What sort of team will Gus Poyet send out at Turf Moor? If we are at last to start winning, where will our goal or goals come from?
The summer transfer dealings brought in no new strikers but left us, for now with the three we already had. I raised the question of our attacking options in a preview for ESPN.
Read it in full here but I will offer short extracts in case people want to take up the discussion:
This time last week, I would have guessed that Steven Fletcher would be involved in Sunderland’s home game against Tottenham Hotspur. The inch-perfect pass that had set up Ikecha Anya’s goal in Scotland’s gallant 2-1 defeat to mighty Germany will have given a huge boost to his confidence.
Perhaps I should have realised it was not to be when The Guardian’s match report failed to attribute the “beautifully delayed” pass to the right Fletcher, skipper Darren given the credit despite having been subbed eight minutes earlier. In the event, Steven Fletcher did not even make the bench against Spurs for what were described as “tactical reasons”.
It is difficult to argue against another start for Connor Wickham, who has played well, despite not yet finding the net except in the Capital One Cup. He would probably find himself out on the wing if Fletcher or Jozy Altidore also figured among the starting XI.
Where does that leave Altidore? I think we can discount as knee-jerk and premature the suggestion from the normally sensible Here is the City website that Poyet has already lost patience with the burly United States attacker, meaning his stay at Sunderland is close to the point of “coming to an unceremonious end”. The reality is that Altidore has recovered well from a demoralising injury early in the USA’s opening game at Brazil 2014. He went close to scoring in the League Cup win at Birmingham and looked sharper than most colleagues when he arrived a late substitute in the vain attempt to snatch a draw at Loftus Road. I remain of the view that he, like Fletcher, could become a changed player for Sunderland if only he could grab a goal — in league, not cup — sometime soon.
Now your turn, and I say that in the knowledge we’d all settle for a winner from a Duff own goal.
* Burnley vs Sunderland Guess the Score: https://safc.blog/2014/09/burnley-vs-sunderland-guess-the-score-and-safc-towels-hit-turkey/
** The Burnley vs Sunderland “Who are You?”: https://safc.blog/2014/09/burnley-who-are-you-can-one-footed-fletcher-torment-old-man-duff/