Not Good Enough
There’s no skirting around the issue - Sunderland were absolutely terrible yesterday, and it was a defeat that many supporters had expected was coming our way after weeks of clawing our way out of difficult situations.
When the team was announced in the hour before kick off, many of us seemed to greet it with intrigue and excitement, myself included. It was great to see so many attacking players on the pitch, and it definitely gave me an impression that we’d be looking to take the game to Burton.
What transpired was in fact the exact opposite - we were immediately troubled by Burton’s ability on the break and when they finally managed to score after 19 minutes, nobody watching was surprised.
We were poor in front of goal too. Burton didn’t actually have to play well to beat us, and we had more than enough chances to at least get a draw - remarkable considering how bad we were pretty much from start to finish.
There’s no need to panic, because this is going to be a long season and there’s going to be plenty of ups and downs between now and the end of it, but true Champions react aggressively to failure If we are going to be a consistent fixture at the top end of the table, we need to smash Rochdale to pieces next weekend - lord knows that the fans need it.
Farcical refereeing for Wyke challenge
The tackle which appears to have severely injured Charlie Wyke’s right knee was an absolutely shocking one, and how Burton goalkeeper Dimitar Evtimov got away without picking up a red card is beyond me.
Evtimov dove in recklessly and dangerously, with his studs showing and foot high.
Will anything be done about it retrospectively? I highly doubt it.
Goalkeepers are protected too much and had that same tackle happened anywhere else on the pitch, you can guarantee that the offending player would have quite rightly been sent for an early bath by the senior official.
It’s yet another reminder of how bad the officiating is at this level, and with our main centre forward now facing a lengthy spell out of the team it is Sunderland that find themselves worse off here.
Had Evtimov been rightly sent off, the game could have been an entirely different affair.
Burton only signed this absolute knacker yesterday and he’s probably just put our centre forward out for the season... and got away with it.— Roker Report (@RokerReport) September 15, 2018
Studs up and reckless but he’s a goalie so he’s protected. Shameful refereeing. pic.twitter.com/47BqxjKzmq
Questionable team selections
I feel sorry for Denver Hume, because he did absolutely nothing wrong and didn’t deserve to be dropped for the trip to the Pirelli Stadium. His replacement, Bryan Oviedo, was awful for the first goal and added nothing else for the rest of the game - had the tables been turned you can guarantee that people would be calling for Hume to be dropped.
I didn’t understand the decision to keep Adam Matthews in the team ahead of Tom Flanagan either. It was obvious last week that Matthews is struggling and we really benefited from Flanagan’s presence on the ball and height against Fleetwood, so everyone expected that he’d start this game against his old club - sadly, though, he never even made it off the bench.
Matthews was nothing but a liability and kept giving away daft fouls, playing directly into Burton’s hands - surely next week he has to drop out of the side.
Our substitutions were, for once, slow to get in too. Where we probably needed to make a couple of changes at the start of the second half, we didn’t. And by the time Luke O’Nien was thrown on it was far too late - we could have used the extra legs in the middle from the hour mark onwards.
There was plenty for Jack Ross to ponder, then, and we can only hope that we’ll see a more driven and energetic performance from both the manager and the players next weekend.