Vital Football

Latest Sunderland AFC News

Collins: It's the pitch, honest...

Collins: It's the pitch, honest...

Danny Collins has insisted that Sunderland's less than gorgeous football is down to the state of the pitch at the Stadium of Light, and not because the players are incapable of playing the good stuff.

Seemingly keeping their best performances for our fabulous away fans, Sunderland have turned in several iffy performances on Wearside, despite the positive results.

And John Toshack's least favourite player is certain that the sole reason for their less than convincing home displays is down to the pitch.

'It was a scrappy game and was as difficult to play in as it must have been to watch. The crowd started to get on our backs a bit and that was a bit frustrating.

'We would all love to play slick, pretty football, but that's not always possible. I have to say that the pitch isn't helping us at the moment. I don't know what's happened to it, but the pitch is very bobbly and it doesn't make things easy.'

Whilst Collins may have a point about the dodgy pitch, that does not excuse the countless wayward long balls that were played - Collins and Nyatanga amongst the worst offenders - over a 5 man midfield, and often nowhere near an isolated Daryl Murphy. For that Collins would no doubt blame the wind, and as that left play impossible on the deck and in the air, it is probably for that reason both teams decided not to bother all together, in a preposterously dire encounter

'We could still have played better and Norwich worked very hard all over the pitch to close us down. But at the end of the day we came into the game without a defeat in four and now it's five games so we're on a nice little run and we and the crowd want that to continue.'

It seems that Collins, like Lawrence and a few others before him, seems to be of the new breed of sensitive footballer who takes even the slightest criticism to heart. For all we've been through in recent times, the crowd have been incredibly patient and offered fantastic support, and complaining about their frustrations is not a road Collins should be recommended to go down.

We can appreciate a shit pitch when we see one, but we can't be expected to sit back and shut up when the 5th consecutive long ball heads aimlessly out of play, as a ridiculously deep Sunderland have 5 men running over each other in midfield.

Nonetheless, the defence has taken a lot of stick this season and it is time to give them some credit. Firstly they shouldn't be expected to be ball players and the midfield should certainly take more responsibility for the lack of fluid passing. And secondly, they must be congratulated on another clean sheet, as up against a side that includes Earnshaw, Huckerby and Dublin, this is no mean feat. Collins, bless his little heart, is eager to point this out.

'We'll play better as a team this season and lose the game, but we stuck to the task and it's very satisfying to keep that clean sheet. For a defender, that's like scoring a goal.

'We've been pretty solid but have ended up conceding poor goals, but that didn't happen in a game that we always thought was going to be tight. Robbie Earnshaw's the form striker in the division, but he didn't get a clear chance all game and that was a pleasing. We kep him pretty quiet for the 90 minutes.

'If things aren't going for us going forward then we have to dig in and make it difficult for the opposition, which was how we went against Norwich.'


Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Writer:
Date:Monday December 4 2006
Time: 3:20PM

Login to post a comment

Recent Sunderland A.F.C. Articles

Vito Speaks Of Challenge To Keep No1 Standing

Goalkeeper Vito Mannone is up for the battle for who takes the first team regular spot in the Black Cats' side when the season starts.

EFL Trophy Groups Confirmed

A short time ago, the full draw for the Group Stage round of this season's EFL Trophy was made.

EFL Trophy Academy Teams Confirmed

A short time ago, we finally had an announcement confirming which 16 Category One Academy sides would be taking part in this year's trial with the EFL Trophy.

Winter Break Nears For Premier League?

Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore has admitted talks are underway on the potential of introducing a winter break for the top flight in the future.

Archived Vital Sunderland Articles

Vital Sunderland articles from

Site Journalists

JoJo
Editor email
Profile

Current Poll (see more polls)

Who do you want as the next manager?
Suggested By:
David Moyes65%
Sean Dyche4%
Nigel Pearson3%
Steve McClaren1%
Frank de Boer11%
Ryan Giggs5%
Roberto Martinez0%
Jurgen Klinsmann4%
A N Other7%
ScoopDragon Premier League Network Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 AFC Bournemouth 0 0 0 0 0 0
2 Arsenal 0 0 0 0 0 0
3 Burnley 0 0 0 0 0 0
4 Chelsea 0 0 0 0 0 0
5 Crystal Palace 0 0 0 0 0 0
6 Everton 0 0 0 0 0 0
7 Hull City 0 0 0 0 0 0
8 Leicester City 0 0 0 0 0 0
9 Liverpool 0 0 0 0 0 0
10 Man City 0 0 0 0 0 0
11 Man Utd 0 0 0 0 0 0
12 Middlesbrough 0 0 0 0 0 0
13 Southampton 0 0 0 0 0 0
14 Stoke 0 0 0 0 0 0
15 Sunderland 0 0 0 0 0 0
16 Swansea 0 0 0 0 0 0
17 Spurs 0 0 0 0 0 0
18 Watford 0 0 0 0 0 0
19 WBA 0 0 0 0 0 0
20 West Ham 0 0 0 0 0 0
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News

Recent Sunderland A.F.C. Results (view all)

Sunderland A.F.C. Fixtures (view all)

Vital Members League Table

RankNamePoints
1.The Flasher1
2.acid man1