An American(SAFC-supporting) view of yesterday’s game, from our regular columnist Robert Simmons …
Before the analysts and papers tell me how I am supposed to feel I wanted to write down my immediate reaction to the 2-2 draw against Swansea City.
After twice taking the lead with goals from new boy Steven Fletcher, Sunderland let the home side equalize. Swansea had plenty of position and seemed quite comfortable on the ball, but Sunderland were able to take advantage of the home sides mistakes and earn a tough point away from home. Here is what I learned from the match.
•Steven Fletcher is worth the money. His first goal was certainly helped by the poor back pass from Ashley Williams but the finish was excellent. His second goal is exactly what we expected from him. A center forward getting into position to finish in front of the goal.
• Lee Cattermole was missed after he went off injured. He really does control the center of the pitch and we weren’t able to disrupt what Swansea was doing nearly as effectively when the captain wasn’t on the pitch.
• Colback filled in admirably at Left Back, but we miss his presence and tidiness in possession in the middle of the pitch. However, it will be tough to take Seb Larsson off the pitch. His ability to attack the goal or provide quality crosses from set pieces is so valuable, and today it led to Fletcher’s second goal.
• Our front four of McClean, Sessegnon, Johnson, and Fletcher hasn’t yet gelled into a dynamic group. At times Sess and McClean looked out of sorts. They each had moments where they looked strong but they didn’t put many moves together as a unit as they attacked the Swansea defense. I think they will only continue to get better, but it may take a few weeks to see them at their best.
• While Meyler did a decent job filling in for the injured Cattermole, it will be good to get David Vaughan back in a few weeks as he’ll provide a more veteran presence and a player who can add a bit more of an attacking flair from the center of the pitch.
Those are my initial reactions. My thoughts may change after I watch replays and see some highlights, but overall you have to be pleased. We’ve had two away games to start the season and earned a point in each. Hopefully we’ll get through the international break without any injuries and come out ready to get our first win at home against Liverpool on the 15th.