Poyet Can Emulate Southampton in Player Development

Apart from the fact that they were playing us at the time, I thought that Southampton were a joy to watch yesterday. Part of that was their style of play – Lambert leading the line well, with Lallana and Rodriguez linking up extremely well with him (a far cry from the huge gaps between Altidore / Fletcher and our midfield), and Jack Cork impressive in the centre of midfield, where Ki was overran, as Cattermole and Larsson had nightmares alongside him. In fact, it’s not stretching things too far to suggest that Southampton may be a very good role model for us under Poyet – if, as I hope he can in time, Poyet is able to tweak his system a little so that we give more support to the front man, and we can start pressing teams higher up the pitch. [More]

The Guilty Men

Bottom of the league at Christmas, with ten points from seventeen games. With half of the season gone, not a single league win against another team in the bottom half of the League. Twelve goals in seventeen games, five league wins in the whole of 2013 (only one more win than we have had managers in this year). Right now, Sunderland are a shambles, and look like relegation certainties (and as Sunderland fans, we should know what a relegation side looks like, we’ve seen plenty before). [More]

Striking the Right Balance

Last week, on this site, Richard Burn took a look at our best midfield combination. It is a measure of how quickly things are developing at Sunderland at the moment that even in the two games that have taken place over the last week, many of the questions about our best midfield have been answered – not only can Ki Sung-Yeung and Lee Cattermole (at least until his next injury / suspension) play together, they MUST start as many games as possible if we are to entertain hopes of staying up. The only outstanding question there seems to be who should start alongside them, if any, in midfield. Increasingly, then, Gus Poyet’s main selection dilemma seems to be about which striker – or strikers – he should start with. [More]

Sunderland 1-3 Arsenal: Match Analysis & Report

It was clear to all outside the dressing room that we would struggle today when the team selection was announced. I can understand a manager having a favoured system, and trying, generally, to stick to it. I struggle a little when that system is one that no other team in the Premiership plays, and which doesn’t suit our players – exposing as it does our weakest area. [More]