Hartlepool 1 Sunderland 3: and is it farewell to Stee…eeed?

The news from down the A19 was that Sunderland won comfortably, 3-1 with goals from Gyan, Colback and Larsson.

Better still, Pete Sixsmith reports from the game, we took it seriously and the match produced “some good pointers”. Ian Porter, at Blackcats, was also encouraged by what he saw (see footnote*).

Pete will have more to say later. But it is also worth recording that the rumour mill has been turning since this afternoon with suggestions that Steed Malbranque is about to sign for the French Ligue 1 side St Etienne.

M Salut’s gut response is that his skillful ball play will be sorely missed. We have not been so rich in natural footballing gifts in recent times to make that a trivial quality, and Steed possessed it in spades. That said, it may well be right for us and for him that he moves on. We need goals from midfield and he will never provide them, at least not for us. We also have a number of options in that area of the field.

But perhaps others will disagree. Over to you … and if he does go, we’ll have more to say about that, too.

* This was Ian Porter’s summing-up from Hartlepool: “It was a decent run out played at a decent pace for the most. Without doubt, MOM was Sess. Must be a good bet for scoring first goal next season. He was a constant threat, regularly turning players in the box. Many decent performances and goals from Gyan, Colback and Larson after going a goal down. Brown played well, in the flesh he’s a huge imposing figure. Rico was decent, Bardo seemed less effective on the right than he was on the left last season. Ferdinand, was probably our worst player. Showing the same indecision and risk taking in & around the box again. Cattermole did fine for me, I think I have more patience with him than most. Colback was sound as usual, keeping possession, passing accurately and hard running. This lad can go far if he gets the chances. Larsson was wide left, did OK, but regularly drifted right leaving no one on the left. Gyan was Ok, but did have a sky shot from 6 yards before Larsson put the ball away! Elmo, it’s hard to be positive when I don’t rate him, but he was probably no worse than anyone else.

This was more about playing 90 mins, but after about an hour we were totally dominant for long periods. All in all, I was satisfied with the performance considering it was pre-season, and I’m not sure how much you can ever read into pre-season results.”

10 thoughts on “Hartlepool 1 Sunderland 3: and is it farewell to Stee…eeed?”

  1. It’s a fair point you raise Alan. My boy plays football and is naturally right footed. I have constantly instilled in him, the need to be able to play with both feet. He practices regularly with his left and if you can play well with one foot then a little bit of regular practice with the left will work wonders. What causes me great annoyance is the permissiveness of the coaches who rarely if ever encourage, let alone insist on players using their “weaker foot.”

    If kids don’t want to develop their game and overcome their basic weaknesses in training sessions there is little hope that they will use their “weaker foot” in competitive games. I’ve never understood the mentality accepting that you are “one footed” and never will.

  2. BB it is strange I meet more and more left handers but very few left footers.

    I have to express some sympathy as well with John who has been given the thumbs down for some thoughtful and well expressed doubts that I too raised recently. Just sometimes fans might consider such thoughts as worthy of debate rather than censure.

    I am often amused when Charlie Hurley is held up as a footballing paragon when in reality brilliant as he was he was one of the games great recovery artists, often from his own howling mistakes.

    Keep stirring the pot John.

  3. Goodbye Steed,thanks and good luck. Let’s hope that McCartney, Nosworthy, Kilgallon and Angeleri follow soon.

    Would be happy with Johnson, Bridge or Warnock and Welbeck arriving.

  4. The move looks on. Steve Bruce says so! This is from today;s Northern Echo:

    “A deal for Steed could be a possibility,” said Bruce after last night’s 3-1 win at Hartlepool United. “That deal is at advanced talks and we might have something to report soon.

    “It might be two, three or four leaving in the next few days. We could also see Marcos Angeleri head back to Argentina with Estudiantes, while George McCartney could be going too. It is a possibility, but I don’t want to say the club.”

    Bruce has been keen to bring in a new left winger all summer, but has been unable to achieve his wish because he has been told to reduce the wage bill first.

    A move for Malbranque, one of the club’s big earners, would help to do that, although following Charles N’Zogbia’s move to Aston Villa, he has to look at alternative targets.

    He added: “Steed has one year left and we are in a position where we have decided to say OK he can go. We have not got a natural left hand sider but you tell me where they are.

    “I am pleased with the balance we have in the squad because we have players who can play on the left. It is time Steed moved on and we wish him well.”

  5. If Steed is allowed to go I sincerely hope they have someone better lined up! So far 7 players have left since the tail end of last season – 6 of them full internationals – Steed will make 8! Everyone goes on about how active we’ve been and how much stronger we will be now but we’ve only brought in 8 new players – one’s a goalie and at least 2 have been bought for their potential rather than proven Premier quality.
    One of our main problems last year was lack of numbers and this has not been improved so far. Clubs are allowed a squad of 25 plus under 21’s who have come through an English academy. We currently have only 20 in our squad assuming that Colback and Meyler still slip under the net. Its just not enough.
    I’ve been really concerned for weeks at the talk that Steed and Ferdinand may be allowed to go.

  6. A very good player, but he will not get much playing time at Sunderland next season. His move will free up salary (and transfer cash hopefully) to allow the club to bring in a much needed midfielder capable, as Steed is, of holding onto the ball, beating a man and making a pass. Adam Johnson may not be available to us, but I would like to see him in red and white at the start of the season.

  7. Steeds skill to unlock a defence will be missed.
    If he captured his Fulham goalscoring potential then he would be a huge miss.
    However, he hasn’t been able to score which has been disappointing, and his speed and fitness now are waning.

    Still, Good luck Steed, we’ll miss you!

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