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2 Up, 2 Down: The good, the bad and the last minute from Sunderland’s draw at Doncaster (Part 1)

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Will the last minute equaliser by Doncaster Rovers mean our panel will struggle to come up with positives from our draw at the Keepmoat? Let’s find out in this week’s 2 Up, 2 Down... part 1!

Doncaster Rovers v Sunderland - Sky Bet League 1 Photo by Michael Driver/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Tom Albrighton says...

Positives - simply Leadbitter’s thunder-bastard of a strike that was so good it made my trouser parts twitch and the fact I don’t have to watch Sunderland for a couple of weeks because I’m not on the podcast.

Yet more hesitation from Parkinson has cost Sunderland the game. Clearly having more substitutions means nothing to our Phil as he again waited until the game’s complex had entirely changed before even looking towards his bench, allowing Doncaster to get on the front foot, safe in the knowledge any changes would come too late and be like for like.

The utter predictability of Saturday’s result. Not even a rocket from Grant Leadbitter can put any gloss on another toothless performance. Lots of ball, very little product. All fart, no shit. We all knew what was coming and snatching the lead before half time only briefly upset the apple cart.

The fact Parkinson’s selections, subs and overall tactics are so predictable and invariably absolutely awful is just a massive, massive downside to all that precedes it. Parkinson’s post match comments just rubbed salt into the wounds. A man totally detached from reality.

Doncaster Rovers v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One
Phil Parkinson and Darren Moore auditioning early for Strictly Come Dancing 2021
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Kelvin Beattie says...

Very happy to see O’Nien and Connor Mac partnership continue to develop. O’Nien is more productive in this position and McLaughlin continues to improve, not only in his defensive duties but link up play with Luke.

For half an hour in the first half we moved the ball much quicker. Not only is this much more attractive to watch we actually looked dangerous and should have had at least a goal or two. The ref missed a stonewall pen for me. But lets acknowledge an absolutely smashing goal from Leadbitter who had a very good game.

For the negatives, Wyke’s performance by anyone’s definition was poor. For a big fella, very little sticks at his feet and his heading ability again on this performance has to be questioned. My view is both Grigg and Graham would offer more to a faster more expansive game.

It was also clear that the bench should have been used earlier. Gooch appeared to take a knock, Maguire and Scowen went right out of the game. I would have preferred us to have killed this game of rather than hanging on for a point.

Doncaster Rovers v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One
Luke O’Nien
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Damian Brown says...

In the positive column, we have individuals who continue to shine in short bursts at random intervals, indicating that their talent is there to be utilised, just so long as it can be honed into an effective force.

There was also the first screamer we’ve seen in a good while, and more’s the pity it was topped off with capitulation because in isolation, it’s the kind of goal that people watch football for. If that had happened with a stadium crowd to witness it there would have been f*****g limbs mate. Pyewah scenes ow. LIMBS!

On the negative side, up to relatively recently, Parkinson was guilty only of a strange selection process and a reluctance to utilise subs. Recent games however, and this one in particular, is a much more sinister pattern: one of tactical negligence and malpractice.

Doncaster Rovers v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One
Grant Leadbitter casually scoring a thirty-yard screamer at Doncaster Rovers
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Far from being simply another journeyman manager who is reluctant to blood promising youngsters, he is now evidently guilty of blatantly mismanaging games and shows absolutely no willingness to adapt to given scenarios that aren’t regressive.

His failure to micromanage that game is an unfortunate but undeniable testament to his inability to micromanage our season. He has to go. [insert gif of James Franco saying this in This Is The End].

Lastly, we’re now stuck with an impossible situation. We’re forced to concede that our manager can’t glean the best from his squad, so he needs to be replaced; who with? What with?

Despite promise of a takeover our destiny seems as clouded as it has ever been.