Sixer’s Sevens: Bolton Wanderers and grand larceny of the highest order

Malcolm Dawson writes:

However you look at it, this was a poor day in Lancashire.
Gary Bennett was not happy. The crowd was not happy and Pete Sixsmith was not happy. His series of texts throughout the game read…”a dismal first half, support not happy and unlikely to change”, then after Wyke came on for Maguire “the crowd have turned on the manager” and as the 4th official indicated 5 minutes of stoppage time, with the score still 1-0 to Bolton he sent his 7 word summary with the p.s. “whatever the result.” One minute later we got a penalty which McGeady converted with more confidence than his midweek effort. There then followed another text “McGeady penalty changes nothing”. It did, but not in relation to his verdict,. which we print below although there was still time for another text as the full time whistle sounded….”grand larceny of the highest order. 

21 September Bolton Wanderers 1 (1) Sunderland 1 (1) Apathetic performance which exposes our weaknesses.

17 September Sunderland 1 (1) Rotherham United 1 (0) Decent half hour, very poor sixty minutes

14 September Accrington Stanley 1 (1) Sunderland 3 (3) Scrappy and stuttering, result better than performance

31 August Peterborough United 3 (1) Sunderland 0 (0) Not a single positive from this shocker*

28 August Carabao Cup: Burnley 1 (1). Sunderland 3 (1) I just love a midweek in Lancashire/ Loads of effort and plenty of quality.

24 August Sunderland 3 (1) AFC Wimbledon 1 (1) Comfortable win which should enthuse American visitors

20 August Rochdale 1 (1) Sunderland 2 (1) Ecky Thump, that were a tight un

17 August Sunderland 2 (2) Portsmouth 1 (1) Up and running. Committed rather than classy

13 August Carabao Cup: Accrington Stanley (0) 1 Sunderland (1) 3 Had to work hard with McGeady outstanding
or this second 7 which came in as the draw for round two sends us back over the Pennines: Could just as easily have said McNulty

10 August Ipswich Town 1 (1) Sunderland 1 (0) *Decent recovery from absolutely shocking first half

3 August Sunderland 1 (0) Oxford United 1 (1) Looks like a repeat of last season


12 thoughts on “Sixer’s Sevens: Bolton Wanderers and grand larceny of the highest order”

  1. Our fans WERE the best in the world in numbers and support, but we have a generation now who grew up with year after year of premier league football and are customers not supporters. I am not suggesting that what we are seeing is remotely good enough (see above!) but I am suggesting that booing the team on at half time is unlikely to make them better and so are we more or less likely to win the game?
    This is self-fulfilling – we never came back from behind with Moyes or Grayson and the atmosphere was poisonous. Last year we actually supported and we often came back from behind. I struggle to see how the idiots that boo teams onto the field can’t see this or just don’t care as long as they get to feel important.
    The most worrying moment for me last Tuesday was O’Nien opting to pass rather than shoot in the last minute, presumably because he was scared of the response should he miss. He is a fan favourite yet he seemed scared, Not good.

  2. Dave – I do somewhat agree with you, but I am asking you this. How much more on field ineptness do you expect the fans to take? They have been remarkably patient! I sincerely doubt that any other club in England would be as well supported, home or away than we are IN DIVISION 3!! I agree it’s bad form to boo players onto the pitch, but there’s morons in every walk of life and a few bad apples shouldn’t tarnish the image of our incredible support. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Our fans are the best and most passionate in the world. It’s tragic that they have to watch the dross we had to witness yesterday, and it’s a greater tragedy we have to watch in in League one. Their loyalty and support last season was nothing short of incredible. How was it repaid? By bringing in a half decent centre half and a 21 year old from a relegated club!! None of our inadequacies were rectified. No creative, attacking players were even considered. Every single game is a struggle. The new ownership can’t come soon enough. I for one hope they install a new manager. I like Jack but he is out of his depth!

  3. Please don’t trot out the ‘magnificent fans’ line. Magnificent numbers but some of the ‘fans’ at Bolton yesterday were an utter disgrace. Magnificent fans do not chant against their own team during the game, do not boo their own team on to the pitch after half time, which a few morons did and do not make their own players scared of trying anything for fear of being booed.
    Ex-player after ex-player has said how hard it is to play in front of Sunderland ‘supporters’ when it is not going perfectly, yet we now have this culture of abuse.
    Unless it stops we are stuffed and i won’t be part of it

    • Well said.

      I always laugh when I hear Fans [? ] chanting ” You don’t know what your doing ” – do they? I wonder how many of them have ever played football? Someone needs to remind them that there are two teams on the pitch, and there is no guarantee that the other team will fold over.

      Last week Norwich City beat Man City, but yesterday, Burnley saw them off with relative ease – and City won 8-0.

      I do share your despair.

  4. The fact is we are not good enough to get promoted. With the likes of Charlie Wyke, Will Grigg, Connor McGlaughlin, Denver Hume, Tom Flannagan to name but a few, we don’t have a hope in hell. These players don’t have the sack to play for a big club like Sunderland. Every time Wyke gets a chance, you know what the outcome will be! Fluff City Arizona!
    The summer transfer window was an utter shambles. Was anyone excited about any one of the new arrivals?? I know we are strapped for cash, but surely, considering the size of our club, our magnificent fans, our stadium and facilities, we should be easily able to attract the best of the freebies or cheapies. Yet Mr Ross got excited about a 21 year old from Division 2 dwellers, Walsall.
    I like Jack Ross, but my patience is all done. His tactics are dire and it seems he is unable to inspire this team. Every time we have a chance to forge ahead, we bottle it. d
    I predicted a play off final loss last season. And travelled all the way from Vancouver to witness it!! This season we will finish in mid-table mediocrity, unless our new owners can somehow find a way to inject some cash in January for players of the standard the fans so richly deserve. OR, Big Sam gets the nod ahead of the hapless Jack Ross.
    Buckle up for another year of underachievement, frustration and Sunderland-esque piffle!!

  5. You get a pair shoes that don’t fit. They are uncomfortable and give you blisters. Your response is to go and get a ‘better’ pair. Unfortunately, they don’t fit either. They rub and the blisters are worse.

    What do you do? Keep on wearing the same shoes because the previous pair weren’t any good?

  6. Thanks Dave.
    Wasn’t at the match but you said it all.
    Like many patient folk, I too so wanted Ross to achieve success, and loathe it when clubs swap managers like we did in the Ellis years. Donald must be exasperated.
    I was hoping to give Ross until Christmas, but Dell boys may force Donald’s hands. At least that could be his excuse.
    The danger is always to be careful what you wish for. I’d probably like to see Allardyce back, but with a younger understudy who can take over when Lynne says so.

  7. Sorry, the substitutions paragraph had a sentence in that I decide to remove but didn’t so it makes no sense. Was meant to be :
    4) Substitutions – Hulme was a complete liability in defence but he and O’Nien were a threat going forward. Ross sacrificed both by moving O’Nien to left back – though to be far to McGlaughlin 2, after an awful first 5 minutes he carried a bigger threat than most and at least tried. Maguire wasn’t great but Gooch, Grigg and Dobson were having complete shockers and yet it was Maguire who gave way to allow us to try and lump it to Wyke. Power and not Embleton.

  8. I have so wanted not to call for Ross to go, mainly because the people who were originally calling for him to go were the sort of morons who chant against their own team during a game (about 500 of them at the game today – all of whom seemed to be under 20 so have never known us out of the premier and really don’t know what the word Supporter actually means) ad I really didn’t want the sort of knee jerk reaction that got us into this mess in the first place and which gave him a very hard job last year.
    However, enough is enough. I have tried to be fair and so have listed the things that went wrong that are not Ross’s fault (though some could be pointed at his staff):
    1) Referee and linesmen feeling sorry for Bolton and giving them everything. Specifics include so many free kicks to them for offences that didn’t merit free kicks to us. Their goal was never a free kick and Mcgeady was blatantly tripped for a pen 10 minutes earlier than the one we got.
    2) Their keeper made 2 great saves
    3) Ours has become a liability. Last year’s McGlaughlin would have had at least 2, maybe 3 clean sheets this week!
    4) Our side cannot head to save their lives. We had 5 free headers and put 0 on target, including 2 complete sitters – If Grigg cannot score from the cross that Maguire put on a plate for him then I can’t see how he is ever going to score the goals we need.
    5) Leadbitter’s legs have gone. It is a real shame as he tries hard and is still quality with a dead ball but he takes too long on the ball now and teams just run past him when they have the ball
    6) The moronic yellow card that Power got for time wasting with 2 minutes of normal time left when we were losing.
    I disagree that this was larceny. On any fair measure we had the better of this game though nobody could say anyone in a Sunderland shirt deserved to win today. Now to what CLEARLY was Ross’s fault
    1) Gameplan – appears to be 3 strands –
    a. centre back plays a worldy pass to non-moving midfield players and forwards (oddly didn’t happen)
    b. centre backs pass it between themselves until they are pressed and pass it back to keeper who lashes it hig to a 5’10” centre forward to compete for
    c. Give it to Mcgeady with 3 men on him and expect miracles
    2) Team Selection – given the above, why drop the only centreback who has actually played a worldy this season for a man who could not pass water. Why pick Leadbitter when is is obvious his legs have gone and why pair him with Dobson who gives nothing but a bit of effort – just dithers and slows up attacks – his passing is also awful. Embleton and McGeouch surely better options then both current incumbents
    3) No trust in any of the youngsters – Power has proved to not be good enough and his idiocy today was inexcusable – but he comes on and not Embleton who wasn’t on long at Accrington but still set up a great chance to Grigg. How on earth is Grigg getting picked and Kimpioka can’t even make the bench – I’m not sure he is the answer but it is nowclear that Grigg isn’t, which again is a great shame.
    4) Substitutions – Hulme was a complete liability in defence but he and O’Nien were a threat going forward. Ross sacrificed both by moving O’Nien to left back – though to be far to McGlaughlin 2, after an awful first 5 minutes he carried a bigger threat than most and at least tried, which brings me to. Maguire wasn’t great but Gooch, Grigg and Dobson were having complete shockers and yet it was Maguire who gave way to allow us to try and lump it to Wyke. Power and not Embleton.
    5) Allowing the team to come out as if all they had to do was turn up. Most people I talked to were worried this would happen and it did. If we knew, how did the manager not know and, if he did, it shows they don’t listen to him at all.
    It is the last one that is the most telling. He has criticised a passive 1st half, yet we all knew that was likely and it still happened. What about the passive first 25 minutes of the second half after he had presumably told them exactly what he thought. We cannot expect to cruise through this league yet the team came out today for BOTH halves as if they could. That is a clear sign of a manager that has gone as far as he could.

  9. This comment was originally posted by CSB. For technical reasons we’ve had tp remove the original sevens to which it was attached and repost

    How does one defend the indefensible i.e. our performance against Bolton?
    The officiating was dire but Bolton, and all credit to them, played a spirited game and out fought and out ran Sunderland today and I wish them the best for the future for I don’t want to take anything away from their performance and would add they deserved a win.
    We were absolutely bloody awful today, and not the first time this season, for a game that should have been bread and butter to us.
    The Bolton goal saw a never was free kick being won by the only two Bolton players in our box against six supposed defenders and Sunderland players. Our response which saw two fine saves from their keeper and then a fortunate penalty saved our blushes, or did it?
    Nor really, this was a total embarrassment to add to our long list and stock must be taken as to whether we are capable both in playing staff, management and mentality to be capable of winning promotion. Claims were made that our 3-1 away win at Stanley was merely papering over the cracks, on this performance it becomes increasingly difficult to oppose that sentiment.

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