Down to earth with a thud at Wigan

Somehow, when Steve Bruce said after the Arsenal game that he’d warned the team “play as like that at Wigan or else”, the longer serving pessimists among us knew what was about to happen.
And happen it does. We fail to score even one against a team that concedes shedloads, and lose 1-0. Before what I expect to be a severe rollicking for Sunderland when Pete Sixsmith expands on his seven-word verdict, here is an idea of today’s debacle from these comments at the Blackcats list. It starts with a dreadful first half and manages to get worse …

Rob H:

Shocking first half no passing or movement and muscled out of it.

Happy to be 0 0 at half time.

Ian H:

Agreed – not at the races yet. A good chat at half time should fix it but we are struggling with just Bent up front particularly with the passing being so poor. Back four has looked shaky – even PDS has made mistakes that could/should have been punished. Fair do’s to Wigan they are not the best side in the league but they don’t look like a side that lost 9-1 last time out.

And Ian H again:

Well that’s brought us all back down to earth with a bloody big thud!! Awful from back to front – Fulop the only player who should be paid this week. The back four were woeful & after waxing lyrical about PDS for the past few weeks I have to say both he & Turner were total s**** – the goal summing up their performance. We really look a different team away from home & have been bullied now by 4 of the leagues poorest teams. SB will be sick but he’s the one who needs to sort it.

Another Ian (P):

As has already been mentioned, there were some abysmal displays at Wigan. Once again, we were in a position to go 5th – yes 5th, can you believe it! I thought & hoped we were finally ditching our Rollercoaster, but at the moment, it looks like we’re hopping between it & NQ’s Magic Carpet !

Fulop had a really good game, but must be partially at fault for coming so far off his line for their goal. Last week, Bardsley was being mentioned in the press as an outsider for the WC ! Whilst defence has always been the strongest aspect of his game, he didn’t even do that particularly well. I’d say defending is the only aspect of his game. How many 25-30 yd attempts on goal has he had, I’d say at least 1 every game. I don’t even remember a single one ever being on target ! Da Silva looked World Class one minute, but Wearside League at others ! His attempt at clearing the ball for their goal was comical. Turner had his only bad game for us I thought. Whether it was down to the new(ish) partnership, I don’t know, but that could only be part of the excuse. McCartney, I’d say just played his usual game, but whereas that’s normally nearly good enough, when so many others are playing so badly, collectively the defence is too weakened. I think the game was lost in midfield though. It really is time to get rid of Richardson. He contributes absolutely nothing of any significance. Personally, I think he’s our weakest link. Henderson I thought did reasonably well, but almost cost us a goal in the final minutes. Cana had his least influential game so far. Didn’t really do much wrong, but just anonymous by his own standards. Reid is an enigma for me though. Yes, he’s playing his best football for us, but it’s his inconsistency that lets him down. The quality of his set pieces has been done enough already, and is simply not good enough in the PL. If the rumours are true about Adam Johnson, then bring him on I say… Bent had a decent enough game, but he takes a kicking playing up front alone. … Campbell still has everything to prove as a striker. At the moment, he looks way out of his depth & about as likely to score as Spud.
Is it the more physical & direct teams that we struggle against, where midfield either gets bypassed or overrun and defenders simply get outmuscled ?
For me, if SB’s going to move the team forward he has to start with getting rid of Richardson, McCartney, Malbranque, Reid & Bardsley, preferably in that order. I don’t think it’s just a coincidence that those are all Keane’s signings.

Finally, for now, a reminder of what Pete said in Sixer’s Sevens:

Complete failure to show last week’s qualities

If you were there, or watched it on TV or the internet, tell us what you think went wrong …

Colin Randall

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