Opinion: Sunderland ‘Til I Die Part Two, Is it a good idea?

Opinion: Sunderland ‘Til I Die Part Two, Is it a good idea?
Jordan Willis of Sunderland FC (Photo by Mark Fletcher/MI News/NurPhoto)

The second instalment of Sunderland Till I Die is coming to the small screen on April 1st. Netflix have this week confirmed that they are to release the second part of the popular documentary on April Fools Day.
To be fair, this time last year you could be mistaken for a fool if you were to correctly predict what the second instalment will entail.

This part of the series will focus on Sunderland’s Checkatrade Trophy run which saw them reach a Wembley final for the first time since losing 3-1 to Manchester City in the Capital One Cup final of 2014. It will also cover Sunderland’s quest for promotion after suffering back to back relegations.

Sunderland’s first season in League One could have been very different, the Checkatrade Trophy run gave the fans another day out in the capital, but ultimately a defeat on penalties to Portsmouth didn’t feel like the turning point of the season.

Sunderland then went on a tough run of form and saw themselves slip out of the automatic promotion spots, with the club finishing the season in 5th. Sunderland had one last chance to salvage their season in the play-off final against Charlton Athletic.

However, in typical Sunderland fashion, Jack Ross’ lost the game 2-1 with just over 10 seconds of added time left on the clock at Wembley. Sunderland would be spending another season in League One and would ultimately look back on the season as bitterly disappointing.

So now that we know what to expect from the second instalment of the documentary, could this have an effect on current proceedings at the club? Sunderland are currently locked in a promotion battle and could do without the documentary being released, but it has been confirmed that Netflix are releasing the feature on April 1st and Sunderland must continue their preparation for the remainder of the season with this hanging over their heads.

There have been mixed opinions on whether there should have been a second instalment of the documentary in the first place, Roker Report recently had a debate on the matter. Here are some of the key quotes from the debate:

Phil Butler – Roker Report:

“I have to say, contrary to last year’s first season, I haven’t given the documentary much thought this time around. I think the fact that season one was a show about a club we thought was in our past meant that we, as fans, were more able to watch back and say ‘thank God it’s not like that any more’. However, this season with all the developments off the pitch especially – or lack of developments as the case may be – I’m struggling to find any motivation for the incoming season.”

Phil West – Roker Report:

“I’ll nail my colours very firmly and unashamedly to the mast when it comes to ‘Sunderland ‘Til I Die’: I think it is a truly terrible concept and something that was absolutely unnecessary. The first series, for me, did absolutely no favours for the image and reputation of the football club or its supporters, and I’m 100% convinced that the second season will be little better.

“JamSarny” a football Youtuber and Sunderland fan believes that the timing of the documentary’s release is “terrible”:

“Personally I think the timing of the release of the documentary is terrible. Given the position we’re in right now, any negative distractions could prove costly. The first series was a horrible watch from a Sunderland fans perspective, but it strangely seemed to increase the clubs overseas following and brought an interest to the club from those you wouldn’t expect. So if we’re clutching at positives then I guess that’s one. I’m not a massive fan of the concept in all honesty. Although it gives us insight behind the scenes it also seems to be a distraction to the club. However, it definitely shone a positive light on the people of Sunderland and the passion of the fans.”

 

Matthew Orr

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