August 31, 2010
How goals change games. What looked until added time on Saturday like a poor start to the season by the Black Cats was suddenly transformed completely by a dramatic late penalty winner by Darren Bent. The first half was also high drama and Manchester City ultimately paid a high price for that casual early miss by Carlos Tevez. However satisfying the win was, this was not a siege, and although the result was reminiscent of the 3-1 trouncing of Spurs late last season, the final supremacy this time was provided by a more controlled performance - very encouraging.
August 16, 2010
A game clearly dominated by Sunderland, but which was decided by some odd refereeing decisions and four very strange goals. Steve Bruce was obviously disappointed with the referee, but he can be proud of the team, who dominated until running out of steam at the end. The defence has been strengthened and looked solid until the last 15 minutes, when Birmingham streamed forward against the Black Cats’ ten men. I was irritated by Cattermole’s petulance, as many doubtless were since the newly-appointed captain showed poor judgement with the second tackle on Bowyer.
August 11, 2010
With the shock news today of Kenwyne Jones signing for Premiership Giants Stoke City, the squad is looking a bit thin at the front and back. OK, we have really bolstered the defence and midfield, but with Jones’ departure there is not much cover up front, with just Bent, Campbell and Waghorn as recognised strikers - David Healy has not made the expected impact. Following Craig Gordon’s injury, Trevor Carson is our most experienced keeper, while Mignolet finds his feet in the best league in the world. We can see why Bruce is trying to bring in some cover, and we have to give the manager the benefit of the doubt, with 3 weeks of the transfer window remaining. His signing of Darren Bent a year ago was a piece of absolute genius.
August 5, 2010
The new squad rules for Premiership Clubs seem quite well thought out in my view since they encourage home-grown talent as well as youth. And generally, anything which Arsene Wenger disagrees with is usually fine with me, and to be honest, to most British football fans. I have been sad to see some of Wenger’s Arsenal teams without any English players at all. It is as if Wenger sees the proximity of London to the Channel Tunnel as its most important feature - the train to Paris from St. Pancras is now really close to the Emirates Stadium. The rules say that 8 of the 25 man squad to be named at the end of each transfer window have to be home-grown players. The good news for Sunderland fans is that our club with 12 players defined as home-grown, qualifies with ease.