Sixer’s Sevens: SAFC 0 Liverpool 1. Flat and devoid of energy

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Pete Sixsmith described the first half of this defeat by Liverpool as ‘miserable’. Three minutes into the second half, Liam Bridcutt managed to get himself sent off for a soft second yellow. Ten men battled with enough effort but little quality to salvage a point. One of few players showing enterprise and guile, Adam Johnson, was hauled off. As a measure of SAFC woes, Danny Graham and Mikael Mandron came on (though Graham’s workrate was irreproachable). Expect Sixer to be in gloomy mood with his fuller account of yet another flat performance. He’s not happy with the team, nor does he see Gus Poyet as above criticism …

Jan 10 2015 SAFC (0) 0 Liverpool (1) Selection and tactics raise questions about Poyet

Jan 4 2015 FA Cup 3rd Round: SAFC (1) 1 Leeds United (0) 0 Scraped through after a shocking second half

Jake: 'when your secret weapon is Danny Graham you know you're in trouble'
Jake: ‘when your secret weapon is Danny Graham you know you’re in trouble’

Jan 1 2015 Manchester City (0) 3 SAFC (0) 2 Opened up too easily for the winner

Dec 28 Aston Villa (0) 0 SAFC (0) *Just couldn’t break down 10 man Villa

Dec 26 SAFC (1) 1 Hull City (1) 3 A good Christmas spoiled by awful performance.

Dec 21 NUFC (0) 0 SAFC (0) 1 Four in a row brings Christmas cheer

Dec 13 SAFC (1) 1 West Ham United (1) 1 One point better than none. Tight game

Dec 6 Liverpool (0) 0 SAFC (0) 0 Ho ho ho: a well deserved point

Dec 3 SAFC (1) 1 Manchester City (2) 4 City’s hoodoo ended, aided by poor defending

Nov 29 SAFC (0) 0 Chelsea (0) 0*A performance to make Sunderland supporters proud or Could and maybe should have won it

Nov 22 Leicester City (0) 0 SAFC (0) 0 Two points lost rather than one gained

Nov 9 SAFC (0) 1 Everton (0) 1 A good point against a good side

Nov 3 Crystal Palace (0) 1 SAFC (1) 3 *Sometimes a win is all that matters

Oct 25 SAFC (0) 0 Arsenal (1) 2 *Farcical errors lead to further foot shooting

Oct 18 Southampton (3) 8 SAFC (0) 0 Total humiliation today. Players should be ashamed

Oct 4 SAFC (2) 3 Stoke City (1) 1 Duck broken but still some hairy moments

Sept 27 SAFC (0) 0 Swansea City (0) 0 Better performance but cannot finish teams off

Sept 23 Capital One Cup 3rd Round: SAFC (1) 1 Stoke City (1) 2 No Wembley date this March. Wasted evening

Sept 20 Burnley 0 (0) SAFC 0 (0) A thoroughly disappointing performance. Early optimism evaporating

Sept 13 SAFC (1) 2 Tottenham Hotspur (1) 2 Not quite sure how we managed that>

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August 30th: QPR (1) 1 SAFC (0) 0 Terrible result, performance was not much better

August 27: Capital One Cup 2nd Round: Birmingham City (0) 0 SAFC (0) 3 Not quite as comfortable as it sounds

Sunday August 24 :SAFC (1) 1 Manchester United (1) 1 Happy with the performance – and Gus’s style

Saturday August 16: West Bromwich Albion (1) 2 SAFC (1) 2
Larsson digs us out of a hole

** See how Sixer, and occasional subs, captured last season at


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18 thoughts on “Sixer’s Sevens: SAFC 0 Liverpool 1. Flat and devoid of energy”

  1. That’s quite right Drummer. That was why I was so surprised by the unanimous sentiments on there yesterday; because it is normally so polarised.

  2. Looking at the comments on the Echo last night Drummer, it seems that I haven’t quite caught the mood. There’s almost unanimity of feeling on there.

    This is unusual because when we’ve had a failing manager in the past there has always been a sizable section of our support who want to stick with the incumbent, regardless. Poyet doesn’t even seem to be able to count on that any more.He seems to have the overwhelming majority of the fans.

    • I read the Echo comments sometimes and it seems to be a battle between those who unquestionably support everything about the club and some who criticises everything for the sake of it .They’re more interested in one upmanship than a reasoned debate . I might give it go come to think of it , don’t know where I’d fit in though , foot in both camps !

  3. Jeremy’s summing up the mood perfectly , Poyet can’t survive on derby wins and a cup final alone . Our home record is truly abysmal this season and we’ve now got out of the habit of winning . Graham was our best striker yesterday and maybe he can be accommodated with either Fletcher or Wickham in the future , give it a go in the cup game at least Gus . The miracle escape was a one off and can’t be repeated , we have Spurs away and Burnley at home to come . Two difficult games and if we could summon up a fraction of Burnleys collective spirit we’d be fine but we can’t because the managers turgid tactics drain us of momentum . We’re in big trouble and the crowd have had enough , if we don’t beat Burnley I can forsee unrest but what I can’t see is anyone better willing to come in under the current structure . This is a really bad situation !

  4. I agree with Kev S and William C. It’s the same sort of stagnant garbage we saw under O’Neill. Clueless and unable to do the basic things properly.

    Gomez is truly awful. Half way through the second half my son (12) said that “Gomez runs like he’s pooed himself and he’s frightened its going to drop out of his shorts.” It just sums him up perfectly.

    I’d had enough of Poyet’s “brand of football.” It’s the non-scoring variety. One win at home all season. The only reason he hasn’t been given a hard time is because we won in the derby.Reverse that result with the Hull one and he would have been a like last week’s fish by now. Long gone and forgotten about. It’s so dismal that people seem to have lost the will to protest about it.

    You heard it here first. Poyet out!

  5. I was a big fan of Poyet last season. This season I think his management has been awful and barely any of his buys have been a success (I can’t believe he doesn’t have a say in transfers) – I now think it’s time for him to go as we are sleepwalking towards relegation, in exactly the same way we were under MON. The team that played at Wembley had Bardsley, Alonso, Ki, Colback and Borini … all of whom would walk into the present team, so we have made no progress whatsoever in the last 12 months. I defy anyone to tell me when one-man-up-front has ever really worked successfully at Sunderland Football Club.It doesn’t matter who we sign this month, if Poyet continues to use this system at home, we will go down.

    Gomez’ performance today was seriously one of the worst I have ever witnessed. I’m not sure he knew we were 1-0 down, judging by his attitude. And neither did Wickham break sweat…… have to have been poor when Graham & Mandron look more likely to score.

    If there’s no Plan B for home games, even in the last 20 mins when we are desperately trying to save the game, then we are doomed.

    Perhaps PDC could come back and rescue us again ?

    • Poyet must have a say in transfers and his passing the buck does him little credit. Does anyone believe Buckley and Bridcott had nothing to do with Gus or Rodwell and his countryman Coates. Altidore and Graham were mistakes but to lay blame for that at the feet of Short is unfair, they have tried to offload them but nobody wants them. Cabral is on the bench one week missing the next, can he be slower than Gomez? It is time for Poyet to man up and take responsibility we were terrible yesterday, tactically and wrt effort that is the responsibility of the manager

  6. The first half was as dire a performance as I have seen from any PL side this season. Liverpool could have been 4 or 5 up at half time.
    There was a marginal improvement after Bridcutt’s dismissal, but, apart from Johnson’s effort, we never looked like scoring.

    I have never rated Poyet. I think he is simply out of his depth. Some of his substitutions border on the imbecilic.
    Why he persists with Vergini and Gomez is beyond me. Gomez is the worst PL footballer I have seen in recent years, and Vergini is not far behind.

    Whilst I have some sympathy for anyone selected at CF in a team managed by Poyet, I’m afraid Connor Wickham is looking like another of Sunderland’s joke ” strikers “. His ball control is abysmal, and for a big strong looking lad, he is very easily pushed around.

    I’m afraid we look like a Championship team – which is where we will be if Poyet persists with his present tactics and selections.

  7. Poyet has been the manager for 14/15 months Chris. None of the forwards are Poyet’s players. None of them are scoring goals. We were in dire straits with a lack of fire power 12 months ago, when we also had Borini.

    That’s not Poyet;s fault. Its the owner.

    • Maybe the forwards he wants just won’t come, like the whole borini debacle.
      It’ll be interesting to see if we get anyone this transfer window (although I think we’ll need to get rid of a lot of dead wood first – how often have we said that??)

      • Maybe they have looked at the way we play and don’t want to have to play on their own with nobody within 30 yards and wingers defending behind the full backs. Diego Costa could not score goals playing the way Gus has us playing currently.

  8. I’m not sure Ellis needs to answer for the forwards. He’s not a football man, and he puts his faith in the manager to pick the right forwards. Unfortunately, that faith has been horribly misplaced. Or maybe they’re just the only ones that would come…

    All the same, it’s very worrying.

  9. How can you use all your subs and leave Goslowmez on the field?

    Tactically witless nonsense from the manager yet again, but some horrible performance out there today,. Gomez for doing nothing and at a snail’s pace. PVA can not defend. Wickham; words fail me.

    Ellis Short has a lot to answer for when we are stuck with 3 forwards who played today and haven’t got a single goal for us this season (well,…………..Graham ever of course). That’s not Poyet’s fault but the tactics and substitutions are. Johnson off…………’re a genius Gus.

    • I don’t understand how Jeremy’s post gets thumbs down without a reply. Its just stating the obvious to me.

      Cat got your tongue?

      • There are people who read the comments, disagree and just click thumbs down. Then there’s the odd Mag or opposition supporter and I’m sure people at the club who monitor websites. I have been known, on my little tablet, to have hit the thumbs down whilst aiming for the thumbs up.

        Jeremy is never frightened to say what he thinks and so attracts more TDs than most. I’m sure he expects it.

        As for Ellis Short – I have been critical of him in the past and ultimately he carries the can for the hiring and firing, even if he relies on those around him. Marginalising, then seeing the departure of Sir Niall was a huge mistake in my view but on this occasion I’m not sure we can level any criticism at him.

        It is the playing style that is the problem and that comes down to the Head Coach as Gus would have it. Against Man City, we never looked a threat until after Yaya scored and though we conceded a second we looked a much better team. The two equalising goals showed we can score – if we attack. Yesterday we never looked like scoring except for AJ’s long range effort that hit the bar. Yet in the derby match we were by far the better side – a different approach that saw us dominate for long periods. The frustration for me is we can do it but the way the team is usually set up makes winning difficult.

        Like O’Neill, Gus has had the crowd behind him. Now they are starting to turn as everyone except him and his coaching staff can see his approach is not achieving the expected results. Personally I think it too early to even think about getting rid of him but that doesn’t mean I’m enamoured with his tactics. One thing is for sure though, if he can’t turn things around and we end up going down, which we will if we can’t win our remaining home games, we will end up like Wigan and Blackpool, fighting to stay in the Championship in a year or two.

      • Malcolm

        It is indeed the playing style [ allied to the poor judgement of whoever is having the final say on player recruitment – Poyet seems to deny that he is involved? ]
        The players who have come in are almost exclusively worse than those they replaced.

        However, to return to the playing style. The simple fact is that playing Poyet’s way will only win an occasional game – and then by a freak breakaway, or a penalty. It might get a few boring draws – indeed it has, mostly 0-0.
        In the main however, we will lose, because it is almost impossible to defend deep for 90 minutes and not concede.
        It is equally doubtful that forward players will have any meaningful impact with the sort of service that this type of approach results in.
        How Poyet cannot see that is beyond me, and, I suspect, anyone who has ever played football at any level.

        Listening to him, and reading his utterings, gives me for one, absolutely no confidence that things might change any time soon though. I have seldom heard such rubbish, even in the delusional and vacuous world inhabited by football managers, and pundits.

        I’m afraid the reality is that any organisation, big or small, needs good leadership to be successful. A football club is no different, and assuming the Chairman/Owner is a reasonable person, that leadership should come from the individual responsible for performance.

        In my opinion a successful manager must possess at least three key skills –

        1 Teambuilding
        2 Coaching and tactical ability
        3 Motivational powers

        I have not seen any evidence that Poyet or his coaching team meet any of these criteria.

  10. It is tough being a Sunderland defender as you have no one to pass the ball to, unless you go back to the goalkeeper. The forwards have the midfielder, the midfielders have the defenders then where do you go?

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