Sixer’s Soapbox: Fat Lady (Man) Warbles at Newcastle

“Thank goodness that’s over” says Pete Sixsmith as we scrape a point against a far better Newcastle side. Talk of getting out of jail, fat ladies singing and clutching at straws dominate these observations on a bitterly disappointing derby performance. We need to do better next year !!!!

At 13:48, with the clock running down, I sent my Seven winging across the seas to M. Salut in Penang. “Once again found lacking when it mattered” were my words as we huffed and puffed against a side who were threatening to score a second, and take a deserved three points home with them.

For the umpteenth time we pushed forward with effort rather than skill. The ball dropped to Bardsley who whipped in a shot, Harper parried it and Asamoah Gyan poked it over the line to level the scores.

Wild celebrations from those around me; much jumping about and a feeling that we had not only got out of jail, but that we had kidnapped all the Prison Officers, burnt the place down and reformed the entire criminal justice system. The Fat Lady (or middle aged Man in this case) was singing his head off at this one. Games last for 90 minutes!!!

Quite frankly, we were awful. Whatever weaknesses we had seen against Blackpool and Notts. County were magnified 100x in this scrappy, bitty and, for us, ultimately disappointing derby.

Take Gordon, Bardsley and Malbranque out of the equation and not one of our players can sit at home tonight and feel that they had good games. I suppose Onuoha did ok and Ferdinand wasn’t bad, but what about the rest of them? Poor is a flattering description of them.

We had no leadership on the pitch. Nobody took hold of the game for us, nobody did anything that would inspire his team mates to lift themselves and nobody led by example. Look at the goal. Ferdinand had been injured and had just come back on. But who helped him out? Who organised the defence? Who picked up Ameobi and Nolan. Nobody!!!!!! Could you imagine Ball or Hurley allowing that to happen?

Contrast that with Barton and Nolan who chivvied and chipped away and clearly knew what this game was all about. Look at Williamson and Coloccini who took responsibility at the back and snuffed out our £23m strikeforce. Look at Ameobi and Best who caused all kinds of problems for our two central defenders.

Why? Yes, we had injuries. Cattermole and Welbeck were missed. The power of Cattermole and the skill of Welbeck may have given us that little bit extra. But we knew they would be out and in team selection and performance we did nothing to make up for their absence.

The central midfield was terrible. Neither Henderson nor Richardson got into the game. Richardson seemed to spend the game giving the ball away, mistiming tackles or being caught in possession. Henderson looked a player who has had great expectations heaped on his shoulders and is struggling to live up to them. Do we allow them to play their way back into form, or do we make changes?

Titus Bramble showed why some Sunderland fans were concerned about his recruitment in July. He was shaky throughout and rarely looked comfortable against the impressive Ameobi, who won most headers against him in the first half. His distribution seemed to consist of a hoof up field in the general direction of the disappointing Bent and Gyan. The ball was then promptly returned by the opposition so Bramble and Ferdinand could launch it again.

So, where do we go from here? Hopefully Cattermole and Welbeck will be back next week to give us a little more balance in the team. Bruce has some big decisions to make. On the basis of this bitterly disappointing performance, he could leave Henderson, Richardson and Bent out of the team. All three are England internationals and all three had games that they would not wish to linger over for very long.

Newcastle lifted themselves for this game. The old, experienced heads of Nolan and Barton ran the midfield. Barton played the ball of the game for Ameobi to miss, while Nolan treated us all to his chicken dance. I don’t want to see that again. I thought Williamson was their best player – he missed nothing at the back. Apparently he had a stinker against Stevenage last week – which says very little about our forwards.

The window slams shut in two weeks time. We need to import some pace into the team, either through the middle or down the flanks. N’Zogbia is a possibility as is the French player Sessegnon, who seems keen to leave PSG. If Ellis Short says we have to sell in order to buy, so be it. Like KoKo, we could make a little list of those we feel could leave.

As for the morons who ran on at the end and pushed Steve Harper over, words fail me. What on earth do they hope to achieve by such behaviour? All it does is give fuel to those of a black and white persuasion who seek to belittle our club. Leave the pitch invasions to them. Who can ever forget the man jumping on his scarf in the centre circle at SJP after the play off game in 1990?

I know – clutching at straws!!!!

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19 thoughts on “Sixer’s Soapbox: Fat Lady (Man) Warbles at Newcastle”

  1. Michael. The notion of his nose being put out of joint is gathering ground in a lot of places, particularly amongst fans of other clubs who have been watching impartially.

    It’s also been noted that he seems unable to play with whichever partner (Welbeck or Gyan). Maybe he just doesn’t want to.

  2. I wonder if, with Bent on his way to Villa we are going to see some wheeling and dealing. Rodellega, Muntari and Sessegnon would make sense. I am however perplexed as to why Bent would want to move to Villa, other than for a hefty signing on fee. A number of posts on other sites seem to indicate that he has been looking for a move for a few weeks. Could it be that he is unahappy at being upstaged by Wellbeck and Gyan. It seems strange that he cannot develop an effective partnership with either of them ,nor could he do so with Kenwyne

  3. The players that Bruce has signed and who haven’t adapted are 2 Paraguayans who played in the final stages of the World Cup. Angeleri apparently just missed the Argentina WC squad by all accounts. If we had the entire Argentinian squad (Messi included) would they all be sitting on the bench or turning out at Eppleton on a Tuesday night having failed to adapt? Have they failed to adapt or have we failed to adapt to them?

  4. Maybe there is unrest in the camp. Darren Bent has gone from zero to hero at Sunderland we have relaunched his carrear and he thanks the club with this totally unexpected betrayal. Why would he want to go to deadbeats like Villa, what is wrong? Certainly it could be seen in the performance yesterday that something was not right I put it down to nerves. Why want away now why swop a fight for Europe with a battle to avoid relegation. There seems more to this than meets the eye. Maybe if Wellbeck was fit Bruce was going to start with Gyan and Welbeck, there is a bid for Owen. Astonishing

  5. Why was it such a poor performance? N’cstle bullied us and they do have a physical presence but no more so than Bolton or Everton. We froze for the 2nd time against them but for what ever reason and it is not difficult to come up withone but that doesn’t make us a bad side. We have had injuries and we now have tiredness creeping in after a hard winter when player rotation has been difficult. Bruce bought 3 solid internationals in Angeleri Da Silva and Riveros who have not settled or adapted to the Premier League that doesn’t make him a bad manager. These pages are not frequented by fairweather supporters and every team normally has a bad spell during the season, this is ours and we need to get behind the team and show our support. The draw all be it lucky leaves us 5 points ahead of the mags with 15 games to go 20 points is achievable from those games leaving us on 54 points not a bad season. Bruce is doing a great job and that was Brambles 1st poor game. I do agree we lack a captain and need one Cana is missed in that regard but keep positive stay happy and realise it has been a great seson 36 points won’t get relegated in May

  6. A poor performance but not for the first time this season (Man City, Arsenal spring to mind) we have emerged with more points than we would have done in seasons passed. This season especially, those margins will determine which clubs finish in the top half and which are scrapping to avoid the drop. The Mags should finish half way so more derbies to look forward to (mmm?) next season!

    My continuing worries continue to revolve around the number of chances Darren Bent is not converting and his seemingly ineffective partnership with Gyan. Perhaps they are too similar and one + a fit Welbeck is the way forward.

  7. Far too negative comments – come on get behind the lads
    If Bent had converted 1 of his 3 chances we would have moved on and won the game easily ; the young ones were too tense – that’s the worst I have seen Henderson play – apart from the last 10 mins – when he started to find some space on the RHS .
    If Barton Hadn’t play acted for most of the 2nd half there would not have been half as much added time – saying that – another 2 mins added on and we would have won it !!!!

  8. It’s 9pm in the Uk and I have just finished watching the game over here in Canada (1 am your time). I am emotionally drained, and as frustrated as I have ever been in my entire life!! That performance was our 2nd worst of our season. But I’m not sure it was due to lack of effort. It was down to a blatant lack of self belief, the psychological pressure was too much our team, and once again they cracked under the pressure. Let’s face it – we had one chance the whole piggin’ game!! A chance that you would expect our goal scoring hero to tuck away comfortably. But Ameobi should probably have scored moments earlier, so we can’t bemoan it too much!

    The fact is we should have been beaten again by our arch rivals. Somehow, fortune favoured us when we got a lucky bounce off of our over-priced Ghanain, headless chicken, overrated, disappointing, always loses the ball, rap-singing flop, Gyan. I always try to see the positives in all of our players, but this guy flatters to deceive! He can’t live with the pace of our game. He gets outmuscled way too much. He’s out of ideas! He’s on borrowed time. I hope Real Madrid are still up for buying him!

    I think and hope we will finish above the Mags this year, but I’m glad we don’t have to play them again, because they have the upper hand when it comes to dealing with the pressure.

    Despite my anger and frustration, I still think Steve Bruce is the best manager we’ve ever had, and we are destined for better times. Let’s hope our crew cope better with the heat next year!

  9. Hmmm…Kevin Ball…injuries….fat man jumping on the scarf in 1990? What has that got to do with today.

    Nice article – don’t mention the Toons injuries mind. Not many real clear cut chances on goalfor either team, but Peter Beardsley would have sorted that out…if you want to bring golden oldies into it! kevin Ball…ha ha ha…

    You were so lucky today to get a point, though I thought you deserved one. Look at the stats though – fouls, goal attempts, offsides.

    Thanks for the four points Sunderland, thoguh it should have been six.

    I wonder what the tune was Brucie wanted playing at the end of the match?

    Pathetic!

  10. I will never forget the fat man jumping on the scarf in 1990 or how terrified I was having to walk back to the car with you and Dad .. but I do remember you screaming out of the windows as we drove out of Newcastle at all the dirty mags.. in the relative safty of the Valuxhall Astra .. 1.3 lawnmo …. You are right Pete no leadership at all, no passion or desire to put right last years capitulation – this was an embrassement Newcastle were poor but we were just awfull , we look like a team that has no direction and drive or even self respect ..

    I know Kevin Ball lacked skill but he would have sorted that lot out today ..

    I know we have injuries – but surly there has to be people in the side that can lead .. First touch awfull,, no one could tackle in midfield and kept giving fouls away .. I take Steed out of this he was the only one trying .. misplaced pass after misplaced pass… ..

    I dispair ………….

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