Can’t really argue with anything that the manager has to say in his after match verdict, delivered personally to M. Salut. His thoughts echo those of the majority of red and white fans leaving the ground and on the radio phone ins. The lack of penetration and the failure to threaten the opposition goal on more than the odd occasion is something that the coaching staff must address and address quickly. That it took a player in lime green to put the ball in the net will not be lost on them. His word of thanks to the supporters will be appreciated but won’t distract from their concerns. Over to the Boss.
Martin O’Neill delivers his post-match e-mail verdict
I’m delighted we came away with something from the game and that we didn’t get beaten.
However, I felt that when Newcastle went down to 10 men we should have taken a minute or two to think, instead of getting anxious about it.
In the final third we were quite clumsy, we could have done better and we should have created a few more opportunities.
In the second half, I think sheer pressure alone yielded the equalising goal and because of that pressure I feel it was deserved.
We got the break and we had time to go and get the winning goal. It might have been harsh on Newcastle, but then again it’s almost like a reversal from our game with them last year.
We could have done better; our flair players maybe looked a little too anxious to impress, but over the course of time they will come into their own.
The pleasing aspect was that even when time was running out we kept at it and applying pressure.
The crowd were willing the ball into the back of the net.
The noise that greeted the kick off was just fantastic and the noise that greeted the equalising goal was something I won’t forget in a hurry!
All the best,
2 thoughts on “Martin’s Musings on Sunderland 1 v Newcastle 1”
He has certainly lost the will or the confidence to take players on, and is far too happy to lay the ball back since the season started. This is partly because players are standing back off him more now. The element of surprise has gone now and top flight defenders are giving themselves a chance of stopping him by stepping back and doubling up when he receives the ball by the touchline. What we’ve seen from him this season suggests that last season’s success was based more on sheer speed and novelty rather than skill. He lacks the guile to trick defenders and they have found a way to consistently counteract his pace. He needs to learn and he needs to learn fast. He doesn’t have the ability to turn quickly and this is even more evident when he tries to cut inside. Invariably he ends up running squarely across the field and doesn’t seem to be able to check back out again.
Even Barry Dunn would have been able to stop the sprinklers spraying water on the field just before kick off.
One more thing that maybe you ought to look at Martin – namely the use of the sprinklers just before kick off. I know this is something almost all clubs do but the goal today came after one of our players slipped and Wigan almost scored after Colback slipped in the early stages of that game. Two consecutive games now we have had opponents sent off with loads of time left and both times we haven’t been able to put pressure on the opposition keeper.
In MON’s early games we seemed to break quickly and get forward at pace – now we just want to play pretty triangles. Only Saha showed a willingness to pull defenders out of position and McClean needs to get another pair of boots because he appears to be too big for the ones he’s got. You’re not George Best Jimmy and you need to get back to basics and do what you can do well.
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