Monsieur Salut writes: whatever is to blame – school work, family obligations, a games console – Keir Bradwell has been quiet of late. Remember: he’s the one who does the Sunderland ratings at greater length than Rob Hutchison. Well, he’s back to entertain or irritate, according to taste; I feel he is hard on Fletcher, from whom there were indeed some good touches and one superb non-touch, the feint that set up a promising attacking move, and on O’Shea, though his penalty box wrestling worries me endlessly. The Hammers’ top man? Their midfield had the edge but Sakho, a threat long before he scored, gets my vote …
Pantilimon – 7
Couldn’t do anything for the goal and made plenty big saves throughout the game.
Reveillere – 3
Painfully slow and very sloppy. Is he Dossena in disguise?
Vergini – 5
Did pretty well once he came on. I’m putting him in here rather than later on as a sub since he played the vast majority of the game. Deserves to start against the mags, though, after the shambolic performance from the rest of the defence.
O’Shea – 2
Woeful. Weak, doesn’t jump for headers and beaten for pace every time by their striker. Have to get shot of him in the summer. More error prone than Brown nowadays, who should partner Vergini in the centre of defence for the rest of the season. Appalling recent form.
PvA – 2
Might as well put me in defence, he was that bad. Awful defending throughout the 90 minutes, and mind-blowingly wasteful from good attacking positions. Complete liability.
* See also: The Chapman Report: ‘disappointing finale but at least no one ‘walked’ through this game: https://safc.blog/2015/03/the-chapman-report-from-west-ham-disappointing-finale-but-no-one-walked/
Larsson – 6
Decent. Needs to put the ball in the quadrant on corners.
Rodwell – 6
Very athletic, which is refreshing to see. Pressed well, but didn’t have that much of an impact on the game.
Gomez – 5
Incredible performance! (by Jordi Gomez standards)
Fletcher – 5
The little flicks are gone! Still not very effective though and subbed off for Graham late on.
Wickham – 7
Very, very strong. Best Wickham performance in a while and the best man in blue on the pitch tonight.
Defoe – 2
It’s a lot less time consuming to think of a list of things that Defoe consistently does well, but I have to write something for every Sunderland player on the pitch. So let’s think about all the things he’s not very good at instead – his first touch is abysmal, he’s quite possibly the most selfish player I’ve seen play for the lads, he can’t shoot, he can’t pass, he can’t stay onside, he can’t dribble, he can’t challenge in the air, he doesn’t track back and his work rate is appalling… I despair. Would honestly rather have Jozy in the team; at least he gave it a go.
Johnson – 4
It must be rather difficult being booed with every touch. Even so, had no impact on the game at all.
Brown – 5
Had no time to impress, but I hope he’s not injured for the derby.