Martin’s Musings from SAFC 1 Manchester City 0: everyone played their part

Malcolm Dawson writes….

It was one of those games where I chewed my finger ends for the last half an hour or so. I couldn’t tell from my seat if Johnson’s shot had gone in and it was only as the South Stand roared we could be certain in the NW corner. At 1-0 up the tactic seems to be to defend deeper and deeper and City have the talent to break down any defence in front of goal. That said we had chances to put the game to bed but with Joe Hart coming forward for the injury time corners and Lescott brought on as an attacking option I feared the worst. But the Lads held on and oh how we celebrated. Then as the score came in from Old Trafford we celebrated some more.

Jake's imagination

For the second game in a row Martin O’Neill in his post-match e-mail to M Salut can praise the whole team and the home support.

Dear Colin,

The players were brilliant from start to finish.

They were really up against it with Manchester City going with the strongest side that they could put out.
We had to match that and we did.

We were committed and had some fantastic touches throughout the game – and we could have scored more goals!

Everybody worked incredibly hard for the team. Wingers coming back to help full-backs and then full-backs getting forward to cover, it was just brilliant.

Adam Johnson is beginning to show glimpses of the real football he is capable of. I thought he was excellent today.

He scored the goal, there was a furore at the time as to whether or not the City player had been fouled, but Adam continued on and put the ball in the net and he looked stunned when it went in.

He was great defensively too, getting back to help out when needed.

Today the crowd were right behind us from the start and kept with us.

It was a great atmosphere.

All the best,

Beware of forgeries

Martin O’Neill

8 thoughts on “Martin’s Musings from SAFC 1 Manchester City 0: everyone played their part”

  1. Funny old game? Not half! Just as many SAFC fans were feeling that their enthusiasm had been sapped from within them during this very disappointing campaign to date, along come Moneybags City with their Fantasy League team, full of pace, vision, trickery and genuine quality throughout, to most probably add more heaviness to Mackem hearts and re-emphasise that the sum part of this season may simply lie in a relegation battle.
    But after City totally dominated the first twenty minutes and could have had two or three goals to their credit but for brave defending and some vital stops from the ever improving Mignolet, Sunderland started to perform with real passion and verve, looking as though they may get something from the game. And so it proved. The crowd, who have been brilliant all season, both in numbers and in their support of MON and the team in spite of some poor results, came into their own as they roared the lads on in a manner that made you proud to be a part of the same group and which emphasised why Sunderland fans are so respected within the football world. [Not many clubs in world football would attract our numbers with one major trophy since 1937 and enough disappointments to have driven the majority away for good at many other we’ve all said many times previously what could a bit of success attract?].
    As the second half wore on Sunderland began to dominate for long periods, despite the churlish post match comments from the childish, arrogant Mancini who gave Sunderland no credit whatsoever. AJ’s goal had a fortuitous element about it but the lads warranted it for their perseverance and professionalism against expensively assembled opposition. On a personal level Johnson deserved it for his recent form which is beginning to highlight why the manager forked out £10m for him. His technique and skill levels are there for all to see-here is a player who puts bums on seats and can be a joy to watch. He and Sess were a joy to watch and Fletcher’s touch and awareness is top class.
    It was also refreshing to see players like Colback and McClean, who have struggled to justify their inclusion at times this campaign, play such influential rules against such the champions of England.
    Once again Kilgallon was recalled to the starting line-up [as he was against City at home last year] and did very well alongside an in form Cuellar.
    Rose was absolutely sensational and we must pray we can sign him but if Spurs scouts have been monitoring him since he came to Wearside, they will surely suggest to AVB that he should be kept at White Hart Lane.
    A great afternoon’s entertainment and result was capped off by an announcement on the SoL tannoy that our nearest and dearest with their charmless manager and above-their-station players [yes, you Steven Taylor-check out the league table today] had scored three goals at Disneyland Trafford..but lost!
    Yes, who could have envisaged such a perfect afternoon earlier in the day?

  2. This is from Doug Higginbottom, our Man City Who are You? interviewee ….

    And there we have it. Just not playing well at all and when teams sit in we don’t have many answers.

    I didn’t feel we were under any threat of a goal until AJ’s goal but equally I didn’t feel we were going to score either.One or two chances were there but nothing too special.It changed of course after the goal as we left gaps chasing the equaliser but even then it never felt like we would get it.

    The build up is far far too slow and key players are just showing no form or sparkle and when that’s Aguero,Tevez and Silva you have problems.O’Neil got the tactics spot on but they aren’t difficult against City Having said that Newcastle got them wrong and paid for it.

  3. I think we will have Mig for at least for the remainder of this season, we need to buy in January not sell so it would take offers over 10m to tempt the board in to departing with such an asset for the Club.

    However, it all depends on how many funds ES is willing to stump up in January and who our targets are. One things for sure it is always easier to get people in whith performances like yesterdays. Onwards and upwards….hopefully.

  4. My son saw something about SM being wanted as a back up to Cserny (excuse my Polish). SImon Mignolet will not be going anywhere as a back up to anybody, regardless of who the current regular choice might be.

    As you say Ian, there is not quite the appeal at Arsenal that perhaps there once was.

    I resist saying this after the run of results that we’ve been on for a long time (regarless of the last two), but my real hope for MON when he arrived is that he would be able to temper the need for our best players to want to go somewhere else.

    It’s not so long since Henderson went to Liverpool for 20m. That was under Dalglish. It wouldn’t happen now and the appeal of perhaps playing for him is certainly not matched by Rodgers, and it wouldn’t happen now anyway.

    If Simon Mignolet decides the time is right to move on to a bigger stage at some point, his talent is more than enough to fill the shoes of Casillas, Buffon or Cech. Chelsea, incidentally are also reported to be interested in him. Some of the figures I’ve heard, and which may well be meaningless are laughable. 5M was mentioned in one of the papers. I’d have thought that any auction should be starting at at least twice that.

    • Simon should fetch well upwards of what we paid for Craig Gordon (!) Where is he by the way?
      I think if Simon keeps playing thew way he is, then a Champions league [top four] club will come in for him.
      Still, as I’ve said, I do rate Westwood, and when he’s come in he’s done a good job for us. Perhaps hasn’t got the same strength and bulk as Simon, but good nonetheless.

      No matter how well MON does, even if we get to the Aston Villa heights of a regular position 6 finish, we won’t be able to stop anyone going to “bigger” clubs. They simply pay better wages and offer trophy winning opportunities.

  5. I think Killgallon has earned the right to play v Spurs. The only thing with Killgallon is that he needs to improve in the air. I think he’ll do well against the likes of Defoe. Killa is a bit quicker than O shea and Cuellar.
    Cuellar did pretty good too.

    My only concern, like Jeremy, is that Mignolet might be courted by bigger clubs. Certainly I’d swap De Gea for Mignolet if I was Sir Alex. I don;t know if Arsenal (who have been linked with M) are as big a pull as they were 5 years ago. Still, we have Westwood who I rate quite highly too.

    Sess looked sharp again and a handful and could have had a goal or two, and had Mcclean played him in sooner would certainly have scored.

    … We must keep Rose ! Although Levy holding us to ransom again irks me. Hopefully when the loan deal was taken out there would have been a clause in there for a Rose purchase at a reasonable price.

  6. Well what a game and what a atmosphere I can’t remember the last time the lid was lifted off the SOL but it was today I can’t praise them enough even colback went forward today the team played as a team no big boot forward from the back four they went through the midfield and we should have scored more alright it was nerve tingling in the last half hour but we kept going and all I want for Xmas is for MON to sighn Danny Rose he is the best left back in the country by miles clever skillfull fast fit and never gets under pressure some clubs normally have centre forwards for there hero but we have a on loan left back all I can say is well done Danny and if Tottenham recall you in January the best off luck in the future..

  7. It wasn’t obvious even on the telly that the shot had gone in. Johnson looked almost embarrassed that his speculative effort had gone under Hart’s body.

    A wonderful result. If this was a contest to see who was the better goalkeeper then Mignolet won this one hands down, despite Hart’s stop from Sess. Unfortunately there’s increasing speculation about other clubs having an interest in Simon. Nobody was taking me seriously a year or so ago when I suggested that he could be the best goalkeeper in the world. That isn’t looking such a big claim to make about him now.

    Danny Rose was tremendous today yet again. A word of praise for KIlla who got the run around in the first half from Aguero. A tough task to come in to the side and mark him. He grew stronger and stronger throughout the game and was outstanding after the break.

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