offers some advice to Martin O’Neill on the fines he may wish to consider imposing after yesterday’s defeat-from-the-jaws-of-victory at Molineux …
The competition – click here – to come up with a new name for Martin O’Neill column at Salut! Sunderland is still open.
OK, the new manager does not yet know he’s to have one. But whether he chooses to sent out post-match e-mails or rely on simple statements and comments, his thoughts will be distilled on these pages just as Steve Bruce’s were.
Out, then, with Bruce’s Banter and – after its solitary appearance yesterday – Black’s Bluster and in with The O’Neill opinion, Martin’s Musings, O’Neill On Us, O’Neill’s O’Natterings or any of the others already or still to be suggested. MON – and yes, I could always wait until Monday each week before posting his comments and call the column, as above, MON day, but I won’t – should not feel disqualified from offering his own preferred name.
This is what he had to say yesterday:
“It’s a nice feeling to be back in football and obviously I’m very excited about joining Sunderland,” he said. It’s a big moment and I’m hoping it works out well. Naturally I want to do well for the fans, the team and myself. If we can combine all this and start winning football matches it would be terrific.
All I can say, without promising the earth, moon and stars is I will do my utmost to bring a bit of success to Sunderland. I would like it to be a really successful period and I’m going to try my best to achieve that. That’s what I’ve come for – that’s what I want to do.”
And there will be no complaints from Salut! Sunderland if, having witnessed the team throw away yet another promising matchday position and come away with nothing, he applies the following fines:
* Kieran Richardson: a month’s wages for his foolish yellow card for removing his short after scoring. I do not care how much the religious message means to him; it was hardly Billy Sharp territory, and was deeply unprofessional
* Seb Larsson: six weeks’ wages. Just two for the penalty miss, woeful as it was, his shot lacking power and aimed or mishit comfortably close to Hennessey. Four for a dive that gets within an inch of replac Barton’s feigned injury as the title of our “Who are You” question on cheating in football
* Wes Brown: a fortnight’s wages for his wholly inadequate response when the cross came in from which Fletcher scored the equaliser. Ditto Cattermole for putting himself on a yellow card yet again.
* Keiren Westwood: two days’ pay for spoiling his earlier good work, especially the terrific one-handed save in the first half, by gesticulating for hand ball instead of being 100 per cent focused on what might happen next (ball in net)
* Phil Dowd: his match fee for evening up the generous penalty decision by failign to spot that when Wolves went ahead, it was in a move that involved clear control of ball by hand (O’Hara) and the scorer (Fletcher again) returning from an offside position to convert the chance
On second thoughts, MON cannot fine the ref. But I trust him to look after the other disciplinary matters raised …