I'm really trying my best not to be generous with these ratings, such is my overwhelming frustration. However, the fact is overall we were not poor, but we relied on players who were poor to win us this match. Perhaps it's players who take the brunt of the blame, but maybe Gus Poyet deserves a little criticism. That is purely in hindsight mind, I don't think too many were arguing with the team selection before kick-off.
I think we all needed last night to cool down a little, gain some perspective and realise that yesterday was actually...yeah who am I kidding. This cloak of positivity is much too small to cover the major cracks oozing through.
There isn’t much point in me raiding the vocabulary bank in search of some superlatives which may vaguely describe just how important this match is. Quite simply the only thing that truly matters in a game like this is winning three points. We need to turn the mountain that is survival into a molehill and replicating the quality and application shown in the latter stages of that incredible win over Chelsea will go some way to securing that. We probably all earmarked this game at the start of the season as a win but let’s not be too naïve in dismissing the very real possibility that Norwich can cause us problems.
After that fantastic extra time triumph over Chelsea on Tuesday night, we go into the crucial home fixture with Norwich on Saturday with at least something to cheer. However, having marked the West Ham and Norwich games as ‘must win’, a draw at the Hammers means we really need three points on Saturday to keep our slim survival hopes alive. Really, really need three points!
Nights like these is what being a Sunderland fan is all about. It's was not all rosey, there was a contrast in brilliant and poor performances. Thankfully the majority were brilliant, as was Gus Poyet who made the perfect substitutions at the right moments.
You know what, I don’t know either. I’ve got no idea whatsoever. Almost from absolutely nowhere, despite being bottom of the league we burst into a ray of bright, sunny, gutsy brilliance. Sunderland cast aside yet another Champions League team at the Stadium of Light – this time Chelsea at the second attempt to catapult us into the semi-final of the League Cup. Semi-final. Why aye man.
Well, there are definitely culprits who arguably cost us three points yesterday – but there were also some pretty excellent performances. The result might be massively irritating but I have to give credit where its due and the vast majority of our players had an excellent game yesterday.
For crying out loud man, this is all just starting to get a bit silly. Two away games, two clean sheets and god knows how many chances missed leaving us ruing four vital points dropped. It is hard to take, draining even – but I can still claw a fair few positives from today’s draw, namely that it was probably our best performance to date.
Despite the fact the most fans didn’t expect many points to be harvested from back-to-back home games against Chelsea and Spurs, the manner of the latest defeat seems to have left fans a little more gloomy than before (if such a thing were possible). Today we play West Ham United and with that at the forefront of our minds it seems quite apt that we take a look at past results and a player who lost his way at both clubs.
It was always going to be a difficult task to pick up the pieces at Sunderland after the devastation caused by Paolo Di Canio at the club. The size of task for Gus Poyet was a steep one with demoralised players and not the slightest semblance of a team being built. This was not only due to the exodus of three of the stars, a mixed influx of replacements and a third of the squad in the last year of their contracts.