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Quick Kicks: Thoughts & Reaction To Arsenal 4-1 Sunderland

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For some reason we're adding yet more comment on the weekend's thrashing against Arsenal. We'll stop soon though, don't worry.

Michael Regan

What The Gaffer Said

It could be that we were second best, or it could be that on the day there were things that we simply weren't good enough at - I think it's a mixture of the two.

Arsenal were very good on the ball and we couldn't cope with them, we had a very bad day on the ball; we were very poor and we paid the price.

Maybe it's a good time for it to happen, a week before the cup final; some people say if you have a good result before the game it can make you too confident and others say if you have a bad one it's a wake-up call.

It was a bad day at the office. We weren't good enough against a very good team, maybe it was nerves or something but it's definitely given us something to think about.

The players that came on deserve credit. They came on when we were 3-0 down away from home, I bet they were thinking ‘thanks for that, gaffer', but they did their jobs and then it was a great finish from Giaccherini for our goal.

I had an idea about how I wanted to play next week and which players I wanted to use - today's game has put a few doubts in my mind.

It's an important week for us now; the players are going to have to work very hard to get into the team.

Nothing to complain about with Poyet's post-match comments. All relatively spot on, so we'll move on. Worth saying though that I've yet to find myself really disagreeing with him when talking to the media. Something that can't be said for a lot of other recent Sunderland managers.

Impactual Italian

You're welcome Mr Goldsmith.

Anyway on to the "impactual Italian" and that man being Emanuele Giaccherini, who built on a solid outing against Southampton in the FA Cup with a good cameo performance in this encounter.

Giaccherini has been something of an enigma. Not entirely sure what we do with him, nor where he fits into the Gus Poyet system, but in the past two games he seems to be developing and putting in a strong claim for inclusion down the stretch and in the Capital One cup final next weekend.

Perhaps we've finally begun to work him out and where he can fit into the site. Lovely goal too.

Shaming Rather Than Saving Themselves

For some reason it appeared that very few Sunderland players wanted to fully commit themselves to the game, with an air of not wanting to be injured or suspended ahead of next weekend's cup final, which was incredibly disappointing to see.

In trying to 'save' themselves for the final, they did little but shame themselves with an absurdly poor performance which lacked any sort of guts or guile.

Like Vergini, Shite For The Very First Time

Of everyone who had a poor game, not many if any were poorer than Santiago Vergini.

The back-pass attempt to Vito Mannone proved to be costly, his passing seemed unusually off and to cap things there was the fourth goal where having narrowly avoided scoring an own-goal, with Laurent Koscielny scoring from the resulting corner.

It was an awful day for him, but it's worth remembering that we haven't seen enough of a sample of games to really write him off in the way some seem to be doing so.

Not The One For Catts

Lee Cattermole's omission from the match day squad took me by surprise, however as things developed I was glad he wasn't anywhere near the pitch.

It was exactly the sort of game where due to our own failings Catts takes things into his own hands and usually gets himself in bother. At least now we have him at 100% fitness for the cup final on Sunday where he'll play a pivotal role.