soccernet blog
September 25, 2010
Posted by Lars Knutsen on 09/25/2010

One word sums up the performance at Anfield today by the Black Cats: resilience! Last year when Liverpool suffered that Beach Ball goal against them at the SSOL, it started a slump which they never really recovered from. When Sunderland conceded another joke goal today, they just rolled up their sleeves and got on with it. When you are 1-0 down to a once great club away from home, the leaders on the pitch need to stand up and be counted. For Lee Cattermole, that was not just a case of staying on the pitch, but showing his maturity by providing protection for the back four in that crucial holding midfielder role when The Lads were under pressure in the final quarter of the game.

September 19, 2010
Posted by Lars Knutsen on 09/19/2010

So in the rarified atmosphere of a highly intense and incident-packed game, Sunderland eventually got the point they deserved with a late Darren Bent strike. Arsenal are real force in English football as we all know, but they seemingly had the force with them today until the last minute of the contest.

In a great advert for the Premiership, a truly intense and compelling game, the Londoners took the lead with a freak goal from Fabregas, which made even him burst out laughing. I suppose a weird, playground goal was only to be expected eventually in recompense for that beach ball effort against Liverpool last year, which put the Merseysiders into a downward spiral. No downward spiral for the Black Cats in this game though as the home team went on to dominate the first half. Bent led the line well and was on the spot to rifle home after a classic goalmouth scramble in the dying seconds.

September 17, 2010
Posted by Lars Knutsen on 09/17/2010

So this weekend sees in-form Arsenal against a Sunderland team that seem to be gelling into a powerful and effective unit. We have often heard that the Gunners do less well against the physical meat and potato teams of the North, as Bolton were called when Allardyce was their boss a couple of years back. And that ongoing spat, handbags at 5 yards, between Big Sam and the more urbane Arsene Wenger this week helps to add spice to the Premiership. Blackburn definitely have meat and potatoes tendencies, unlike Sunderland.

September 15, 2010
Posted by Lars Knutsen on 09/15/2010

OK, I admit I was maybe a bit hasty in questioning Gyan's record transfer fee. My last posting received over 40 comments, mainly telling me how Asmoah G. would settle quickly in the top league in the world. So he arrived and made an impact after just training for one day with his new teammates, as well as being jet lagged after a game for Ghana. Gyan was fresh and focused enough to sweep in a majestic cross from Jordan Henderson for a truly stunning strike that put Sunderland in with a chance of winning the game after the earlier indiscretion from Lee Cattermole.

September 3, 2010
Posted by Lars Knutsen on 09/03/2010

I suggested a couple of weeks back in this blog that we need to trust the manager regarding our attack, and now Bruce has conjured up the signing of Ghana World Cup star Asamoah Gyan.

But £13.25 million is a lot of money for a striker who only scored 14 goals in 47 games for his previous club Rennes. We have seen players such as David Healy who excel for their national side while not really hacking it in the top league in the world, so let us hope that Gyan is different, age at least is on his side.

Lars Knutsen Lars Knutsen was born in Sunderland of Norwegian parents across the Wear from the SSOL back when shipbuilding not car manufacture was the city’s main industry. His first game was in 1968 and he has followed the Black Cats since then, with great memories of the 1973 FA Cup. He hopes the “yo-yo” days are over and defines supporting a team by whether the result affects your mood (but maybe not in the way portrayed in the book “Fever Pitch”!) so has been cheerful recently. He endured school in Newc**tle, has a Ph.D. in Chemistry, a Professorship at Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia, and works in the Pharma industry as a consultant Medicinal Chemist.

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