Salut! Sunderland is in turmoil. After all I said at the Blackcats forum about us being desperately unlucky at West Ham, Pete Sixsmith weighs in with a completely different view
Disappointed…yes. Frustrated…definitely. Unlucky? Absolutely not.
Looking like a Premiership side at times. But heading back to the Championship, possibly, if we continue to waste opportunities like this.
Make no mistake, West Ham were there to be beaten. They were low on confidence, their fans are muted after last seasons shenanigans and they have resorted to signing ex-Mags who, as they always do, came back to haunt us.
I am loath to criticise Roy in case he comes to my house and stares at me in an even more intimidating way than Yosser Hughes. I don’t envisage Roy ever having to say “Gissa a job” but I do think he got his tactics and selection wrong on Sunday. There I’ve said it.
I thought he showed the Hammers too much respect by opting to defend in the first half. Why not have a go at them? They had lost three on the bounce, the fans were verging on mutiny and they have poor defenders. Instead we let them dictate the play and had to play catch up in the second period.
It was an awful goal to give away. Great cross by McCartney and a touch by Kevin Kyle – sorry, Carlton Cole (he played like Kyle). But where were the defenders? Halford missed McCartney and nobody picked up Kyle -sorry, Cole. Gordon clearly leaves the six-yard box to his defenders but I think he could have been more pro-active here,
We had chances in the first half and Kenwyne Jones looked impressive. In the second half he looked awesome. Upson and Gabbidon were nowhere near him and his ability to lead the line makes him Roy’s best gamble of the summer. He is a genuine prospect.
So is Leadbitter. He must have done something to upset Stuart Pearce because I can’t think of any footballing reasons why he hasn’t got a place in the Under 21 squad.
He was at least a million times better than Mark Noble and he was only prevented from scoring by a great save from Robert Green. I felt that the game turned on that. They took a collective breath and Curbishley gambled and brought on pace in Boa Morte and experience in Solano.
He was the most likeable of the ex-Mags on show, not that he had much competition in Bellamy and Bowyer – Dr Mengele and Pol Pot are more likeable than those two!!
Yes, the second goal was unlucky but we have to ask questions about Nyron, who does most things right but makes crucial mistakes. We need a more composed centre half in January. There is no room for sentiment in this game now.
So, no points on a weekend where a win would have put us near the top of the table – on page two of Teletext. Fulham next week in a must win game. Would they be missed in the Premier League. We had 4,000 at Upton Park. I bet the Phony Pharoah and his men don’t bring a tenth of that.