Malcolm Dawson writes….in the games I’ve seen this season Sunderland have been consistent and on a par with the opposition. Spurs looked the better side but didn’t dominate. Swansea were dominated but never really looked like losing. Stoke in the League Cup beat us but we could have just as easily been the winners. The analysis could go on. Today we played much the same BUT we found the back of the net. Suddenly six games without a win becomes only one defeat in seven matches. There were frailties. Giving the ball away too easily. Gomez looking to pass back when a breakaway was on and O’Shea and Cattermole yelling at him to look up the field rather than at Vito. But we played well. Fletch looked sharp in front of goal and worked hard in wide areas and in the deeper positions. The league table is congested but we are 11th as I write. Now we just need to kick on. Gus I think is here for the long term and he was overjoyed today as we can read in his post match e-mail.
It was tough because we started well and got a goal which meant everything was perfect, but then they scored the equaliser and perhaps people started getting a little nervous.
We didn’t get nervous. We were calm, playing the game and believing in what we do with good movement, which are the things we work on – when you do things in training and it works in games the players buy into it and believe.
Overall we can now look at the table in a different way because now we have lost one in seven which is not a bad start.
I am the type of person who likes to accept responsibility when it doesn’t go well because I am in charge and I pick the team. Of course when you make hard decisions like today – leaving Jack Rodwell and Adam Johnson out. It is nice when it works because it shows that Fletch was doing something in training in the past two weeks that we needed.
Last year that partnership was largely made by Fabio Borini and Connor Wickham at the end of the season with Johnson standing out, but today it was Connor and Fletch, which is fantastic for us because it creates a situation where you know the role of every player.
Look at the last goal with Connor because you do not see many players with the power and ability to go past so many people and pull it back. Maybe two years ago Connor would try and shoot from there but today he had the strength and the quality to pull it back, which is something everybody can see is improving.
It is a very good start. Every single game has been very competitive and we have had chances to win in every single one. We needed to score two or three and have a very good weekend so we will keep believing in what we do and if we take our chances it will be a great season for us.
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7 thoughts on “Pure Poyetry: making the calls against Mark Hughes’ s Stoke City”
It seems that Gus has been given the scope to re-organise things throughout the club in his own way, and it’s starting to pay off. Performances have been better all season compared to this time last year. Now let’s hope the Fletcher-Whickham link up can continue to produce goals. I’ve watched Match of the Day twice already and dared to look at the Premier League table, so that’s definitely a step in the right direction.
Didn’t enjoy Hughes bitter comments after match. Sunderland were worthy winners, better in possesion, better togethet and better finishers. Vergini was a tower today fantastic win
Didn’t hear his comments straight after the match Keith but on Match of the Day he admitted that his side didn’t deserve anything.
The ref had a shocker I thought, allowing a lot of foul play to go unpunished. Buckley especially was constantly manhandled as he was trying to break away, his speed being too much for the Stoke midfield. Mind you once our defenders had sussed that they did much the same if not quite so blatently. Then there was a spate of yellow cards in the second half.
Was Buckley offside just before they scored? It didn’t look like it from the angle of my seat and TV replays I’ve seen didn’t show it clearly. Interesting comments from Vito on Radio Newcastle’s “Total Sport” that Buckley mustn’t be so nice and let the opposition have the ball allowing a quick free kick.
Reff was useless , though we all got a laugh when the Stoke fans all jumped up cheering when they thought they’d scored in the first half ,just to see the ball roll off the top of the net .
Agree that top teams exploit chances…..that’s why rhey’re top teams. But we’ll hold our own against most teams. We have a tough run of games at home. But we now have one of the better defensive records….so we can nick points.
As Gus approaches his first anniversary it’s worth reflecting on the first 7 games of last season
On all measures we’re a better team now. Still room for improvement…..but the improvement needs to be recognised.
Fletch can cup his lugs all season…as long as he keeps scoring
Yes Jeremy , Mannone was the unsung hero again , he’s turned into a top class keeper and credit where its due , a fantastic signing by the Di Saster twins . To see our two strikers playing so well and scoring was the stuff we dream of seeing every week and maybe this formation with Wickham nominally on the wing but given the freedom to roam could work . Both Fletcher and Wichkam have shown in seperate spells that they are goal scorers , to have them both fireing together this season would be fantastic .Though I did feel we were overrun at times and a team like Arsenal or Chelsea would exploit those gaps . That’s for the future though , I just want to enjoy our victory and maybe allow myself believe we are genuinely improving after years of stagnation .
Good performance today. Wickham was praised during the week by the manager for playing better than when he was scoring last season. I think he’s right about that. Did extremely well today.
Good to see Norman Stanley find the net but less so with his antics of putting his hands behind his ears. First goals since before last Christmas? Fans are entitled to have a go when you’ve been playing like a drain.
Brave decision to leave Rodwell (especially) and Johnson out.
Why does Buckley do so well for 45 minutes and then completely disappear?
Horrible defending for the first goal, but a lot of positives. Mannone looked solid.
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