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Talking Points: Stuttering streams, bad SAFC defending & conspiracies - post-Bradford reaction!

What are the key Talking Points coming out of Sunderland’s loss away at Bradford in pre-season last night? We run through them all...

Sunderland AFC

Stuttering streams!

I don’t know how much the club had to do with the quality of the stream that was provided to supporters who couldn’t be there in person, but it was absolutely shocking.

Bar about twenty minutes of the second half it was completely unwatchable, and people asking for refunds are completely justified in doing so.

Fair play to Frankie Francis and Lee Howey (who I thought was excellent on commentary and they should seriously consider bringing him back on a more regular basis) for managing to keep us in the loop on what was going on, because their description of the action helped a lot as I tried to figure out which pixel was the ball and who was doing what.

Hopefully, everything gets sorted by the weekend.

Defending was poor for both goals

You can’t read too much into performances in pre-season, but I imagine that Alex Neil won’t have been happy with the defending from his players for both goals.

Let’s start with the first - and to be totally honest, I think the young lad in goal, Jacob Carney, should have done better. He doesn’t spread himself well enough or close down the angle as well as he perhaps should have, and the ball creeps under him - he’ll probably agree that he should stop the shot.

That said, Carl Winchester could have stopped it getting to that stage and in the build up to the shot he was caught out on the wrong side of the goalscorer, and was too easily shrugged aside - you expect more from an experienced senior player.

The second goal was even worse though, and it was rank, sloppy play from Lynden Gooch to give away the penalty - a slight reminder that we’re a little short in the full back positions at present.

I don’t want to dig them out too much though and again, I have to remind myself that it is just a friendly - but there are things to work on coming out of this game, and that can be healthy to how things progress on the training ground ahead of the new season.

Bradford City v Sunderland: Pre-Season Friendly Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

How much can we read into the team selection?

I saw a few people suggesting that Neil might have been trying to prove a point by playing a kid in goal, a kid out of position at left wing back and with no strikers - could there be any substance to that?

Of course there could, but I don’t think that’s what happening here.

If you look at who had played the least amount of minutes already in pre-season prior to the game, pretty much all of them started and featured in this one.

That’s it for me - these players needed minutes in their legs, and they got them.

Though, I’m sure Alex Neil knows as well as the rest of us that we need another striker through the door this week.


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