Martin’s Musings on SAFC v Norwich: O’Neill frustrated so how must Hughton feel?

Jake’s imagination

Malcolm Dawson writes…..

with the club urging supporters to renew their season cards before April 4th, the team is doing little to persuade us that will be a wise move – unless of course you see the extra games that Championship football brings as added value – because make no mistake there was little on show today to convince the faithful that relegation is anything other than a distinct possibility. With no real goal threat from open play, even with a man advantage for a full hour, and a poor decision from the ref who denied The Canaries a clear penalty we were fortunate to come away with a point. At this stage of the season it is probably not a good time to consider replacing the manager, but in his post match e-mail to M Salut Mr O’Neil admits that defending set pieces and creating chances are things that the team should be doing better. So whose responsibility is that then? We had the better of the officials’ decisions this afternoon and I’d be surprised if the manager doesn’t agree once he’s seen the replays. Anyway, this is what he has to say.

Read moreMartin’s Musings on SAFC v Norwich: O’Neill frustrated so how must Hughton feel?

Martin’s Musings on Fulham draw: ‘our own worst enemy’

Jake’s imagination

Martin O’Neill has less reason that he thinks to complain about the penalty that was given to Fulham. If a defender’s leg goes where Gardner’s did, the modern professional footballer will happily fall into it. But he’s right, in his post-match e-mail, to applaud a decent fightback from such an unnecessary two-goal deficit which, with more creativity and guile, would have led to victory over a sweet-moving but beatable Fulham. The spot-on verdict came from Gary Bennett on BBC Radio Newcastle: ‘A workmanlike performance that was lacking quality.’ …

Read moreMartin’s Musings on Fulham draw: ‘our own worst enemy’

Martin’s Musings on Reading defeat: another bumpy landing the boss cannot fathom

Jake’s imagination

Monsieur Salut suffered the annoyance familiar to most football fans, stuck 39,000 feet high while the Lads were in action. Turning the phone back on at Heathrow, two and a half hours after the final whistle at Reading, I found my eyes drawn first of all to Martin O’Neill‘s post-match e-mail, the headline – ‘we’ve lost a game we shouldn’t have’ – adding to the gloom of returning to the British winter from Sri Lankan sun. I read somewhere else that we were outplayed for long periods but should still have won. Outplayed! By Reading! Can Martin’s Musings shed further light? …

Read moreMartin’s Musings on Reading defeat: another bumpy landing the boss cannot fathom

Martin’s Musings on SAFC v Swansea: The onus is on us – must do better

Jake’s imagination

In his post-match e-mail from the home game versus Swansea City, Martin O’Neill tells it likes it is (or was on the night). He’s right about one thing, where the onus lies, so why were we defending like the clappers in injury time?

Dear Colin,

I was disappointed with the performance.

We’ve got a point on the board and that’s probably all that we deserved, I’m not sure that Swansea deserved anything more either.

However, we were the home side and the onus was on us to try and break the team down and I don’t think we did that for long enough periods in the game.

Neither side deserved the win. Swansea had the better possession in the first half and I thought we improved early in the second half. We started to apply pressure but just couldn’t sustain it.

Swansea got back in and got a foothold of the game. Titus Bramble did very well to deny them late in the game and had that goal went in it might have been a little harsh, but ultimately it’s up to us to do better.

Swansea are becoming more established in the league and have added quality players to their side. We’ve had two tough games against them this season.

Their confidence was high following their Capital One Cup victory but then again so was ours on the back of a couple of great wins.

We struggled this evening and that was really disappointing. I’m expecting a much improved performance against Reading on Saturday.

All the best,

Beware of forgeries

Martin O’Neill

Martin’s Musings on Bolton debacle: meek and mild

The only man for the job?
Reason to be less than cheerful


Martin O’Neill
could have put it an awful lot more strongly. Instead, in his post-match e-mail to Monsieur Salut, he chooses a mild form of rebuke for his players after an embarrassing capitulation to Bolton Wanderers – whose fans, mocked for their no-show at the Reebok, can also chortle at the size of the Stadium of Light attendance, just 17,500 – and rues a “bitterly disappointing” and meek end to those fanciful 40th anniversary dreams …

Read moreMartin’s Musings on Bolton debacle: meek and mild

Sixer’s Bolton Soapbox: Gardner and Brighton conspire to beat our Supersub’s blues

Still in it, says Jake
Still in it, says Jake

With Pete Sixsmith otherwise engaged on family matters, once again Supersub Robert Chapman steps up to the plate with his thoughts on the game at Bolton. It’s fair to say that he wouldn’t have been the only Sunderland fan in a good mood as kick off loomed, as the not unexpected news from Brighton got the afternoon off to a fine start. Certainly the BBC Newcastle team were in upbeat mood about the Black Cats’ cahances as the teams were announced but as Nick Barnes warned, potential banana skins await the overconfident.

And so it proved, as once again the Sunderland team put its supporters through the gamut of emotions with relief and renewed expectation of a 40th anniversary FA Cup run as the final whistle blew. Mind you had we known in advance the identity of our potential 4th round opponents there may have been a little less confidence. Still bogey teams are there to be beaten but first there’s still a tricky replay to negotiate.

It's Bob Chapman on this week's soapbox but Pete's smiling anyway
It’s Bob Chapman on this week’s soapbox but Pete’s smiling anyway

Read moreSixer’s Bolton Soapbox: Gardner and Brighton conspire to beat our Supersub’s blues

Martin’s Musings from Bolton: plaudits for a tired squad – and tireless support

For the first time in three games, Martin O’Neill had something to smile about at the final whistle. A decent second-half recovery saved the day after Bolton doubled their early lead. Sunderland live to fight on – we’ll know tomorrow what the reward would be if the replay saw us progressing to the next round …

Jake's imagination

Read moreMartin’s Musings from Bolton: plaudits for a tired squad – and tireless support

Martin’s Musings on Liverpool 3 Sunderland 0: no joy on Merseyside as Sunderland slump to defeat

Martin O’Neill

The transfer window opens and two players leave the club with no replacements coming in. No doubt there are some lined up and we shall see some new names on the Sunderland roster but Martin O’Neill in his post-match e-mail to M Salut highlights the smallness of the squad and for once, has little to temper the disappointment of the result.

Jake's imagination

Read moreMartin’s Musings on Liverpool 3 Sunderland 0: no joy on Merseyside as Sunderland slump to defeat

Martin’s Musings on SAFC v Tottenham Hotspur: we never gave up

After two successive victories, Martin O’Neill had once again to find the positives in a home defeat in his personal e-mail to M Salut. With yet another re-shuffled defence, the ineligibility of Danny Rose saw Kilgallon who had played well at centre back being moved into the fullback spot, it may have been an easy option for the manager to find excuses, but he praises the team’s efforts and the backing of the crowd.

Jake's imagination

Martin O’Neill in his post-match e-mail

Read moreMartin’s Musings on SAFC v Tottenham Hotspur: we never gave up

Martin’s Musings from SAFC 1 Manchester City 0: everyone played their part

Malcolm Dawson writes….

It was one of those games where I chewed my finger ends for the last half an hour or so. I couldn’t tell from my seat if Johnson’s shot had gone in and it was only as the South Stand roared we could be certain in the NW corner. At 1-0 up the tactic seems to be to defend deeper and deeper and City have the talent to break down any defence in front of goal. That said we had chances to put the game to bed but with Joe Hart coming forward for the injury time corners and Lescott brought on as an attacking option I feared the worst. But the Lads held on and oh how we celebrated. Then as the score came in from Old Trafford we celebrated some more.

Jake's imagination

For the second game in a row Martin O’Neill in his post-match e-mail to M Salut can praise the whole team and the home support.

Read moreMartin’s Musings from SAFC 1 Manchester City 0: everyone played their part