Sixer’s Sevens: Wigan Athletic 2 SAFC 3 – backs-to-wall triumph

Jake gives Sixer star billing
Jake gives Sixer star billing

This is where Pete Sixsmith records his instant verdict, in seven words, on each Sunderland game. When he cannot make it, a supersub steps in and his (or her) seven-word summing-up is preceded by an asterisk. Today, Sunderland overcame an early setback to take a commanding 3-1 lead at Wigan only to waste chances in the second half to put the game out of reach and instead endure the jumpiest of finishes as Athletic piled forward. We saw the lead cut but managed to cling on. All the same, this was an utterly crucial victory in terms of both points and post-Bolton morale. Another great performance by the fans – 5,000 as at the first Bolton game – and reason to hope for more composed football as the second half of the season progresses …

Holding on. Jake is still shaking
Holding on. Jake is still shaking

Jan 19 2013 Wigan Athletic (1) 2 SAFC (3) 3 Important win but nerves shredded at end

Jan 15 2013 FA Cup Third Round replay: SAFC (0) 0 Bolton Wanderers (0) 2 What a difference three days make: awful

Jan 12 2013 SAFC (1) 3 West Ham United (0) 0 Great show by Vaughan inspired comfortable win

Jan 5 2013 FA Cup Third Round: Bolton Wanderers (1) 0 SAFC (0) 2 *A Gardner wonder strike saves the day

Jan 2 2013 Liverpool (2) 3 SAFC (0) 0 Our heads went down second half – worrying

Dec 29 2012 SAFC (1) 1 Tottenham Hotspur (0) 2 Nearly a draw but not quite there

Dec 26 2012 SAFC (0) 1 Manchester City (0) 0 What a wonderful way to spend Boxing Day

Dec 23 2012 Southampton (0) 0 SAFC (1) 1 Jingle bells, jingle bells, Sunderland win away <

Dec 16 2012 Manchester United (2) 3 SAFC (0) 1 Dismal first half defending cost us dear

Dec 11 2012 SAFC (2) 3 Reading (0) 0 Just a comfortable win against poor oppositon

Dec 8 2012 SAFC (0) 1 Chelsea (2) 3 Far better performance than the scoreline suggests

Dec 2 2012 Norwich City (2) 2 SAFC (1) 1 Took too long to get into game.

And read Monsieur Salut at ESPN:

Nov 27 2012 SAFC (0) 0 Queens Park Rangers (0) 0 Won’t see a poorer game all season

Nov 23 2012 SAFC (0) 2 West Bromwich Albion (2) 4 Ridiculous scoreline but too many basic errors

Nov 18 2012 Fulham 1 (0) SAFC 3 (0) Good goals, better performance, 3 important points

Nov 10 2012 Everton (0) 2 SAFC (1) 1 Chances created, which is progress. Much better

Nov 3 2012 SAFC 0 (0) Aston Villa 1 (0) Another abject performance. A long winter looms

Oct 30 2012 Capital One Cup Fourth Round: SAFC 0 (0) Middlesbrough 1 (1) Plan B even worse than plan A

Oct 27 2012 Stoke City (0) 0 SAFC (0) 0 Don’t bother with MoTD: a real stinker

Oct 21 2012 SAFC (0) 1 Newcastle United (1) 1 Got out of jail. Just about deserved

Oct 6 2012 Manchester City (1) 3 SAFC (0) 0 Never gave up but City simply better.

Sept 29 2012 SAFC (0) 1 Wigan Athletic (0) 0 Scrappy performance but a win’s a win

Sept 25 2012 Capital One Cup 3rd Round: MK Dons (0) 0 SAFC (0) 2 Second goal settles nerves for comfortable win

Sept 22 2012 West Ham United (0) 1 SAFC (1) 1 Need to be more positive when ahead

Sept 15 2012 SAFC (1) Liverpool (0) 1 More than happy to take a point

Sept 1 2012 Swansea City (1) 2 SAFC (2) 2 *Lack of ambition against 10 cost points

Aug 28 2012 Capital One Cup Round 2: SAFC (1) 2 Morecambe (0) 0 Shrimps potted as we stroll to victory

Aug 18 2012 Arsenal (0) 0 SAFC (0) 0 Gritty, determined and a well earned point

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12 thoughts on “Sixer’s Sevens: Wigan Athletic 2 SAFC 3 – backs-to-wall triumph”

  1. Agree that the formation shows up Gardner’s positioning, although Sess worked really hard to cover, as did AJ. However, what it did do was allow us a really fluid formation and alllowed all 5 of the midfield to support Fletch at various times and the ball got to Sess and AJ in space far more than it was doing at the start of the season. Dangersous against a side with good wingers but playing that formation away from home will be exciting. Good start from N’Diaye. He will get better once he gets used to the pace of the game as he was often caught out but was very good in patches. He also needs to improve his heading, given his size but really promising.

  2. Is that Ollie Burton, the former Newcastle wing half or Ollie Burton the former Ferryhill Comp Biology teacher and Durham based artist?
    I’ll get my coat.

  3. I’ve noticed Mig a few times when he’s kicking, he seems to get away with doing it from just outside the box. I saw that throw out you mention Malcolm, he was definitely outside the box and the Wigan fans behind him saw it too. He’ll get caught one of these days and we’ll have a free kick in a dangerous position to contend with. Meanwhile me and you’ll keep this between ourselves eh?
    I once got an Ollie Burton tea cosy for my birthday. I burnt it.

    • Last time I saw a keeper penalised for that was last league game at Roker when Southall carried the ball out of the box and Waddle scored a cracking free kick. (not a pelanty)

  4. Fletch was quality and Alfie had a most promising start.Good chances wasted by Larsson and Sess but Wigan dominated possession in the second half.Very pleasing win especially when the Mags result was announced at the end.Support magnificent as per usual.

    • Mignolet came very close to giving a free kick away when he threw the ball to Larsson though as I have been urging him to improve the quality of his distribution, I shan’t complain.

      As for Sess – he took the wrong option but I can see what he was trying to do. I’m just pleased he has never said he once had a Jackie Milburn tee shirt for Christmas.

  5. Have to disagree about MON’s management/playing style; he was gesticulating and shouting at the players to push higher up the field, but whether through lack of confidence or a natural timidity, they didn’t do so. Let’s be honest it’s been a sunderland trait for years, regardless of manager in post or players in the team, unfortuntely it makes for horribly nervous watching.
    Good to see Fletcher back to scoring ways. My big concern was the way we lined up: a 5 man midfield with Sess apparently on the right put Gardner under pressure and meant the rest of the midfield often got pulled across to cover his lack of defensive ability. Our right hand side was vulnerable for much of the game and would have been more cruelly exploited by a better team. However, 3 points is 3 points. Looking forward to MOTD.

  6. Those that we fortunate enough to see the game were enthused about big Alfie, looking forward to seeing the lad in action!

  7. How will we ever know which team will turn up? Yet another abysmally slow start, but we got a first half of attacking football to warm the cockles of our hearts.

    Then what did MON say in the dressing room at half time because it very nearly back fired? The game was almost a reverse of the Bolton fight back when we sat back in the first half and ran them of the ground by attacking in the second half. Invariably when we defend we get pushed back deeper and deeper until it becomes almost a panic defence, yet we are FAR BETTER ON THE FRONT FOOT so why not keep playing to win?

    To me this smacks of MON;s caution but perhaps I am too cynical. How the hell could he put one up front at home to Bolton.

    Liked what I heard of Alfred N’Diaye’s first game OK he had to adjust to the speed of Premiership play at first and tired in the second half but he seems to give us a new dimension in attack as well as a rock like approach in defence.

    • Have to agree. My only real concern about MON’s managerial style is that he likes the team to defend too deep for my liking. As you say, even when we start strongly and get an advantage we begin to defend at the line of the penalty box and allow the opposition the time and space to build their attacks. I’d much rather we kept going. But if Sess had got that fourth it would have been a lot less nail biting.

  8. What a player Steven Fletcher is! Two brilliantly taken goals. His chances/goals ratio must be up there with the best!

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