This posting has now been superseded by Wigan Athletic (0) SAFC (0): Gyan’s magic not quite enough. CLICK HERE
Asamoah Gyan on as a sub and off the mark with a superbly cool finish after Jordan Henderson’s sublime work on the right followed by a great cross. Sadly, despite Simon Mignolet’s great work in our goal, Wigan equalised late when a shot going nowhere was headed past him. Earlier, another depressingly familiar story: Sunderland a player down and needing a backs-to-the-wall second half performance ……
Make immediate allowance for the ridiculous harshness of the first Lee Cattermole booking.
Then remember that a man given the responsibility of Sunderland’s team captaincy is presumably aware that having been booked, he must now take care to avoid rash tackles or general indiscipline.
So what did Cattermole do a few minutes later but make a rash tackle showing general indiscipline?
And off, for the second time in a season so young, he went. Andre Marriner may be Graham Poll’s favourite ref; he certainly isn’t mine. But having acted with completely unnecessary severity to award the yellow, he had no choice but to show it again when Cattermole launched into his no-hope tackle to bring down Hugo Rodallega just outside our box after 23 minutes.
The first thing that needs to happen is loss of the captaincy, a role for which he is quite obviously showing insufficient maturity at this stage of his career.
And the second is that Steve Bruce needs yet another reminder of the responsibility he shoulders in getting the players of Sunderland AFC, by whatever means he chooses, to stop what has become an embarrassing threat to our ambition as a club.
So we’re still level, but 10 against 11 yet again. We are not actually playing that badly – though nor were we playing well even before the sending off – but the stats tell the true story: one shot on target for us, none off; eight off target for Wigan, none on.
Despite the numerical imbalance, we could go on to get something out this game. In truth, the balance of play so far suggests anything could happen. But how difficult we make things for ourselves.