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Poyet Explains Sunderland Altidore Selection

Gus has had a go at explaining the decision that probably cost Sunderland three points against West Ham.

Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Jozy Altidore's mere selection over the fit-again Steven Fletcher for the West Ham game, never mind his shocking miss, caused plenty of raised eyebrows, so just what was behind Gus Poyet's thinking?

Well, after the game, he explained it:

I watched a few of the games and when we've been at home, we miss people going in behind. I think Jozy does it a bit better than Fletch.

And then when it was a bit more open, you can have Fletch in the box.

It was just a decision. If Jozy scores, you would be saying what a great decision I made!

We're searching. I think I need to find the formula because at the moment, this is the group we've got and we have to go with that.

So, basically, worried about a lack of penetration, it was deemed that Altidore would make more incisive runs off the ball and open up better passing opportunities for the midfield that Steven Fletcher, who plays deeper with his back to goal. I can accept that.

A player like Fletcher is very creative if he has pace around him and running beyond him, but he's unlikely to worry many defenders from a physical standpoint himself.

The 'why Jozy, though?' question doesn't really end there, though. Connor Wickham is not aggressive enough for my liking, but he has the sheer size, stature and mobility to worry a back four. May be it's worth trying that in the apparent perpetual search for 'the formula'?

I actually like Wickham on the left. Well, I understand it, at least. Poyet likes a striker playing from that position and Wickham is about the only one even remotely suitable. However, the longer the goals are running dry with Wickham stood out on the touchline, the bigger the elephant in the room it will surely become.

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