Quick Kicks: A Right Pair Of Berks; Tactical Kobayashi Maru

Chris Brunskill

We take a look back at the game that joy forgot - Sunderland's senseless surrender to Hull.

THE Talking Point

Right then... Phil Bardsley, Wes Brown, and all that. Where do we stand on this particular mess?

Since Saturday I think I've seen a whole host of different points of views on it. Some say Bardsley was principally at fault for creating the situation out of nothing. Some say Brown was unlucky and in an impossible position, whilst others say he was mainly to blame for an awful decision. I think most just think they were both a right pair of berks.


I am definitely in the latter group, though I am more inclined to lay the bulk of the blame with Brown. Yes, Bardsley's pass was atrocious and indefensible. A player should not be struggling in that position.

But a player of Brown's experience should be doing a better job at assessing the risks there. He was never getting the ball, and if by some miracle he was getting it it wasn't going to be without coming through the back of Shane Long, which would have been a foul regardless.

Bardsley made the mistake and wasn't in a position to deal with it. Neither was Brown. He should have passed it on to Vito Mannone to try and rescue it.

And if he couldn't, then so what? The absolute worst case scenario there was 1-0 with 85+ minutes still to play with 11 men. That is a considerably healthier position than playing pretty much a whole game with a man less.

Sunderland's home form has been marred by poor decision-making this season. Shooting form distance when a pass is available, trying to walk it in when an actual good shooting chance is crafted, etc. But Brown's was the worst decision of the lot so far.

The Tactical Response

Again, this has been a big talking point, with many believing that a midfielder rather than a goal threat should have been sacrificed.

I would personally agree - if it was the 64th minute rather than the 4th.

Let's not forget that at the time of the red card the scores were level. There was still something there to protect and no need to throw everything forward and take risks.

I think Poyet got in right. Try to keep it tight for as long as possible and hope the game opens up a little for them. You can always throw another attacker on later.

But it's almost disingenuous to argue the toss over it anyway. The fact is that Poyet had a bit of crappy decision forced upon him. We were talking about degrees of sacrifice, not anything actually progressive. A veritable Kobayoshi Maru.

It's wholly unfair to criticise him for me.

Write It Off

This was something we found ourselves a lot saying earlier in the season but thankfully we haven't had to for a while.

There is nothing at all we can learn from it, nothing at all we can do about it, and nothing at all worth taking from it.

Just write it off and move on. Sh!t happens, etc.

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