Three Up, Three Down
I hate to say it but there’ll be few more relieved managers than Sam Allardyce today. It was a game Sunderland had to win to stand any chance of staying up. They won, at a canter in the end and derby day delight adorns Wearside once again. As I rode out of Sunderland, arses on show from the men with their kids who’d hung about for an hour and 15 minutes to ‘see us off’ I felt a pang of pity for those lot down the road.
Sunderland were worse than any NUFC have been in the last 6 games. I didn’t think that was possible, but they were. Sunderland were so bad in the first half (and for large sways of the second) it defied belief. Welcome to Sam Allardyce. Sunderland have had 5 shots on target across his first two games. Old habits die hard.
They’re used it by now. Being shit that is. The first half was as quiet a Premier League home support I’ve ever been to at 0 0, let alone a derby. A realisation this is it. But what happened was so important to Sunderland’s season that Allardyce has every right to wake up with a massive grin on his face. It’s what he does best. Play shit. Occasionally win.
It’s happens just about enough to keep his head amongst water in every job post- Bolton and he’s started with a bang here.
Only two league defeats heading into November for Southampton after another summer of losing his best players. The better team against a Liverpool side full of running and a side that makes a habit of coming from behind in games. If they can turn these draws into wins they’ll be very dangerous indeed come May.
When Alan Pardew is saying stuff like;
“I thought Claudio Ranieri was goading our players and he didn’t shake my hand at full-time, which is disappointing. “But it’s a long game and they’ve got to come to our place and we’ll remember that.”
You’re doing something right.
I left the SOL yesterday not that arsed. I don’t place as much importance on beating a terminally disgraceful Sunderland side as many do on both sides of the divide. Last season it was different when United were so bad that I was pleased we didn’t win the game. I was pleased John Carver and the players wouldn’t have this enormous plus on the CV of winning a derby and that Sunderland would appoint Advocaat on the back of it (that turned out well didn’t it). United played with passion, endeavour and skill. We are a better team than Sunderland and they know it.
That doesn’t change the fact McClaren has lost the derby. I was frustrated in the first half that the attacking midfield players weren’t getting beyond Mitrovic. It was too easy, but it should have been even easier. The Sunderland defence didn’t have to deal with runners and everything was in front of them. They handled that really badly but the game should have been out of sight by then.
10 games, 6 points. Not good. I’m behind him, but no more hard luck stories. Just wins and points required.
Louis Van Gaal
Patience is wearing thin…..
Going down I’m afraid….not that there’s any shame in that. It’s been a remarkable acheivment to get this far and they’ve been decimated by injuries to both their best player in Wilson and their record signing in Mings. Eddie Howe has just got on with it and at a time when Jose Mourinho is blaming the world for his failings – he’s a breath of fresh air.
It’s not all bleak for Bournemouth though as they have NUFC rolling into town the week after next….
ALEX HURST – Follow Alex on @tfalex1892