clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

QUICK KICKS: Swansea 2 - 4 Sunderland Thoughts & Reaction

Four goals, three more from Defoe, two Adam Johnson assists and one happy manager - it's Quick Kicks!

Michael Steele/Getty Images

What The Gaffer Said

Sam Allardyce called this game a 'must not lose' as opposed to a 'must win' pre-match, but as soon as I saw the starting eleven it was fairly clear that we weren't going to Swansea to try and hold out for a point.

We could have been three goals up inside the first ten minutes and scored one.

Then they got the penalty where it looks like he's kicked the floor. That lifted the crowd and made life extremely difficult for us. We had to weather the storm.

Swansea scoring immediately after the sending-off, on a breakaway, put us under enormous pressure at half-time.

Half-time for me was about the lads doing their jobs properly and pressing, a high press which is not something we usually do away from home.

Playing against ten men, we had to shut Swansea down in their own half every time they tried to play.

That's what worked for us in the end and the clinical Mr Defoe has won us another game.

We're putting the myth to bed that Jermain can't play up front on his own because he's won us two games now.

There were big calls both ways but at the end of the day we played with the situation as it panned out to come back and win the game; that's all we can do.

We had our destiny in our own hands today and we've taken the opportunity.

It's an enormous, enormous, enormous three points, which gives us a lot of encouragement and hope going forward.

I'm delighted for the fans; they deserve that result and can enjoy that long journey home now.

I'm so pleased for them after all the fixture disruption – they still came in their numbers to cheer us on and it's a great result for them.

Sam's right - the way we rode through the pressure after going 2-1 down was promising. Having beaten Villa, Swansea and Newcastle already this season it's fairly apparent that we have some sort of edge over the teams around us. What we have to start doing is pick up points against the bigger boys - we've shown we can beat the poor teams.

Defoe Will Separate Us From The Rest

Having scored five goals in the space of four days Jermain Defoe has completely debunked the myth that he cannot play up front on his own. The key to getting the best from him is ensuring our attacking midfielders give him support and that we keep the ball on the floor.

He isn't going to be able to play as a lone striker if all we do is constantly punt long balls forward to him like we did in the first half against Villa. It's simple. Just keep it down and utilise the skillset he has, which you do best by finding gaps in our opponents back line with defence splitting passes.

We knew when we signed Defoe that if we created the chances, nine times out of ten he's going to get a shot on target. Only now do we seem to be playing a system which suits him. Having a number ten behind him has been cruicial in the last two games.

When you look at the other sides down the bottom nobody has a forward with the quality that Jermain has, and that could be the thing that ultimately separates us and them. I think back to the January window last year, when we swapped him for Jozy Altidore with Toronto FC, and people were questioning whether or not he was still capable of doing it at the top level.

How many of the sides down the bottom would snap your arm off for Defoe now?

With Johnson It May Be A Case Of Taking The Rough With The Smooth

In the last two games Adam Johnson has provided assists for three goals - and another key pass which he fed to Fabio Borini led to the first Jermain Defoe strike yesterday evening.

Other than that, Johnson has flitted in and out of the last two games but ultimately his quality has shown when it was most important and I feel perhaps that it could be a case of taking the poorer aspects of his game on the chin and allowing him that free role to create chances when he can.

Undoubtedly, we score more goals with him in the side. As frustrating as he can be, it may well be worth it if we're to continue to notch as often as we are.

Van Aanholt Playing With A Point To Prove

Around the time that Dick Advocaat lost his job it would be fair to say that the most under-performing player in our side was Patrick Van Aanholt, and he was rightly panned for it by just about everyone. He lost his place in the team when Big Sam first took over and wasn't brought back in until he'd played with the reserves a couple of times.

Ever since we've seen the occasional glimpses of the old Patrick Van Aanholt but in recent weeks I've noticed a change in attitude from him. He worked tirelessly up and down our left hand side last night and although his goal took a deflection he's at least getting himself into scoring positions and creating chances - his job primarily is as a left back, but if you can get him to play well both offensively and defensively like he did last night on a more regular basis, we'll be laughing.

I wrote in my last edition of 'Quick Kicks' that I felt that Van Aanholt needed to start showing consistency, and last night he did just that by following up his showing against Aston Villa with another thoroughly decent performance.