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.

Dear Colin,

It was a very frustrating game, particularly in the second-half.

We should have created more, but we were unable to and we’ve suffered the consequences.

I’ve not had chance to watch any of the replays back of the penalty and sending off, but the referee had a job to do and he’s made those decisions.

[On Wes Hoolahan’s goal] We’ve really got to improve on our set-pieces, I’ve said that before. They are a vitally important part of the game.

Even in Spain, Jake feels a shiver

Even in Spain, Jake feels a shiver


Craig [Gardner] did very well with the spot-kick – he was also very good getting forward in the game – I thought the delay in taking the penalty might have been disturbing but he stuck it away brilliantly.

We frustratingly gave the ball away when we were in decent positions, we were left trying to force issues that just didn’t exist and suffered the consequences.

You can find it to be difficult playing against teams with 10-men when they’ve got something to hold onto, but we should have done better.

We’ve got a fortnight before our next game with a number of players going away on international duty. We’ll regroup when they get back and focus on our last eight games..

All the best,

Beware of forgeries


Martin O’Neill

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Salut! Sunderland is written, illustrated and edited by - and principally for - supporters of Sunderland AFC. The site aims to be sufficiently literate and entertaining to appeal to people who do not follow SAFC but enjoy good football writing.

23 Responses to “Martin’s Musings on SAFC v Norwich: O’Neill frustrated so how must Hughton feel?” Subscribe

  1. chris March 17, 2013 at 8:39 pm #

    I think we can all agree that that was pretty soul destroying stuff. Back when he was chairman, Sir Niall asked why fans were staying away and we couldn’t fill the ground. Today gave a fairly conclusive answer (if only it were the first time we’d answered it). Ellis must surely be getting twitchy by now.

  2. Alan March 17, 2013 at 9:19 pm #

    Are you starting to see where I have been coming from the last two months another shit performance we are now 4points from the bottom 3 that stupid man takes a centre forward off and puts a winger referring to McLean on for graham then the stupid Irish txxt takes a winger off and puts a forward on pxxs off back to Ireland you muppet we were playing Norwich not Barcelona and thy were down to ten men when we are rellagated take a long hard look in the mirror at your self and u will realise you took us down with your incompitce manner how you pick your team and negative tactics now do the right thing and pxxs off now you havnt got a clue why didn’t you take one of those shot midfielders off who you think is so good ie Larson can’t take corners or free kicks as cant get it past the first deffender or Vaughan who huffs and puffs and can’t get forward you moron I just want you out coz you are really pissing me off now and certainly will not renew my season ticket to watch the shit football you play as long as you are here …

  3. ifos March 17, 2013 at 9:38 pm #

    Some criticism that’s constructive and some punctuation might make Alan’s comments worth reading; otherwise it’s just headache inducing.
    Isn’t it interesting how Larsson comes in for all the criticism? Hardly surprising given that he’s just about the only midfielder who actually wants the ball, despite the barracking of fans who are quite willing to ignore the totally anonymous displays of Fletcher/Sess/Vaughan/ Johnson (again). When most of the play goes through 1 player they are guaranteed to make more mistakes.
    I do agree about the substitutions, though: a forward off and a winger on; then a few minutes later a winger off and a forward on? Bizarre. And to leave the formation the same against the 10 men of Norwich was staggering.
    The QPR game convinced me we were going down, nothing today changed my mind. Depressed.

    • Eric March 17, 2013 at 10:08 pm #

      I agree. We should of went to with 3-5-2 once they went down to ten men. We had four defenders marking a lone striker who wasn’t much of a treat. We cant create any chances for the front two, our pattern of play is painfully boring and predictable making it so easy for them to defend against us. Danny Graham isn’t looking good at all and the partnership is lacking pace. He doesn’t look an improvement on Campbell or Wickham.

      It feels like the Ricky Sbragia season again, it will go down to the wire and this time it could be us going down.

      On the manager, I like him but he may be dated. Swansea seem to have a great record on hiring managers. We need a coach to concentrate on getting a passing game going rather than just keeping them fit and picking a teamsheet.. having said that, let’s stick with him for now as he hasn’t had much time, most of the players are not his and he has a good record with other clubs.

      On the plus side… Newcastle lost, it really is depressing when that is all I look forward to on a Saturday

      • Eric012 March 18, 2013 at 7:21 am #

        Is there another Eric out there that I don’t know about? Now changing my ID to Eric 012.

      • Eric012 March 18, 2013 at 7:56 am #

        Not really a plus the Mags losing is it? It brought Wigan 2 points closer.

    • chris March 18, 2013 at 11:13 am #

      I have to agree regarding Larsson. He looked to be the only midfielder who actually seemed to care. I saw his frustration boil up several times. Usually when he had the ball, looking for a pass, only to find no options: only static players clearly not wanting the ball.

      One crumb of comfort, Gardener looks like the best penalty taker we’ve had in a long time.

    • William C March 18, 2013 at 12:30 pm #

      I agree about Larsson. He is not a natural central midfield player, but he dosen’t hide and he always gives his best. He should, IMO, play wide right as he does for Sweden.

      I simply do not understand O’Neill’s thinking. Why on earth didn’t he play Wickham, either from the start, or as an early sub? We are given to understand that Graham had not trained all week, and Wickham had returned from an apparently successful spell on loan? He is probably the only Sunderland player with any confidence at the moment.

  4. Bill Taylor March 17, 2013 at 9:47 pm #

    At least MON’s not disappointed this week. It does upset me so when he’s sad. Let’s just be thankful Norwich didn’t play the whole game with a full complement.

  5. Alan March 17, 2013 at 10:00 pm #

    Well ifos i can recall SESS being the only player who can beat a player and prob been the best player in the last few weeks as for fletcher started well when we bought him but getting found out now he can’t find the space and he is not going to meet the ball when it comes and in the prem you can’t do that he is waiting for it to come to him that’s why you aren’t seeing him involved as for Jhonson a world beater with class players around you ie ya ya toure and silva and teves and co but with the shite that is here he isn’t getting the room coz he is been doubled up all the time we have no runners from midfield ie Larson and Vaughan who played centre midfield today that’s why we cudnt break Norwich down that’s when you should have manager that says look these two muppets in midfield are playing tiddlywinks here ile change it and put whicham on at half time and go and win this game but no not MON he does the opposite and takes a forward off do you get it now isof can’t spell yr name ha ha

  6. Alan March 17, 2013 at 10:13 pm #

    These thumbs down people are clueless we will see if your thumbs are down when you are watching championship football next season coz come the derby game we will be in the bottom three and won’t get out of it this season mind you we will see S Bruce wave us goodbye when his hull are promoted I hope then he comes in and buys half the shit that is here ie Larson Gardner colback bramble oshea Vaughan sick note brown and elmo who he has there on loan goodbye prem hello championship …

    • Terry March 17, 2013 at 10:21 pm #

      I’ll give you a ‘thumbs down’ because your posts are unreadable.

      Can’t be ar$ed to find the content.

  7. Jake March 17, 2013 at 10:17 pm #

    I’m not usually a pessimist but after today I am officially “crapping myself”! As I saw it the ref handed us two massive favours with the handball decisions and we still failed to capitalise. Headless chicken-like substitutions made Martin O’Neill look like, well, a headless chicken and we never put any real pressure on Norwich. I can’t see us getting any points from the next four games oh nurse bring me my medication…..(hope I’m proved horrible wrong)

  8. Ian_SAfc March 17, 2013 at 11:32 pm #

    A draw against 10 men for an hour! I think we’re in real trouble now if we look at the fixture list.
    I’m an optimist but I think we’re in real danger of going down.

  9. Alan March 18, 2013 at 12:56 am #

    Terry that’s because your head is stuck up there.

    • Terry March 18, 2013 at 4:08 pm #

      An apostrophe AND a full stop. You’re getting the hang of it.

      You’ll be including commas next.

  10. Ian_SAfc March 18, 2013 at 1:02 am #

    How long is Cattermole out for? We need someone to boss midfield for us otherwise we’re knacked.

    • William C March 18, 2013 at 12:35 pm #

      Trouble is Ian, he has shown no signs of bossing midfield to date, and I think that the thing he is most likely to do in the present desperate circumstances, is get a red card!

  11. CSB March 18, 2013 at 4:04 am #

    Another depressing summation by the current Manager as have been his recent comments to the press regarding the quality of what he has to work with.

    15 months in and three transfer windows later and we still have the kernel of SB’s reign dominant in the squad….why? Are there a lack of funds (we spent 10mill on Johnson, 5 mill on Graham), do we have to sell before spending? Eternal questions that have yet to be attempted to be answered.

    MON recently said in the press that he now has a good understanding of the squad and that in the summer there will require to be a wholesale clear out…….why have we waited an additional season, the collapse in form last season should have told him everything he needed to know about the squad.

    If he thought that the few additions he has made were capable of turning things around then as our league position indicates he has got it horribly wrong. Past sell by date is a phrase that is being increasingly applied to MON, out of stock one that can be applied to the squad.

    Regardless of what happens between now and the end of the season, relegation or survival, Mr Short will have some very difficult decisions to make at seasons end.

  12. Eric012 March 18, 2013 at 7:47 am #

    We’re DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

  13. A T Hedley March 18, 2013 at 3:45 pm #

    We have to be so grateful to the ref for not sending off Holt for his two footed tackle on our goalie.

    Imagine the ignominy we would have felt when our team would then have demonstrated that they are incapable of even beating nine men.

  14. NUFCarter March 18, 2013 at 7:03 pm #

    hey guys

  15. sobs March 19, 2013 at 4:10 pm #

    Billionare owner+
    manager with a proven track record+
    SAFC=

    relegation fodder.

    Only at SAFC

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