Writer: Paul Wallis
Date:Thursday January 21 2010
PAINFUL BUT NOT A SHOCK
The 7-2 defeat to Chelsea still hurts nearly a week later. As a passionate Sunderland fan, it does take a while for defeats like these to get out of your system. Conceding 6, or 7 always brings national humiliation with it. What I will say, though, is that the overwhelming emotion at full time was relief...this wasn't a shock result. Our defence has been chopped and changed far too much due to injury and suspension, that coming up against a well rested Chelsea team, even with their Africans missing, was never going to end well. Lorik Cana just doesn't have the understanding with the rest of his back four and cannot resist his trademark challenges, which don't suit in your own box! Chelsea, though, were outstanding and could have easily had 10 on the day, such was their domination in possession. Sometimes it's just best to forget about days like these and move on.
WINDOW HOTTING UP
With a fortnight to go in the transfer window, things finally seem to be hotting up. If you have been following our twitter feed, you'd know that rumours of the imminent arrival of Matthew Kilgallon from Sheffield United have been coming in thick and fast and it seems to have been confirmed by some sources and he will arrive before the weekend. Turning down Newcastle earlier this month will give him a good start in popularity stakes with the fans but to be honest I haven't seen much of him at Sheffield United as a centre half/left back so can't comment on his ability. It is thought that Everton have showed a strong interest in the former Leeds United man, which sounds promising but he is still unproven in the Premier League. He is coming in at a crucial time though and should he sign, will surely get games early as the injury problems continue. At the moment though, I'm not entirely convinced an unproven player is what we need in these nervous times, but I'm willing to trust Steve Bruce's judgement on this one and we'll wait and see.
CUP RUN CAN BE A BOOST
We face troubled Portsmouth at Fratton Park on Saturday in the FA Cup 4th Round. I always find that winning a 4th round tie means you can start to get excited as you're one step from a big Quarter Final. I think this is a big game for SAFC, as we need an away win to boost fragile confidence. The return of the likes of Andy Reid, Craig Gordon & possibly Cattermole & Mensah could give us a massive massive boost and I really think (hope?!) we can win this one.
Prediction: Portsmouth 1 SAFC 2
Monday back at work after shipping 7 goals was never going to be an easy ride. Resident NUFC fans looked smug as expected. Yes, it is a bit comical giving us stick after they have lost to the mighty footballing towns of Scunthorpe & Blackpool, but still you expect it. What I wasn't expecting though is a Middlesbrough fan sticking a 7-2 sign on his back and walking past me. Yes, the mighty 'Boro had just lost yet again in the Championship and sit proudly in mid table. I pointed this out to him and he couldn't really respond with anything..but lets face it, Middlesbrough will be the least of our worries for a good while to come it seems.
Sunderland & Wigan away wins
That's all for now,
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Date:Thursday January 21 2010
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Team Sheet: Stoke v Sunderland (Saturday April 25 2015)
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