Team Selection: Moot
Somehow we were able to beat Hull last week, yet against Swansea this past weekend we were nothing short of dreadful. How can we swing from positivity to abject negativity within a week? Where is the consistency?
From yesterday’s showing there is very little evidence to suggest that the current Sunderland squad, managed by David Moyes, has any ability to perform consistently. Was the win against Hull nothing more than pure luck?
Almost every player on the pitch, with one or two exceptions, was simply dreadful. No fight, no communication, no quality, and no passion. Something has to change in the core of this current squad because for several seasons now they’ve looked extremely poor. Where is the determination to succeed, and where is the pride? This current squad look hopeless.
Moyes didn’t use any young players ahead of their European final this Wednesday, and rightly so. However, our final games of the season are both this week with a trip to Arsenal on Tuesday followed by a visit to the lair of the champions, Chelsea. Will Moyes simply use these games as an opportunity to give players game time? Arsenal are still in the hunt for 4th place, so will be desperate to take points this Tuesday and Chelsea will want to end what has been a great season for them on a high note. Simply throwing young players into the mix in these games could potentially damage their development, but they do need to be given an opportunity to shine. It’s a tricky one.
Tom’s Rating: 1/10 - Gutless performance that was simply dreadful to watch. The players simply didn’t turn up and this week’s double-header could cause further misery. Worrying.
In this section of the article we normally go into some detail regarding the tactical approach to the game/what we would like to see worked upon. However, after Saturday’s performance, there just seems to be very little point in really examining these issues.
Truthfully we have looked clueless all season, and have had no real system to speak of. George Honeyman gave us the energy and buzz needed last week to defeat a Hull side who have bottled their own chances of safety. There was no urgency against Hull because there isn’t a plan. We seemingly have no idea in how we’re supposed to play, and even if there is a coherent strategy behind the scenes the players simply aren’t performing. We look clueless.
Tom’s Rating: 0/10 - Inept doesn’t describe it. We simply aren’t good enough and play like a bunch of strangers. We’ve asked this time and time again, but what are the players being told to do?
We made two subs before half-time removing players from the fray who were ‘injured’. Now, this might seem totally cynical, but both of those subs seemed a little suspect if truth be told.
One of those players has recently posted images on social media whereby he appears to be packing his belongings into suitcases ready for a move, while the other is a loan player who will get a better move elsewhere come the end of the season. Odd? Maybe.
Either way, their replacements didn’t do much either.
Tom’s Rating: 1/10 - Were those injuries truthful, or merely convenient for players who don’t want to be foremost in the firing line? We’ll never know.
Post-Match Comments: Obvious & Irritating
Everyone watching can see we need big changes. We need to alter the playing staff and I think everyone is aware of that.
Jordan Pickford has been fantastic for us but he should never have got involved in the free-kick and we found it hard chasing the game.
We lost two players through injury which didn't help. We changed it at half-time but ultimately we needed to impose ourselves on Swansea. The first goal was the turning point.
Not sure why Pickford has been singled out here because although he has been fantastic, as noted by Moyes, he wasn’t the only one to blame for yesterday’s lacklustre display. Even if the first goal didn’t go in, I didn't see anything from the team’s performance to suggest that Pickford’s unfortunate error was a cathartic moment. We were simply woeful all over the park.
Moyes is right about the need for a new playing staff, but the big question is whether Short and co. think there is a need for a new coaching staff after this dismal campaign. Media mutterings say no, but the performances surely have warranted a discussion.
Tom’s Rating: 5/10 - Definitely need a new squad, but not sure why Pickford received so much singular stick. Not sure the first goal really was the turning point as we looked poor throughout - and even in the led up to the first goal.