Pure Poyetry: new shape, new style but no points at Spurs

Jake: 'that's hard to take'
Jake: ‘that’s hard to take’
Malcolm Dawson writes……the overall feeling amongst the Sunderland fraternity is that Jermain Defoe will bring a new dimension to a side that lacks pace. He also brings a goal scoring pedigree but the question being asked was how would Gus fit him into his style of play. The manager has been coming in for some stick lately but has to work with the players that he has available. This afternoon, Cattermole and Bridcutt notwithstanding, he had a greater choice than for a long time. As if responding to public criticism he picked a more attacking side, playing in a more attacking formation. That we conceded so early was a blow. That we conceded so late was another. But in his post match e-mail to M Salut and the rest of the world Gus expresses his disappointment in optimistic terms.

Jake captures the Bard, with thanks to Owen Lennox
Jake captures the Bard, with thanks to Owen Lennox
Dear Colin,

It hurts to concede so late but I don’t want to be too critical because I thought the players did very well in the game. It was a new way of playing, a new shape and I thought we looked good and created chances.

We got in good positions with both [Jermain] Defoe and [Steven] Fletcher having early chances, but this is only the first time we’ve tried to play like this and I think it was a good start. It’s different having two strikers running on and I think we looked much brighter; we adjusted a few things and I think it could work well for us. We responded very well after going behind and kept pushing forward whenever we got the chance.

I think Jermain did very well; he looked very sharp to start with but then he got tired – of course he wanted to stay on the pitch, but we took him off. The only way he will get fitness is to play in matches and that’s why he started today.

Jake's own welcome to Jermain Defoe
Jake’s own welcome to Jermain Defoe

The cup game next week gives us a chance to keep improving and try this new system once again.

Overall, I’m pleased with the way we played today but disappointed with the result.

Thanks for your support,

Gus Poyet


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3 thoughts on “Pure Poyetry: new shape, new style but no points at Spurs”

  1. Three at the back is hardly a ” new way of playing ” for Sunderland. Gus tried it toward the end of last season with a spectacular lack of success [ he actually lined up this away against Spurs in the corresponding fixture, and we were thrashed 5-1 [ and it could have been ten ]

    It will be interesting to see how long it lasts this time.

    • Statistics drawn from historical performances with different personnel, different experience levels etc are meaningless when assessing our current squad.

      Most agree that Defoe was a good signing. The team now needs to be organised to get the best out of him, and hopefully gain some synergy with other potential goal scorers in the team. One obvious way to do this is to play with two strikers, but in today’s climate that requires measures to maintain continuity through the spine of the side, and the ability to defend effectively as well as create and score more readily. The 3-5-1-1 formation is one approach to that, but it needs excellent wing backs to be fully effective. We are still short in that department, but it is worth a try with the current fullbacks (oh if Patrick could only defend properly).

      I suggested Rodwell in the back 3 because, firstly I think he could be great in that position, but secondly, he could bring some much needed composure on the ball as we play out from defence.

      What is certain in my mind is that we are unlikely to get much benefit from Defoe if he is played as a single striker in the recent 4-1-4-1 formation, so something has to change.

  2. Dear Gus,
    now that we are looking at “3 at the back” please try Jack Rodwell as the left sided player as one of the back 3. He has everything required for that role and would provide much more assurance on the ball than the current centre backs offer. In addition, if the game dictated, he could be moved forward into midfield without any other disruption to the formation.

    I assume that, when fit, you will still play Cattermole in front of the back 3, with perhaps Larsson and Johnson in central midfield flanked by Jones and van Aanholt (or Reveillere as a more reliable defender at present) as wing backs.

    Whilst Fletcher received criticism from some parts for his game against Spurs, his movement behind Defoe looked promising and worth pursuing. Wickham may be more direct, but Fletcher is cleverer on the ball.

    Looking forward to future victories; good luck and keep up the excellent work.

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