Sunderland (H) - Hindsight makes us all look smarter


Well-Known Member
May 26, 2004
Thread starter #1
Six days ago a 1-1 draw against a Sunderland side that was destroyed by their North East rivals seemed like another poor result as we struggled for Premiership points. Now of course, after Sunderland beat Chelsea emphatically three-nil it seems a good solid point, the starting point for a good run in the league and hopefully some big points.

After the highs of the Inter victory, White Hart Lane was subdued, the crowd struggling to get up for this game against lesser opposition. However, Sunderland proved that their defeat to Newcastle, no matter how one sided, was a blip. The team from Wearside was actually unbeaten in the league since August, and has not lost against last season’s top six.

Spurs dominated the first half but lacked a true cutting edge. We had plenty of shots form distance, and Modric and Van der Vaart excelled while Bale was kept in check. However, our lone striker was out numbered in the box, and despite Craig Gordon making some good saves, I did not feel any of them were ‘worldies’, as Paul Merson would say.

Sunderland’s lone striker, Gyan, was even more isolated and our defence had no problems dealing with the red and white threat. But Spurs lacked that real threat and I think Sunderland were quite happy as long we played in front of them.

Crouch came on for Pavlyuchenko, and created yet another goal for Van der Vaart. There may have been a sniff of handball from the Dutchmen, but you felt this was the luck that would break Sunderland hearts. All we needed to do was keep a clean sheet.

Oh those elusive clean sheets. Sunderland had decided to put Welbeck up front with Gyan at half time and they had looked a little more dangerous, but our defence contrived to get in each other’s way and allow Gyan an easy chance to score. I suppose the silver lining is it convinced Steve Bruce to go with two upfront at Stamford Bridge, but we really were our own worst enemies.

In the end, the actual game will dissolve from the memory, just like Howard Webb’s performance. However the boos that accompanied the final whistle, directed at the team or ref depends on your viewpoint, and Harry’s reaction may linger longer in the mind.