Martin’s Musings: lucky, lucky Chelsea were screaming for the final whistle

With thanks to Jake for adapting Kartun Malaysia's caricature*

In his 5 Live interview, Martin O’Neill praised a “fantastic” second half performance but rued Sunderland’s ultimately costly wastefulness in front of goal. His post-match e-mail repeats the message …


Dear Colin,

I’m desperately disappointed as I felt the performance was fantastic – particularly the second half.

How we haven’t come away with something really defies belief.

We had so many chances to score. I can think of at least five clear-cut chances that we should have scored from and we didn’t manage with any of them.

Of course it’s always going to be an uphill battle if you fail to convert chances, especially as we created a number of opportunities.

I thought that we performed terrifically well. You can’t create chances like we had against a top-class side without having shown some sort of ability.

We gave everything.

Chelsea were screaming for the final whistle, so you can take some heart and maybe some sort of consolation from that early next week.

But I’m definitely not taking it now – I’m very disappointed.

Towards the last 25 minutes of the game we threw caution to the wind.

In doing that we ran the risk of letting them get a second goal but we defended well; we got back to make last ditch challenges and we got forward to create opportunities as well.

All the best,

Martin O’Neill

* See Kartun Malaysia’s Flickr images at this link

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17 thoughts on “Martin’s Musings: lucky, lucky Chelsea were screaming for the final whistle”

  1. I thought we played better this year and create more chances than we did last year in the 3-0 win. The workrate of tyhe team is brilliant and we now play with confidence and belief in bringing those qualities back to a team that was stumbling MoN has won the love and belief of all true Sunderland supporters and will for a long time

  2. Although I’m “disappointed” (sorry Bill) that we didn’t get a thorouughly deserved point, there’s a lot that we can take from that game. For me, the immediate honeymoon period for Martin was coming to a close and what we had yesterday was the real acid test of progress made.

    We didn’t just pass the test, but sailed through it with flying colours. We attacked them from the first whistle and were the better side until the flukey goal got Chelsea going. We had enough chances overall not only to have gotten the draw but to have actuall won the game comfortably which I believe we would have done had we got on the score sheet. I believe that had we got one yesterday we would likely have gone on to get another.

    This result and the overall performance yesterday is in a strange way more pleasing than the 3-0 drubbing we gave them a year ago, for the simple reason that we know there’s real confidence and self belief flowing through this team and that other good performances and results are coming over the next few weeks. We couldn’t be that confident when we won down there last season. We can now.

  3. A very good performance by Sunderland but Bendtner is not what he thinks he is, I would certainly be looking to drop him to the bench and give the other strikers a chance (including young noble who would probably have scored a hat trick out of those chances). It is looking promising for the team so lets hope it continues and we can add more strength in depth in the summer.

  4. Dont know why I said Samba, there-it is Victor Moses that The Independent suggesting is of interst to MON. Not awake

  5. There was a piece in The Independent yesterday identifying a number of players that O’Neill may be or is interested in. Samba was one of them.

    I saw the game on TV, but again felt that Bendtner was a weak link. Although at times he plays effectively, his finishing is poor and that really told yesterday.. The rest of the team played well, with Sess shining -back to full form after the Peterborough game. We did deserve a point.

  6. I wrote this earlier on the other post, after listening to M.O’N, I am also confident we will see someone who can score goals.
    Whilst we are down in Londinium Can we please send Bentner home, and see if we can get someone who knows what roll feet play and their association with the ball in a game of FOOT-BALL.
    I was under the impression he has a FOOT-BALL pedigree but once again am left asking myself ‘Why didnt he get a game in London’ and ‘How the hell did he miss that’ The answers provided today was once again obvious.
    As for the game, We did well and when I see the goal on telly I am sure I shall say ‘Flukey Sods’ but over all no complaints, other than Dowd (again) and missed opportunities (again).

  7. For once, I’m not disappointed with the manager saying he’s disappointed. I watched this game in a bar and the two Chelsea fans at the next table agreed that we were really unlucky and they were happy to hear the final whistle. I’m not saying we were robbed but a draw would have been a fairer result and a Sunderland win would not have been unfair.
    I thought we played with skill, confidence and flair — always pushing the ball forward and at times a real threat to Chelsea. No disputing that their goal was a good one and well taken. But there was a bit of luck involved, too. It went their way today and the bad luck went ours.
    So… a disappointing result but a far from disappointing performance.

  8. Just watched Villas Boas on BBC. He stated that Chelsea were playing on the COUNTER ATTACK at home to Sunderland. Amazing! He also had nice words to say about Sunderland in general and MO’N in particular. Further to my first posting I get the impression that a striker will be arriving within the next fortnight. The manager knows we cannot continue to squander clear cut chances. With a top class striker on board there would have been 3 points (well 1 at least) in the boot of the coach as it heads up the A1. Safe journey back to all travellers.

  9. Listened to the match on the radio. Sounded like we deserved to get at least a point from it.
    I think we need that striker who can put the ball away. There’s only a couple of weeks of the window still left open. I hope we get someone.
    But, well done the lads again today. It shows a lot of progress if we think we can get something at Chelsea.

  10. Just seen MO’Ns post match reaction on SAFC TV. The man is devastated BUT remains positive. A couple of questions: Why does he wear number 31 on his top? Can Salut update the cartoon at top of Martin’s Musings to reflect the fact he is now manager of Sunderland and not Villa. Cheers.

    • Eric is right… I love the caricature but if anyone out there has taken his.her own recent pic of Martin O;Neill PLEASE let me have it (see contact link above)

      • I’ve done a bit of jiggery, and indeed a bit of pokery on the caricature and hey presto MO’N is Sunderland’s manager. I can’t see a way to attach it here so I’ve put it on the Facebook page. Cheers….

      • Jake is a wizard. Many thanks. Now tell me how to make the thumbnail option work for the home page image!

      • He was interviewed on TV years ago by Gaby Logan and she asked him why he’d always worn 31 on his shirt. He said he would say why ‘one day’ and left it at that.

        It obviously has some significance to him and no one else.

        How enigmatic is that? Sexy as owt. And I’m a bloke!

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