Sixer’s Sevens: Wimbledon make it hard for Sunderland

Pete Sixsmith sent a text at half-time: ‘A distinctly underwhelming and goalless first half’, at which point I had to head out to the railway station.

I suspect, from the little I picked up on my return, that the second half didn’t provide much of an improvement. But we won, and Pete’s instant post-game seven word text recognises that, if little else (and Gary Bennett made the obvious point at the end that with new men in the team and Honeyman just back from injury, it was natural that there would be rough edges) … :

February 2 2019 Sunderland 1 (0)  AFC Wimbledon 0 (0) A welcome win but hard to watch

Jake: ‘scraped a win at last. Meanwhile, does anybody know what they’re putting in the tea at Luton?’

Checkatrade Trophy quarterfinals: January 22 Sunderland 2 (1) Manchester City Under 21s 0 (0) Clean sheet, two goals and a semifinal

January 19 Scunthorpe United 1 (0) Sunderland 1 (o) Same old story. One goal rarely enough

January 12 Sunderland 1 (1) Luton 1 (0) Failure to build on lead costs us

January 5 Charlton (0) 1 Sunderland (1) 1 * Sunderland weather storm to earn useful point

January 1 Blackpool (0) 0 Sunderland (1) 1 Outstanding performance by Maja earns the points

December 29 Sunderland (1) 1 Shrewsbury Town (1) 1 A very frustrating afternoon. Never got going

December 26 Sunderland (1) Bradford City (0) 0 Hard fought win and thanks to linesman

December 22 Portsmouth (0) 3 Sunderland (0) 1 Better side until Loovens’s idiocy turned game

December 15 Sunderland 2 (1) Bristol Rovers 1 (1) * Just enough quality snuffs out the gas and Gas pressure tests us at the end

December 11 FA Cup 2nd Round replay Sunderland 0 (0) Walsall 1 (0) Pedestrian performance that raises some serious doubts

December 8 Accrington Stanley A (0) Match Abandoned Sunderland (0) Wet, wet, wet and to do again

December 1 Walsall 1 (0) strong>Sunderland 1 (0) *Fifteen minutes of Walsall pressure means replay

Nov 27 Sunderland 4 (3) Barnsley 2 (1) An important win with some shaky moments

Nov 24 Walsall 2 (2) Sunderland 2 (2) Even more heroic than Thermopylae and Agincourt

Nov 17 Sunderland 1 (0) Wycombe Wanderers 1 (0) A fair result after a disappointing performance

Nov 13 Morecambe 0 (0) Sunderland 1 (0) Left it late but the run continues

Nov 11 Port Vale 1 (1) Sunderland 2 (2) Negotiated a tricky tie successfully. Southport next?

Nov 3 Plymouth Argyle (0) 0 Sunderland (0) 2* Solid team performance earns another away win*

Oct 27 Sunderland 3 (1) Southend United 0 (0) Three goals and another clean sheet. Great

Oct 23 Doncaster Rovers 0 Sunderland 1 (0) Winning ugly is just fine by me.

Oct 20 Shrewsbury Town 0 (0) Sunderland 2 (0) A comfortable win that just oozed professionalism

Oct 6 Bradford City 1 (0) Sunderland 2 (1) Great win but Power made it difficult

Oct 2 Sunderland 2 (1) Peterborough 2 (0) Good point but spoiled by woeful refereeing

Sept 29 Coventry City (0) 1 Sunderland (0) 1 Fair result that could have been worse

Sept 22 Sunderland 4 (3) Rochdale 1 (0) Fifteen minute purple patch wrapped this up

Sept 15 Burton Albion 2 (2) Sunderland 1 (o) Weaknesses horribly exposed in a deserved defeat

Sept 8 Sunderland 1 (1) Fleetwood Town 1 (1) Huffed and puffed against very difficult opponents

Sept 4 Sunderland 0 (0) [4] Stoke City U21s 0 (0) [2] *Decent workout for young guns and recoverees

Sept 1 Sunderland 1 (0) Oxford United 1 (1 ) Poor first half, dug in well second

Aug 19 Sunderland 3 (3) Scunthorpe United 0 (0) Iron pummeled as three lusty blows delivered

Aug 16 Carabao Cup: Sunderland (0) 0 Sheffield Wednesday (1) 2 Result disappointing but plenty to enthuse about

Aug 11 Luton Town (0) 1 Sunderland (1) 1 Played well in patches against solid opposition

Aug 4 Sunderland (0) 2 Charlton Athletic (1) 1 A great day for club and academy

July 21 St Mirren (0) 0 Sunderland (2) 6 * Cracking results like this will suit fine

July 17 Grimsby Town (0) Sunderland (1) 1 *Gooch’s header from Maguire’s cross settles matters

July 14 Hartlepool United (1) 1 Sunderland (0) 1 Yet to see anything to inspire confidence

July 10 Darlington (1) 1 Sunderland (0) 0 Embarrassing

10 thoughts on “Sixer’s Sevens: Wimbledon make it hard for Sunderland”

  1. I was there and thought we looked like a team that had met for the first time on Thursday. And of course that was much the case. Two completely new and two back for their first games since injury.

    I see lots of positives – new players, two (Leadbitter and Morgan) clearly an improvement on existing squad and one (Grigg) an addition where clearly needed.

    Watmore yet to return (match fit).

    A deep squad which we will need to cope with fixture schedule that remains.

    A league position that we would have been delighted with at season start.

    Games in hand.

  2. Not the best game for entertainment, win ugly at times is required. The side didn’t look like that they had just a break as we labored all over the pitch. Five things of note:

    1. We are desperate for a midfield spark, our approach play is too predictable and cumbersome. Earlier in the season we were moving the ball quickly and crisply forcing the opposition back on to their heel, we now lack a sense of urgency. We desperately need to get the spring back.

    2. Wyke, was anonymous for large parts of the game and weak and ineffectual when involved. OK, so the service is not the best and the Ref did him no favours but he is a bit of a passenger right now. To be fair to him one of his most effective areas must be for corners and free kicks but the service in to the box is bloody awful. When was the last time we scored (or even had a decent attempt on target) from a corner? This area of our game needs a massive amount of work.

    3. There was a lot of sloppiness in passing all over the pitch today but I will put that down to the team changes Ross introduced. Against better opposition we would have been punished today for that.

    4. Defence needs to concentrate for 90 mins, thank god for Jon McLaughlin, alert for 90 mins and only guilty of one mistaken poor pass.

    5. I know we are not doing it any more but the Ref was a 6 at half time but sunk to a 5 for his second half performance with some bizzare decisions and a rash of questionable bookings and then no action on clear bookings. Still better than most this season with no game changing gaffes.

    Despite all the above I am reasonably optimistic, if we can resolve the teething problems with the new players, get the old ones back up to standard the things look bright.

  3. Leaving o’nein out was a disgrace.
    Wyke equivalent of a white elephant.
    Power just takes up space on the park and little else.
    Meanwhile our very own emperor nero fiddles while the empire burns..
    He made an already shaky defence shakier by brunging in Matthews at the expense of arguably our best player over the past 2 months.
    If you could categorise managerial patter in ice cream terms then ross is vanilla.
    Lifeless, boring, non controverial, innoffensive etc etc etc.
    We really didnt lay a glove on the wombles and our gk was alert to stop them scoring near the end when our defence when to sleep again.
    Other than mcgeady our midfield is minging.
    Wyke is pants nut in his defence what are our mf creating??
    Grigg is not going to be the panacea that ross and wide boy donald would have us believe.
    We are sleepwalking our way to play offs at best under this manager

  4. This might have been a hard win, it might have been a joyless win but it was an important win – not just because we need the points but to prove that losing Josh Maja doesn’t put the kibosh on our chances. Not every match is going to sparkle but, for that reason alone, this one was a gem.

    • We didn’t play well today but we got the three points.

      Arguably Wimbledon had the better chances. McGeady took his and they missed theirs.

      We have a good opportunity over the next few weeks to put a run together to get into the automatic promotion places.

      Let’s hope Grigg can prove his worth. Wyke isn’t at the moment but maybe needs the right man alongside him and with more of the squad approaching match fitness it will be important that JR finds the right blend. Can you have too many players to choose from?

      Wasn’t convinced by the CB showing and maybe three at the back is the way to go as Steffan suggests.

      Morgan and Sterling both showed promise. O’Nien was unlucky to miss out on a start and looked lively when he came on.

      McGeouch and Leadbitter together could work.

      Are congratulations to Lynden Gooch in order as apparently he missed the game after his partner went into labour? Hope it’s all gone well and he is now a proud dad.

  5. Omly lost 2 games…avrrage 2 pts per game…and yet if we take 4 points from our 2 games in hand we will be in the auto promotion spot. We will at least be in the play offs… sorry but you can’t write us off so emphatically

  6. Does anyone else see the writing on the wall here? Frankly – what a load of pants!! Every game is a grind! If I ever see Charlie Wake in a Sunderland shirt again I will cry me a river. My rabbit has more attacking prowess. What a mule man!! We always seem to end up with immobile, slow, weak, clueless centre forwards a la “Colin West”!!

    The sad thing is – when we want to play – like when we’re actually up for it, we CAN. Look at Charlton (first half), Portsmouth (first half) Peterbrough – until Oviedo got his ass sent off. When opposition is tough we turn up, press high up the pitch, play at a high tempo, triangles, flicks, we even create chances. But when the opposition is below par we bottle it. Our mental strength is transparently weak, we play without confidence, devoid of even a shred of creativity. I am tired of hearing “the reality is we are in league one and it’s a tough league”. NO!! We are Sunderland!! And we are two leagues below where we SHOULD be. It pains me to watch (and listen to) this utter dross, week in, week out. Two scoring chances all game against the bottom of the league.

    Why was O’Nien, arguably our best player recently, left out? I like Jack Ross, but what’s with that? Sterling is way too raw for the first team. Power is powerless, Gooch only turns up when he feels like it, the defence is as wobbly as my backside, Matthews only plays well when he’s fit. Will Grigg is an excellent signing but how’s he going to score when there’s nobody capable off passing to him??

    Mark my words – we are NOT going up this season. We might get to the play offs but we will be beaten in the semi final because we ain’t got the sack to win games.A day in the life of a Sunderland fan – deep joy!

  7. have to feel sorry for poor Wimbledon, could easily have won both contests against the black cats that keeps riden their luck! worrying that Dunne looks sooo shaky against competion he was brought in to play against – maybe play 3-5-2 in the future. also get the feeling that we will not see much more of either McGuire or Power, the competition is too tough after the new signings and they are both so totally out of form of late. need our new striker and need him double-fast!

    steve the swede

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