Jake’s imagination

Monsieur Salut was driving home through the Burgundy snow but manager Martin O’Neill was still able to send him his immediate post match personal e-mail. A tale of two penalties, bizarre bounces and missed opportunities.

Dear Colin,

I thought we should have got something from the game; we created a lot of chances.

We conceded a goal from a penalty and the second [goal] was bizarre.

We didn’t have a great deal of luck in and around the penalty area ourselves and we should have taken more from what Stephane Sessegnon created. He scored a great goal himself.

Stephane was excellent today; top-quality in the second half.

I thought we should have had a penalty kick just before half time, but it wasn’t given.

For the second goal Titus [Bramble] should have seen the ball out instead of playing it blindly back to the goalkeeper – the clearance has hit the player and it’s in the back of the net.

Jake records another defeat

Jake records another defeat

M Salut writes: There was a Dear Martin e-mail as well tonight: I may reproduce it more fully here but my ESPN piece mentions it:
http://espnfc.com/blog/_/name/sunderland?cc=5739

That was obviously a major setback at that stage of the game, but we got back into it and still had enough chances to get an equaliser, which I think we would have deserved, without doubt.

We had a couple of good chances at the end. It’s really disappointing. We came here with confidence following the Arsenal game two weeks ago.

We should have capitalised on the chances we created.

All the best,

Beware of forgeries


Martin O’Neill

Born in Hetton le Hole, deputy editor Malcolm Dawson's first game at Roker Park was the three all draw with Leicester City at the beginning of the 64-65 season. Having spent more than thirty years living in the East Midlands, he was Chairman and Information Officer of the Heart of England Branch of the Supporters' Association but has now returned to live in County Durham.

15 Responses to “Martin’s Musings on WBA 2 SAFC 1: ‘we should have done better’” Subscribe

  1. Bill Taylor February 23, 2013 at 7:44 pm #

    Burgundy snow? How exotic. But more colourful than the Cats’ performance today.

  2. Tom February 23, 2013 at 8:07 pm #

    We should have done better, but one can see why we do not get anything from these games.

    It was encouraging to see the experimental set-up today, particularly in terms of our attacking line-up with Fletcher in a “Cahill” type of role, and Sessegnon facing the game.

    I do not expect too much from the remainder of the season, however, since we lack a central midfielder who can control our possession and pace of the game, and lack pace and ball skill in defence, particularly in central defence.

    The lack of defensive pace has a major impact on our shape at all times other than when we are defending deep. Most evident is the gap that opens up between defenders and midfield when we are attacking, as the defence appears to be loathe to expose themselves to counter-attacking pace. The result is that we either look outnumbered in central midfield or our central midfield gets caught behind the game when the opposition counter-attacks unhindered through 20 metres of open space.

    I hope that this will be addressed in the close season. Until then, we may have to forego playing both Sessegnon and Johnson at the same time in order to use an additional central midfielder in a 4-3-2-1 formation.

    I think it will be another nail-biting finish to the season but can see an improved core to build on for next season.

  3. Alan February 23, 2013 at 9:09 pm #

    The champion ship here we come and we have a ready made team because that what this team and manager is good for MON took them to Dubai I would have took them to shields and put them in the North Sea every day ….

  4. Ian_SAfc February 23, 2013 at 10:00 pm #

    I think we were outpassed by West Brom after the first fifteen minutes. They just kept and won the ball better. The battle was won in midfield but the real difference between the two sides was Lukaku.
    Thought we got sloppy in posession, especially NDaiye. I was sad to see Lee Cattermole out again.
    Sess looked very dangerous in the 2nd half, always harrying defenders and getting us free kicks. I just wish, like MON says, he would score more.
    I liked Mcclean when he came on. AJ’s crossing wasn’t good today. Didn’t get past the first man often enough.
    It was a pretty frustrating game to watch for me. Fulham next week is a must-win.

  5. CSB February 24, 2013 at 7:32 am #

    To be perfectly honest we had enough opportunity to have won this game in the second half, its all about taking your chances.

    First half penalty could of gone either way, just unlucky it was given by a ref who diplayed a large streak of inconsistency in his awards. WBA second was very poor play from Bramble who was lucky to see the game out anyway and has really underlined today why we have to replace him permanently, agree with Tom that we need to get some mobility and pace at the centre of defence.

    Johnston just doesen’t contribute enough to deserve a starting place, relatively anonymous the whols game.

    Ball retention poor again, service to the two strikers minimal. We can play as many as we like upfront but until we get decent possession, service and support into the strikers we will continue to struggle.

    I think MON has one summer and one winter transfer window remaining to sort the fundamental problems with this side.

  6. Plan B February 24, 2013 at 9:11 am #

    I wouldn’t give him another transfer window to be honest, it’s energy-sapping watching him go about business with little purpose. He has little interest in having a squad, we’d be making a mistake giving him another transfer window imo.

    We knew he had these faults but I’m sure we all thought he was an excellent motivator and his teams played with fire in their belly. But he’s not, and they don’t. It hasn’t been this boring to be a Sunderland supporter in a long time, we let this go on and I worry it will all end in tears again.

  7. blzbob February 24, 2013 at 12:52 pm #

    Don’t people get sick of hearing the same excuses and rambling on about we should have, might have, unlucky, we didn’t take our chances, just change the record or your tactics if you have any. Got tickets for next week but that will be the last till he’s gone.

  8. Alan February 24, 2013 at 3:20 pm #

    I agree with you bizbob I was happy when Mon got the job but now I can’t believe the tactics negative approach he has and most of the same players that wernt good enough a year ago are still playing I have been there over 40 years through thick and thin and I can’t believe it’s the same crap then that there is now apart from the odd ocasional year when you think here we go but before long they do what they have done time and time again kick you in the teeth if MON is there with the likes of colback Larson oshea Cuellar Gardiner and half the rest of the crap there I won’t be and I bet a lot more wont …

  9. Geordiedoonsooth February 24, 2013 at 4:46 pm #

    I told you a few weeks ago we wre coming to get you. We are now above you and won’t be below you for the rest of the season. Really looking forward to the derby and hammering you lot again. 🙂

  10. Alan February 24, 2013 at 5:21 pm #

    You couldn’t hammer a nail in wood as for you dopey lot it’s only a month ago you were screaming for Ashley and Pardew out keep taking the tablets and you might get some sense one day..

  11. Geordiedoonsooth February 24, 2013 at 5:24 pm #

    God I love winding you lot up its so easy

  12. vince February 24, 2013 at 5:26 pm #

    3 losses on the belt.That said we could have easily drawn any of the last 3 games so we are not that short.

    Don’t know whether to panic yet or stay calm….will be better placed to know which to do after Fulham.yet another must win game…how often do we get back to that phrase?

    Geordiedoonsooth,

    At least your team play with some attacking flair which is more than we do….though one point above us is at this stage is not that much to crow about.

  13. Geordiedoonsooth February 24, 2013 at 6:15 pm #

    Vince. Only have a laugh mate bit of banter :-). Still think we will beat you.

  14. Tom February 24, 2013 at 7:17 pm #

    A lot of heartfelt frustration has been expressed, but I support MON and the general direction of the club. I don’t support the idea of constantly tearing things down in order to create a new nirvana. We are on a steady path of progress, which is admittedly too slow for some, but I for one will live with it and with the manager.

    • Ian_SAfc February 25, 2013 at 1:42 am #

      I think thats right. While I am a little frustrated, I agree that we should not chop and change so easily. Each manager spends a ton of money only to have the next manager want to bring in his own players.

      I think something needs fixing in midfield. Thats where we’re losing most of our games. I think with Cattermole back that will help, but not solve our problems.
      We need consistency in performance. The likes of Sess, AJ, Vaughn, Mcclean, Laarson… can be excellent one day and complete no-shows the next game. We can also be sloppy in posession and that costs us.
      On top of this, our tactics seems to be a bit negative and we simply don’t get the people in the box when we should. MON likes defensive and thats why we don’t get thumped 4-0. We only get beaten 1-0, 2-1 etc. Still, we’re still getting beat.

      I am sure MON will being in some good players and S’land will go from strength to strength. He just needs a little time. I trust MON in the transfer market more than any other manager of Sunderland in recent years.

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