Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The reply from the Northeast

After writing a letter of application for the vacant manager's job at Sunderland A.F.C. 13 days ago, and not receiving any communication from the club since then, I thought that Sunderland really would treat my application as the hoax that it really was and that there would be no chance in a million years that I would even get a reply from them. To my utmost surprise, this wasn't the case and today, I received a reply from Sunderland in the post! Obviously, I haven't been considered as an a genuine applicant for the job but I'm extremely happy that the club took the time to reply to that email that I sent them. Hereunder is a reproduction of what the letter stated:
Private and Confidential
Address Only

(My address)

10th December 2008

Dear Matthew,

Thank you for your recent letter regarding the vacant managerial role at Sunderland.

The number and calibre of candidates for the role has been very high and unfortunately will be unable to progress your application further on this occasion.

Thank you for your interest and may we take this opportunity to wish you every success in your career in the future.

Yours sincerely,

Sunderland AFC
If there was only one thing that I had to complain about though it would be the fact that my letter has not been signed by anybody! However, I know that it is official because it was printed on a paper demonstrating the Sunderland club emblem at the top, and the club sponsors and address of the club at the bottom. Further to that, the envelope was stamped by Sunderland A.F.C., fully affixed with a return address, and the letter left the UK via the Royal Mail office, fully paid airmail, at Newcastle-Upon-Tyne on the 12th December.

Thank you Sunderland - even though the expected reply came along, you definitely made my day by acknowledging that that I wrote!

God Bless You all,

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Matti applies for a Job (at long last!)

... and believe me guys, you're not really going to believe the job that I did apply for...
(My address... don't want it to show here, do I?)

The Sunderland Stadium of Light,
SR5 1SU,

To whom it may concern:

My name is Matthew Borg. I am a 19-year-old second year law student at the University of Malta, and I am interested in applying for the current vacant managerial post at Sunderland A.F.C. following the resignation of former boss Roy Keane.

I believe that I am a suitable candidate for the post having had three years of experience managing my school team in my homeland of Malta, to which I managed to lead my side to an inter-college tournament final in 2006 (which my side lost 5-4 on penalties after a 0-0 draw), this apart from countless hours of playing the acclaimed game Football Manager, which has given me a deep insight with regards the tactical side of the game. Indeed, my resume with whatever team I have managed within the game has always been impressive. I consider my greatest achievements to be winning league championships and UEFA Champions Leagues with Inter Milan (Italy) and Paris Saint-Germain (France), as well as winning the Barclays Premier League with Everton and taking them to the Champions League final, shamelessly losing to Chelsea on penalties. While at these clubs, I also have developed an eye for young talent, who, with the right nurturing, became superstars for my clubs. Among these players one can find Sherman Cardenas, Nicolas Millan and Jose Luis Silva, among others.

I believe that the current crop of players at Sunderland are of a very good nature, but understand that if I am appointed as manager of the team, I will need to work hard to command their respect. I feel that the side's most identifiable players are Djibril Cisse, El-Hadji Diouf, Kenwyne Jones, Steed Malbranque and Kieran Richardson, and that these players can propel the team to survival this term and to greater things in the future. Such players must be considered as an investment for Sunderland, as the team can continue to build around them in order to strengthen the team considerably in the remaining departments. I also believe that the current weak-link within the squad is its defence. The team's best defender being Anton Ferdinand, I am of the opinion that he needs a quality fellow centre-half to accompany him. Perhaps, in the short term, I would look to loan out Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic, who is well down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge when first team defenders Ricardo Carvalho and John Terry are fully fit. Apart from investment in this area, I feel that Sunderland also need a classic right winger to provide crosses for the likes of Cisse and Jones. In this regard, a move for Liverpool's Jermaine Pennant might be realistic for the team. He seems to thrive when given the opportunity to play regular first-team football, as his season with Birmingham in 2005-2006 showed, and a move to Sunderland could suit him greatly in order for him to rediscover his potential and become, once again, a well-established player within the Barclays Premier League.

With regards tactics, I am a firm believer in the classic 4-4-2 approach, with two attacking wingers and two midfielders, one in the holding role and one given the liberty to attack defences and open up and create spaces for the attackers. I believe that this tactic, when employed, gives stability at the back as well as allows the team to liberally attack. Of course, such a tactic can easily be adapted to a 4-4-2 diamond shape, for instance, with Dwight Yorke being used as a defensive midfielder (in order to bridge the gap between defence and midfield) and Malbranque being used as an attacking midfielder. While I believe that defending is important within a game, I am also very much in favour of attacking football, and placing constant pressure on the opposing teams' defences. In my opinion, players should be ready to adapt to whatever the coach and his staff believes is the best method to attain the best results possible.

I hope that this letter finds you in good stead and that you will consider my application for the vacant managerial post. I look forward to hearing from you in the near future.

Kind regards,

Matthew Borg.
And just for the record, I did send this in to Sunderland A.F.C. Now, in all fairness, I know I'm not going to become their manager, but even if I get a reply from them, I'll be delighted! I'll keep you updated with any communication from the club...

God Bless You all!