Martin’s Musings on Fulham draw: ‘our own worst enemy’

Jake’s imagination

Martin O’Neill has less reason that he thinks to complain about the penalty that was given to Fulham. If a defender’s leg goes where Gardner’s did, the modern professional footballer will happily fall into it. But he’s right, in his post-match e-mail, to applaud a decent fightback from such an unnecessary two-goal deficit which, with more creativity and guile, would have led to victory over a sweet-moving but beatable Fulham. The spot-on verdict came from Gary Bennett on BBC Radio Newcastle: ‘A workmanlike performance that was lacking quality.’ …

Dear Colin,

At times we are our own worst enemy.

We conceded a penalty early in the game – at that point I thought the referee was going to book their player for simulation.

But that said we still got caught in the midst of it all and we then found ourselves two goals behind.

It was a great fight back to get to 2-2.

Point salvaged, or two lost? Jake can't believe people were leaving early
Point salvaged, or two lost? Jake can’t believe people were leaving early

It was important to get a goal before half time and we managed to do that. We piled pressure on them and I think we deserved to take a point.

Simon’s save was a big moment for us. We could have gone 3-1 behind but within 25 seconds we made it two apiece.

[Stephane] Sessegnon’s goal was special following the magnificent save from Mignolet – it was a pivotal moment in the game.

There was the chance we were going to get a third goal but unfortunately it didn’t transpire.

I thought it was a clear penalty at the end of the game, [Phillipe] Senderos handled the ball.

We suffered last week to similar incidents – one given against us and one not given for us.

It was a big moment in the game today and there needs to be consistency.

All the best,

Beware of forgeries

Martin O’Neill

And see what Monsieur Salut made of it at ESPN:

With 20 minutes left, the crowd – and the Fulham players – sensed Sunderland had every chance of going on to win. What stood between the home side and victory, if we discount at least three cynical fouls in key locations (I actually heard a television summariser call one of them a “good foul”), was the lack of a penetrating final ball and the absence of the sort of service such strikers as Steven Fletcher crave.

16 thoughts on “Martin’s Musings on Fulham draw: ‘our own worst enemy’”

  1. Well I am going to stick up for Larsson here, he worked hard and won alot of ball back in midfiled second half.First half was dreadful.Why do we wait till going behind before putting in an attacking effort?Sess was busting a gut too,but |IO would prefer he passes a tad more rather than going past a third having already beaten two.

    AJ…..needs a rocket….hardly appears bothered and weak as water when challenged.Unfortunately Dimboy McClean is no improvement.Vaughan would be a better option and putting Larsson back on the right Sess on the left….cannot wait for Rose to get back.

    • we need Rose back. And we need Catts back too. Agree with comments about us needing dedicated fullbacks too. We’ve got two midfielders in full back positions.

  2. Dreadful, absolutely bloody dreadful, which is all we can expect these days. Bereft of inventivness, poor in execution. MON has me very worried these with his makeshift back four (two transfer windows later) and a static midfield (N’Daiye and Sess excluded on occasion).

    yes great to come back from 2 down but really against Fulham.

    We are basically bloody awful and I predict we will struggle against both QPR and Norwich and get nothing from the following three. Probably just good enough to stay up but that is all. AJ does not even come close to justifying a starting place, Graham was ineffectual again (but still early days for him) and Larsson a shadow of his former self. we are struggling to play as it is but carrying three passengers is just way too much.

    God help us if we serve this dross up next season.

  3. Neither Gardner nor Colback are fullbacks. Until we have specialists in place these mistakes will happen. Sess on the right wing will always expose the FB. It’s a price we have to pay for 442. Graham getting into good places. Goals will soon come. Be honest we’d have accepted 4 points from Fulham before the season started. Agree we need to move even further ahead of our neighbours. 10 th place is up for grabs for those of us in the lower-mid-table-mini-league. Look forward to us challenging in the upper-mid-table-mini-league next season.

    • It was interesting to listen to the “Um” dulcet tones of PS – they were nothing as I imagined them to be!

      In addition, I was “interesting” to hear him castigate every defensive player, excluding Mig.

      It is, of course, his right to express his own opinion – I was just, somewhat, surprised at the way he did it.

      • He was certainly walking back to the car at the time and was no doubt desperate to get the Shildon result having foregone the Vase QF for the Fulham game.

        Looks like he’ll have to bunk off work now to go to Ascot for the replay. They play in the middle of the racecourse so I’ll do the obvious and warn him to give the burgers a miss.

  4. Fulham didn’t trouble Mignolet at all in the 1st half except for the two goals!
    And we similarily didn’t trouble their’s either.
    Our final ball, that quality ball is just lacking. Far too often we just didn’t get the cross past the first man. Be it AJ or Laarson, neither were on form today. Mcclean came on and delivered a couple of good balls in.
    Graham was anonymous , but I think Fletch played OK and always looks very good on the ball for me.
    Sess always looked dangerous on the ball but didn’t get back and defend and help Gardner out as much as he should.
    And when we break we should break fast and get more bodies in the box.

    In the end it could be sumarised in three words “final ball furstration”.

  5. Of course I’m glad we managed to scramble a point after being two down but would I have been happy to take a point before the game started? Against Fulham? At Home? Of course not! Two points from the last five games has us looking over our shoulders again, we have QPR & Norwich to come which most fans would see as “winnable” but after that we’ve got a very nasty run (Man Utd, Chelsea, Them Up The Road & Everton). So unless we want to endure another arse-twitching April and May we desperately need some points from our next two games.
    Plus points from today’s game? Well I can think of only one, Craig Gardner takes a helluva good penalty doesn’t he? The three he’s taken lately have all been beauties!

  6. “With 20 minutes left, the crowd – and the Fulham players – sensed Sunderland had every chance of going on to win”

    If that was the case why did the crowd leave well before the end. The stadium was empty with 5 mins to go.

    • I hate it when people leave early so i am not going to rise to the bait. ‘Most” didn’t of course, but many did. They’d say – the couple next to me when I’m there always say – they watch on the monitors downstairs and then have a clear run to their cars. The better test of Sunderland support is that despite obscene prices, the QPR allocation for next Sat is sold out

      • My seat is on the end of the row, right next to the exit stairs and I wasn’t really aware of many going early – just the usual ones who always seem to come in five to ten minutes after kick off and leave five or ten minutes before half time and the final whistle. And Sixer’s comments on Radio Newcastle after the match were more enlightening than the gaffers, though I still think we should play two up front and he (Sixer) doesn’t.

  7. If Craig Gardner is to become our resident right back then he needs to be working on his defensive skills even if it is to the detriment of his attacking instincts. I think the last 2 penalties conceded by him would not have been given away by a specialist right back such as Phil Bardsley. “Proper” full backs tend to tackle differently and even jump to cut out crosses differently, ie arms by the side. Gardner is used to tackling and blocking in an area of the field where mistakes are normally only punished by a free kick. In the penalty area different rules apply. A specialist right back is a must in the next transfer window.

  8. Dear Martin,
    You are right to point out the need for consistency.

    You might also point out the need for two defenders and two midfielders.


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