of honouring every last penny, but I am asking them to give me some breathing space. I feel I’ve done the right thing by only asking for help when I’ve really needed it but feel a little hard done to that they didn’t seem keen to help

First day nerves

For the first time in about 20 years, I’m going to sign on the dole. Not sure why I’m nervous, I’m sure the sheer volume of jobs I’ve applied for in the last 4 or 5 days will be more than sufficient. Perhaps its just that a year ago I couldn’t envisage having to go through this again. 20 years ago I wouldn’t have contemplated taking my laptop as proof of applying for work (I’ve managed to forward the emails to a new account on my tablet; hopefully they’ll accept that) but now I’m desperate to get back on the work ladder and have that horrible Sunday night back to work feeling

Coding, but which flavour?

I’d say I’m a moderate coder, I don’t seem to have the inspiration that I’ve seen in others; I’ve seen people build themselves a development environment in a morning to achieve something they need to do, but if I put my mind to it and with a fair bit of trial and error, I can achieve. However, it seems my chosen dialect of the last 15 years, Visual Basic, is now as popular as using leeches in medicine. I’ve flirted with Javascript, it genuinely seems an exciting prospect but there is such a plurality of plugins, of standards and of flavours that I always seem to fall back to Php and it’s steady data handling and echo-ing of HTML elements. Guess it’s head down, read up on NPM and React and hope my brain can learn when to use two ‘=’ signs and when to use three!


Welcome to my blog, here I will pontificate about my journey through looking for work and upskilling with possibly a bit of football and politics thrown in for good measure!

I hope you enjoy reading my ramblings