Sunderland A.F.C. - Behind Enemy Lines - Part 3
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Behind Enemy Lines - Part 3


Never has a Christmas period of fixtures been as important as those in 2009 for SAFC. Yes, we may not be battling at the wrong end of the table at the moment, but keep up our current form and we soon will be. A chance of a valuable bonus point was there on Saturday but we failed to take it, despite scoring three really good goals. Sadly, once again, defensively we were shocking. The movement of Bellamy and Tevez tortured our back line all afternoon, leaving Santa (Cruz) with all the gifts (tap ins). Games against one of our bogey sides, Everton at home and Blackburn away are crucial for our seasons future. 4 points should be the aim as a minimum to keep our season on track. The return of Cana from suspension will be a boost, and Bruce should team him up with Cattermole once again. Turner (see below) missing again is a blow, meaning possibly Mensah & Da Silva reunited with hopefully Bardsley back at right back after Nosworthy's performance at City. It should be a superb festive atmosphere at the SoL and I'm going to say we can just about sneak it.

Prediction: SAFC 2 Everton 1


The performance of Andre Marriner in Saturday's game has got to be the single worst performance from a ref in an SAFC game that I have witnessed. It was incredibly bad. Then, to make things worse, our appeal against Michael Turner's red card was rejected and a further game added to the ban. This, I'm afraid, is an utter shambles. Turner clearly didn't go out to hurt Gareth Barry and it was an accidental collision. This decision is up there with the one following the FA Cup game against Tranmere in the Peter Reid days, where Tranmere played an extra man for the last few minutes and won the game 1-0. The FA decided the result should stand. It's interesting to note that Samir Nasri stamped on a players foot at the weekend, yet on reviewing video evidence, the ref, Steve Bennett decided no action should be taken. It's no wonder people talk about the FA favouring the bigger clubs!


The latest argument amongst NUFC & SAFC fans is who has the best supporters. This has been brought about after Newcastle have been getting gates of around 44K, reaching a peak on Sunday of 49K+ in the Tyne Tees derby and of course their lowly league position of 21st! One journalist this week has stated that NUFC fans are basically the country's most loyal fans after all they've been through. He also suggested that Niall Quinn will be upset by the attendance of 'only' 34K against Aston Villa last week, when compared to the 49K at the sportsdirect. All a rather petty argument really and all I will say is that both sets of supporters are loyal and passionate and will always turn up in numbers whatever league they are in. SAFC will get a capacity crowd against Everton on Boxing Day. Enough said.


One more final thing to say is that I hope you all have a great Christmas (top half of Prem?) and get all you asked for (6 points) from me and everyone at vitalsunderland.

Next blog will be in the first week of 2010.

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The Journalist

Writer: Paul Wallis Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday December 25 2009

Time: 11:53AM


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