Cardiff Point Means More than Everton Three

I was out celebrating my step-son’s birthday as the lads were (eventually) battling their way to a point on our very first visit to the Cardiff City Stadium. Checking my Twitter feed for updates I decided it was a lost cause at 2-0 down after around 75mins. A final check getting in the car home brought the surprising news that somehow we had managed to haul ourselves level for a vital point. Very un-Sunderland like this; first passing, now comebacks? What on earth is going on Gus? [More]

Cardiff Vs Sunderland: A Look Back

After the much welcomed novelty of winning at Goodison Park – in this of all seasons – we head for our first ever league match at the Cardiff City Stadium in good cheer for once. The same can’t be said for the Bluebirds (or is that Red Dragons?). Bonkers, despot leader sacked manager Malky Mackay on Friday in the least surprising managerial axing ever. Scant reward for ending Cardiff’s 50 year plus exile for England’s top division last year. Often when a team change manager there’s a big response from the players due to a sense of relief, being able to draw a line under past performances and move on. You can’t quite see it the same way this time though, with players and fans lining up beside Mackay rather than Bond-esque villain and owner Vincent Tan. So a possible chance to capitalise on a club in chaos perhaps? [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]

Stick with Poyet for the Long-Term, the Problem is Inherited

We stand one point closer to safety than we did last week, but the reality of our predicament has long been clear. A monumental surge in form needs to happen for the club to remain in the Premier League and long-term planning has to begin to ensure that if the seemingly inevitable does happen, we can compete in a difficult league below us. [More]

Sunderland Midfield - What is our Best Combination?

With a new system in place at the club focusing on passing, the area of the first XI which holds the key to success is our midfield. With an accurate, sharp and technically astute core - winning games through knocking the ball about would be much easier. There is, however, an ongoing debate as to what that midfield should contain in terms of personnel. It is one of the few areas in which Gus Poyet has some depth and the right group of players must be selected in ‘the engine room’ in order to accentuate the team’s pedigree. We have already seen most of our midfielders take on this style - but what is our best midfield combination? [More]