Stephen Goldsmith writes: It’s been a couple of weeks since I ran a reflections piece, and I know you’ve missed it. Well gin an then, you have twisted my arm. Two things in the news that are of interest to me this week – one close to home and one not so much.
Fletcher doubtful for Chelsea – a good thing?
I’m not sure you can ever be glad that your top goal scorer is an injury doubt for any game. That said, a little piece of me is generally curious as to how the current side would perform in the absence of our top scorer. The reason for this is in no small part down to Connor Wickham’s display in the second half at Carrow Road. This isn’t a result of absolutely anything negative Fletcher has done this season – he has been our one
bright spark – but with Wickham holding up the ball and being an obvious focal point, our midfielders may finally get forward and support the attack like we all highly crave them to. Without suggesting Wickham is suddenly a world beater, nobody can argue that his presence on Sunday affected the dynamics of the side in a very positive manner. I am boring myself to death about discussing how we are too light in the middle of the park – and how this means we can’t play two upfront. And until that problem is hopefully rectified by a necessary dabble in the transfer market; we can probably but only dream of a Fletcher/Wickham partnership. Craig Gardner appears to have the bit between his teeth at the moment, and despite him not being good enough to boss the midfield by any stretch of the imagination, being slightly advanced in a three man midfield would see us both compete more effectively in the middle of the park – and have an extra goal threat when going forward.
Where would this leave Sess? Well, despite my constant criticism of Steve Bruce for often playing him out wide, that’s exactly what I would try this afternoon. The national media just love having a go at us Sunderland fans, calling us fickle and the like. One example of this is that when Bruce tried Sess as a lone centre forward, he was blasted by us all – yet when O’Neill employed him there we accepted it. Very fickle on the surface – granted. But despite winning football games being the obvious reason for our acceptance in MoN’s case, the contrasting tactics employed by each manager was the most relevant factor in this. That’s all too easily overlooked by outsiders, of course. So now a similar allegation could be thrown us here, as most were vocal about Sessegnon being wasted as a winger under Bruce. The key difference now, however, is that you just fancy Gardner to make the most of any rare goalscoring opportunity that may present itself in and around the penalty area. He’s the one who looks to be taking on the responsibility of getting a shot away at present. Let’s face it, Chelsea aren’t going to allow us to walk the ball in. That would mean either the bench or the wing for the Benin man, and considering the form of McClean, it’s a no brainer for me.
The flip side of all this, of course, is that I’m speaking nonsense and trying to be an advocate of a side shy of their top scorer when they’re struggling like mad. But this is merely a ‘reflection’ of the Fletcher news, remember. I’m sure nobody can be unaware of how much I rate the Scotsman.
Hernandez on world peace mission
Occasionally, here on Salut, we tend to have the audacity to mention teams and incidents further afield from Sunderland – quite often (very often) drawing abuse from fans of the said team. As tempting as it always is, I’ll refrain from giving Villa and Darren Bent some stick, and comment on a lighthearted report involving Javier Hernandez this week.
According to Mexico City police chief Jorge Carlos Martinez, ‘Little Pea’ is solely to thank for keeping crime down in Mexico. He reckons when the modern Mexican version of Gary Lineker plays for Man Utd, “Crimes like car-jacking, muggings and robberies go down” because “It seems even the criminals want to take time off to see our hero play.” I’m not sure if the police chief is trying to attempt the use of some sort of moral blackmail as a weapon for his own footballing agenda here, but as he continues to inform us that “also the birth rates go up”, it could well be a simple case of the football mad Mexicans really loving this guy. Like, really loving him!
In unrelated news, Local police refuse to comment on whether the increase in domestic violence is any way related to Sunderland’s poor run of recent form. Our lass fell down the stairs, I swear!
Read the article here,GIVE ME FOOTBALL