No fewer than 1,228 of the 21,460 crowd on a Wednesday night at St Mary’s were in the away end and you can bet a few more Sunderland supporters were dotted around other parts of the ground. And for what? Rob Hutchison was among them and can tell you it wasn’t much: ‘Sterile, tame performance. Did any of the players want it? Sideways, misplaced passing all night long.’ Quite simply Sunderland, bottom the league without a win or – it increasingly seems – a hope, do not deserve this extraordinary support. Here are Rob’s one-word ratings …
Rob Hutchison is worried. ‘Point all round then,’ he says. ‘Seagulls still circling the northern trawler.’ Here are Rob;s customary one-word, one-mark ratings for Sunderland’s team in the disappointing 1-1 draw at Newcastle …
There may be no Soapbox report of the Manchester City match. Pete Sixsmith’s internet has been playing up and Salut! Sunderland‘s deputy editor, Malcolm Dawson, is sorting out car problems. Malcolm was encouraged by what he saw but feels there is too much to do in the remainong 14 games to ward off the threat of relegation.
Meanwhile Rob Hutchison, our master of the one-word, one-score ratings, is purring in defeat. ‘Best performance of the season with no cigar,’ he says. ‘New signings look just the part. With that XI we’ll be fine wherever we are next season’ …
Rob Hutchison is quick off the mark with his one-word verdicts and marks out of 10 after the 2-0 win over Stoke City. Duncan Watmore’s his playing star but Big Sam collects an extra point for his tactical nous (Monsieur Salut agreed with Gary Bennett’s verdict: PVA was the man of the match).
Hutch says (referring to the Shawcross dismissal): ‘Never a red, but he should have gone in the first half so there can be no complaints can there? The great escape may have come early this season, one never knows.’
Rob Hutchison shows commendable diligence after a gut-wrenching non-performance to offer his one- word player ratings with about 100 times more pace and application than Sunderland mustered all afternoon …
Monsieur Salut writes: whatever is to blame – school work, family obligations, a games console – Keir Bradwell has been quiet of late. Remember: he’s the one who does the Sunderland ratings at greater length than Rob Hutchison. Well, he’s back to entertain or irritate, according to taste; I feel he is hard on Fletcher, from whom there were indeed some good touches and one superb non-touch, the feint that set up a promising attacking move, and on O’Shea, though his penalty box wrestling worries me endlessly. The Hammers’ top man? Their midfield had the edge but Sakho, a threat long before he scored, gets my vote …
Pantilimon – 7
Couldn’t do anything for the goal and made plenty big saves throughout the game.
Reveillere – 3
Painfully slow and very sloppy. Is he Dossena in disguise?
Vergini – 5
Did pretty well once he came on. I’m putting him in here rather than later on as a sub since he played the vast majority of the game. Deserves to start against the mags, though, after the shambolic performance from the rest of the defence.
O’Shea – 2
Woeful. Weak, doesn’t jump for headers and beaten for pace every time by their striker. Have to get shot of him in the summer. More error prone than Brown nowadays, who should partner Vergini in the centre of defence for the rest of the season. Appalling recent form.
PvA – 2
Might as well put me in defence, he was that bad. Awful defending throughout the 90 minutes, and mind-blowingly wasteful from good attacking positions. Complete liability.
Fletcher – 5
The little flicks are gone! Still not very effective though and subbed off for Graham late on.
Wickham – 7
Very, very strong. Best Wickham performance in a while and the best man in blue on the pitch tonight.
Defoe – 2
It’s a lot less time consuming to think of a list of things that Defoe consistently does well, but I have to write something for every Sunderland player on the pitch. So let’s think about all the things he’s not very good at instead – his first touch is abysmal, he’s quite possibly the most selfish player I’ve seen play for the lads, he can’t shoot, he can’t pass, he can’t stay onside, he can’t dribble, he can’t challenge in the air, he doesn’t track back and his work rate is appalling… I despair. Would honestly rather have Jozy in the team; at least he gave it a go.
Johnson – 4
It must be rather difficult being booed with every touch. Even so, had no impact on the game at all.
Brown – 5
Had no time to impress, but I hope he’s not injured for the derby.
Let Rob Hutchison‘s summary speak for itself: ‘This Get out of Jail Free card may be kept until needed or sold. Fear we might need a whole pack of them after that sorry shower. Was it as bad as the end of MoN’s reign?’…
In Rob Hutchison‘s latest set of one-word verdicts, after the 2-0 defeat at Old Trafford, he deviates from custom and practice. Instead of a single word and mark per player, he offers a 13-word sentence (14 if you include FFS), presented as – you guessed – one word per player. Plus the mark, a depressing mix of 4s and 5s. Their star? Januzaj surely … Roger East? Off to the Northern League . . .