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March 21, 2011
Posted by Lars Knutsen on 03/21/2011

So this was another chance for Sunderland to end their 5 match winless run, which is fast becoming an issue for the team. As pointed out previously, winning is a habit, and losing can fast become a habit too. In the end Sunderland did not score on Sunday, and have not done so in the last 3 games. What is at the root of their current problems in front of goal? Injuries have played a big part, as they did again in this clash, and no team should never underestimate Liverpool, they have some classy players, but are we using new signings Muntari and Sessegnon effectively in a way that benefits the team? We have not won since they arrived. The issue may be that while we have talented players in the squad, they are somehow not knitting together in this phase of the season, unlike in the first half. Clearly we are missing to goals so well poached by Darren Bent in the past 18 months, we kinda got used to that.

March 16, 2011
Posted by Lars Knutsen on 03/16/2011

The striker moves in the last transfer window were incredible, and dominated by Sunderland and Liverpool’s deals. The Reds, though, sold an out of form striker for £50M! On retrospect the signing of Suarez and Carroll were complete genius by Kenny Dalglish, with the Uruguayan showing amazing control to set up Kuyt’s first against Man Utd.

We will see them in action again on Sunday lunchtime at the SSOL of course, and that will be another fascinating contest, which Chairman Niall Quinn confirms is a total sell-out. If the Stadium of Light is ever to be expanded to 64000, as originally designed, we have to fill it for games like this one. We really look forward to seeing Danny Welbeck back in action with Gyan at home.

March 7, 2011
Posted by Lars Knutsen on 03/07/2011

C’mon Arsene, man up, and stop being such a miserable g*t! As reported by Soccernet “Wenger was 'disgusted' by disallowed goal”. Stop the constant referee blame game! It evens out over a season, matey, and The Black Cats have had several goals unfairly disallowed this season. If an Arsenal player commits a foul, Wenger’s response is “I did not see it”. If a Gunners goal is disallowed, the incident is seen in excruciating detail.

March 5, 2011
Posted by Lars Knutsen on 03/05/2011

Sunderland kept an unchanged team, so we had these line-ups for this important game for both sidea at the Emirates Stadium:

Sunderland: Mignolet, Ferdinand, Mensah, Bramble, Bardsley, Henderson, Muntari, Malbranque, Richardson, Sessegnon, Gyan. Subs: Gordon, Riveros, Welbeck, Colback, Elmohamady, Knott, Noble.

Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Djourou, Koscielny, Clichy, Denilson, Wilshere, Nasri, Diaby, Arshavin, Bendtner. Subs: Almunia, Rosicky, Ramsey, Squillaci, Eboue, Gibbs, Chamakh.
Referee: Anthony Taylor (Cheshire)

Arsenal were obviously tense early on, maybe the need for a win and, the thoughts of chasing Man. Utd. were getting to them. They were caught giving the ball away, and Sunderland forced a corner after 2 min., which set a pattern of the play being in the home half in the early stages. Another corner for the Lads in the 8th min. led to “goal machine” Phil Bardsley firing wide, what an amazing season he is having. Arsenal did not really threaten until the 10th minute, when Nasri shot straight at Mignolet. Perhaps Arsenal had half a mind on the midweek game against Barcelona, but they were not committing many men forward, aside from Bendtner.

Posted by Lars Knutsen on 03/05/2011

Sunderland have a great record in London this season, with that total dismemberment of the then in-form Chelsea, as well as draws at Spurs and Fulham. What are their chances on Saturday at the Emirates? If they can emulate Birmingham's storming performance from last weekend, they are good. The Gunners' Midlands adversaries in the League Cup Final were fearless, passionate and deserved their last gasp win at Wembley. I am pleased to say I was there the last two times Sunderland won at Arsenal. On Guy Fawkes’ Night 1983, I took a very special person to the game, and Sunderland scored twice through Ian Atkins and Colin West. There were only 26,000 at Highbury, the Red and White Army were standing and the second goal went in just after half-time. Beer sloshed everywhere as the assembled Mackems celebrated! How things have changed now when watching top-flight football!

March 3, 2011
Posted by Lars Knutsen on 03/03/2011

Are Sunderland AFC in crisis? A run of 4 defeats, littered with defensive errors that we were punished for, does not make good viewing on SAFC TV. These defeats have not been good for the team’s morale, and especially after the way The Lads played against Stoke and Spurs, games we could and should have won. This run would dishearten any outfit, and it is time for the leaders on the field to stand up and be counted. The trouble is that leaders like Cattermole and Turner are injured.

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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