Sixer’s Sevens: SAFC 3 QPR 1 – Black Cats purring again

Here Pete Sixsmith captures the glory and shame, hope and despair, excitement and ennui of the Sunderland matchday experience. When, rarely, Pete is absent or delayed, a supersub does it for him and the seven-word verdict is preceded by an asterisk. Pete’s full analysis of the game will usually appear within a day or two.

A coupleof changes before the game and an enforced one early on did nothing to compromise what turned out to be another very competent, professional performance.

A pointless return for the three ex Sunderland players in hoops, in a game which saw Cisse see red and benchwarmer Barton receive a load of not entirely unexpected abuse. Martin O’Neill was again delighted as were those in red and white inside and outside the ground. His reaction to the game will follow shortly.

The full Sixer’s Sevens archive – see link below – sums up what all Sunderland supporters feel, from darkest gloom to sublime elation, in the words of one who is usually there …

March 24 2012 SAFC (1) 3 Queens Park Rangers (0) 1 Played very well and won with ease

March 20 2012 Blackburn Rovers (0) 2 SAFC (0) 0 Very disappointing. We looked tired and uninterested

March 17 2012 FA Cup 46h round: Everton (1) 1 SAFC (1) 1 Started well, on top but pushed back

March 10 2012 SAFC (0) 1 Liverpool (0) 0 Better by far than an average Liverpool

March 4 2012 Newcastle United (0) 1 SAFC (1) 1Players gave everything and deserved to win

Feb 25 2012 West Bromwich Albion (2) 4 SAFC (0) 0 Baggies better by far as bubble bursts

Feb 18 2012 FA CUP 5th round: SAFC (1) 2 Arsenal (0) A wonderfully gritty performance brings deserved victory

Click this text: just £9.50, post free, at the Salut! Sunderland ShopDon’t blame Jake!

To see Sixer’s Sevens in full, click here. If an asterisk precedes the comment, the words that follow are the work of someone else because Pete is for once absent from the game or his verdict has been delayed …

12 thoughts on “Sixer’s Sevens: SAFC 3 QPR 1 – Black Cats purring again”

  1. Malcolm. There is no alternative to Kyrgiakos for the Everton game unless there is a recovery from O’Shea which is possible.If Kilgallon isn’t fit then why has he been on the bench?

    I have lots of pre Sunderland memories of SK and none of them are good.

    • Kilgallon may be fit enough to take the bench but maybe not to play for 70 mins +. The team continues to be blighted by injuries to defenders. Bringing on Campbell may have been an inspired tactical change or maybe it was to allow him to take up Gardner’s position on the right with the coaching staff unwilling to put Kilgallon on when less than 100%. Bridge also didn’t last the full 90 minutes and he was replaced by Meyler which leads me to believe Kilgallon was just filling a space on the subs’ bench.

      Only the management will know for certain.

      Meanwhile, I’m waiting for Angeleri’s return! 🙂

  2. MON never does the expected and always seems to amaze me with his substitutions. O’Shea goes off early El Mohammady once a regular right back is on the bench straight swop seemed obvious. What does MON do he brings on Campbell an out and out striker, at the time it seemed folly but he got it right yet again. The reality is Sunderland have a game of significant meaning this week and got through a relatively easy game unscathed, not sure about O’shea but he didn’t look too distressed leaving the field. We won in a common canter against a disjointed QPR who are odds on to take the drop, but now Everton death or glory

  3. They always say that you shouldn’t change a winning team, but the match was won in my view largely due to O’Shea’s enforced withdrawal and subsequent reshuffle. Campbell brought some fire to the attack when he came on and Gardner’s switch to right back seemed to provide more balance to the team overall. I like to see Gardner in the team and I would prefer to see CG in that position than O’ Shea. Gardner is far more effective going forward than JO’S and it may allow the inclusion of both Colback and Cattermole against Everton. I’m not sure how MON can leave Jack out after such a display yesterday.

    I have to disagree with some of the comments about Kyrgiakos, as I can’t think of another PL player who looks so cumbersome and awkward when a football comes near him. His afternoon was made easier by the follies of Lord Frodsham, and the challenge offered to him by Jelavic on Tuesday night worries me. This is where the one unenforced change should be made IMHO. He’s a disaster in waiting, and reminds me of Nigel Saddington when he turns. For those too young to remember Nigel, you can rest assured that is not a good thing to have memories stirred about.

    • O’Shea is a centre back not a full back or wing back. His distribution lacks the quality needed to play in that position and he is cumbersome going forward.
      Gardner on the other hand has the ability to pass the ball out of defence and looks comfortable there.

      You obviously have something against Kyrgiakos. I haven’t any pre-Sunderland memories of him so I judge him on what I see. He played well on Saturday won everything in the air and passed the ball well. He and Turner were effective in the heart of the defence and I have no qualms about him filling in when the first choices are unavailable.

      He did a job that was asked of him. With Brown, Bramble, Bardsley and O’Shea potentially out of Tuesday’s game who would you have instead. The only realistic option is Kilgallon and I trust the coaching staff to determine his fitness after his injury. Apart from that it would mean playing someone out of position.

      Give the Greek a break until he proves you right.

      “I can’t think of another PL player who looks so cumbersome and awkward” How about Crouch? Though on Saturday he proved that sometimes even a blind squirrel can find a nut!

  4. Agree about Colback. Media are giving McLean all the plaudits, and he did play well, but I though Colback was excellent yesterday. He barely wasted a pass, was always an option for whoever had the ball and tried to break forward when possible. I’d play him Tuesday, a calm player in what will be a frenetic game, but I’m not MON, who I’m fairly sure will have his game plan well and truly sorted.

    • I agree Colback did well and Meyler too when he came on – quiet but effective. It was a shame that Colback’s shot didn’t creep in when he hit the post – a couple more goals will be good for his confidence.

      MON will obviously have his ideas about team set up to implement his game plan and I’m not sure Catts is a definite starter on Tuesday. We’ll wait and see and it won’t be an easy game but I’m sure the team will be up for it.

  5. Great for us to bounce back like that after Blackburn. Allthough McLean is getting all the plaudits at the moment , and rightly so,it is great to see how Jack Colback is developing into a very good premiership player.

    Lets hope that Meyler,Ji andWickham get the opportunity to develop in the same way… well of course as Laing, Noble, Knott, Deacon, Cook, and Tounkare. Could be some exciting times ahead under MON without breaking the bank.

    • Thought young Jack was superb yesterday and M O’N will have a selection dilemma when Cattermole and Larsson are ready to come back. Personally I’d leave him in there.

  6. Nice to see McClean celebrate his new contract in fitting style. And very nice to see the side settle down after least week’s blip and play as a team again. I get the feeling that they’re very comfortable with O’Neill and the occasional loss isn’t the end of the world, which it also seemed to be under Bruce. And to think that I was hoping Mark Hughes would get SB’s job!
    This is the first game that Kyrgiakos has started in, isn’t it? I haven’t read any match reports yet so I’ll be interested to hear how he shaped up. Can’t have been too bad, given that he played the whole game.
    I don’t suppose Everton are much looking forward to Tuesday…

    • Kyrgiakos played against Blackburn Bill and Sixer reckoned he did OK. Personally I thought he looked steady today, played well alongside Turner and considering we were lacking Brown, Bardsley, Bramble and for most of the game O’Shea the defence looked solid enough against a team of QPR’s ability.

      The one blemish was his reaction to Zamora’s challenge which was unnecessary and could have seen him sent off if the ref had been conned by Zamora’s disgraceful face clutching. Fortunately the ref got this one right.

      The team never gave up and persistance got us two of the goals. I commented during the game that a few months ago, had we lost the ball in the opposition box the players would have rushed back in defence. Now if the lose it there they battle to get it back.

  7. Very strange afteroon,a changed side played very well for a nice comfortable win.O Shea joins the casualty list early doors,Zamora disgracefully pretending he was punched,Joey Barton acting the clown,return of Sess and a goal for him,Cisse sent off,players switched allover the place as MON reshuffles the pack over and over,sunny day yet foggy and freezing…only thing missing was Billy Smarts circus.

    Very enjoyable

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