The Rif Files

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Sunderland Career Mode #11: Tyne Wear Derby/ 2 Month Special


After our success in the Capital One Cup, I was hoping that the victory would bring confidence to the guys as the Premier League season is starting to come to a close. Not many games left and we’re slipping down the table in danger of missing out on a top ten finish for the first time since 2011. I’ve decided to take a risk and change my formation to the ever popular 4-2-3-1. I felt a change was needed to help bluster up my leaky defence with my two defensive midfielders pushing back to help the defence whiles still maintaining our attacking threat. Will it work? Let’s find out.

Wednesday 4th March 2015: Barclays Premier League

Hull City 2 Sunderland 2

Mannone/ Van Aanholt/ Ake/ O’Shea/ Jones/Lingard/ Huddlestone/ Coman/ Rodwell/ Johnson (Buckley)/ Fletcher (Wickham)

Goals: Coman 8’ 18’ Altidore 45’ Livermore 88’

MOTM: Coman (Sunderland)

The trend of both former player coming back to haunt us and conceding in the final moments continues. Hull are in a relegation battle so this is a great point for them but a disappointing one for us. A missed opportunity.

Sunday 8th March 2015: Barclays Premier League

Manchester United 6 Sunderland 2

Mannone/ Van Aanholt/ Ake/ O’Shea/ Bellerin/ Alvarez/ Cattermole (Bridcutt)/ Borini (Coman)/ Rodwell/ Johnson/ Fletcher

Goals: Di Maria 5’ Falco 12’ Rooney 45’ Fletcher 56’ Vidal 71’ Van Persie 84’ Johnson 90’

MOTM: Di Maria (Man Utd)

At least we scored I guess….

Tuesday 17th March 2015: Barclays Premier League

West Ham United 1 Sunderland 2

Mannone/ Obita/ Ake (Ayham)/ O’Shea/ Byram/ Lingard (Alvarez)/ Huddlestone (Fletcher)/ Coman/ Rodwell/ Johnson/ Borini

Goals: Valencia 10’ Johnson 66’ Rodwell 89’

MOTM: Johnson (Sunderland)

At last, we are back to winning ways. It didn’t come easy but I’m proud of the determination the lads showed here. Let’s see how long we can keep this up.

Saturday 28th March 2015: Barclays Premier League

Sunderland 1 Aston Villa 2

Mannone/ Van Aanholt/ Ake/ O’Shea/ Bellerin/ Huddlestone/ Cattermole/ Borini/ Alvarez/ Johnson/ Fletcher (Wickham)

Goals: Benteke 45’ Alvarez 49’ Agbonlahor 78’

MOTM: Delph (Aston Villa)

Not long it seems! The Villains were simply better than us and deserved their win.

Tuesday 31st March 2015: Barclays Premier League

Sunderland 3 Newcastle United 2

Mannone/ Van Aanholt/ Ake/O’Shea/ Byram/ Larsson (Alli)/ Cattermole/ Borini (Coman)/Rodwell/ Johnson/ Fletcher

Goals: Cisse 22’ Fletcher 52’ Anita 59’ Fletcher 73’ Coman 87’

MOTM: Coman (Sunderland)

One of the most intense games I have ever played which had many people saying that it was better than Liverpool v Newcastle from ‘96! The Toon were out for revenge whiles we wanted to make it 5 in a row over our heated rivals. It was everything you wanted in a derby and more.

Saturday 11th April 2015: Barclays Premier League

Sunderland 0 Crystal Palace 0

Mannone/ Van Aanholt/ Ake/ O’Shea/ Byram/ Huddlestone/ Cattermole/ Borini/ Rodwell (Coman)/ Johnson/ Fletcher

MOTM: Hangeland (Crystal Palace)

This is so frustrating! We just never settle into a run of sorts. We were miles better than Palace and how Hangeland won man of the match is beyond me. He only cleared a Ake header off the line.

Wednesday 15th April 2015: Barclays Premier League

Arsenal 2 Sunderland 2

Mannone/ Van Aanholt/ Ake (Ayham)/ O Shea/ Byram/ Cattermole/ Alvarez (Borini)/ Coman/ Rodwell/ Johnson/ Fletcher

Goals: Coman 4’ Wilshire 20’ Ozil 67’ Fletcher 90’

MOTM: Coman (Sunderland)

I’ve got to be honest here guys, I don’t think Fletcher’s goal should have counted in all honestly but I’ll still take it regardless.

Monday 20th April 2015: Barclays Premier League

Stoke City 0 Sunderland 3

Mannone/ Van Aanholt/ Ayham/ O Shea/ Bellerin/ Huddlestone (Alli)/ Cattermole/ Coman (Wickham)/ Rodwell/ Johnson/ Fletcher

Goals: Fletcher 4’ 51’ Johnson 90’

MOTM: Johnson (Sunderland)

Stoke took all 3 points when we faced them at the SOL so I was gunning for revenge. We should have scored more but Thomas Sorensen (former player and club legend) made sure the score line was 3-0 and not more.

Monday 27th April 2015: Barclays Premier League

Sunderland 2 Southampton 0

Mannone/ Van Aanholt/ Ake/ O Shea/ Bellerin/ Cattermole/ Huddlestone (Alli)/ Borini/ Alvarez (Coman)/ Johnson/ Fletcher (Wickham)

Goals: Fletcher 12’ Johnson 74’

MOTM: Borini (Sunderland)

We end the month of April with back to back victories. Unlike their cup final display, Southampton just didn’t seem to kick it up a notch. They were too defensive and I don’t understand why that was. They’re in a solid mid table position so relegation isn’t a problem yet that still have some chance of finishing in the top ten. We took advantage of that and walked away with a well-deserved victory.

After the Southampton game it was confirmed on Sky Sport News that Hull City were relegated to the Championship and manager, Steve Bruce was given the sack by controversial owner, Assem Allam. We received some bad news when Vito Mannone pulled his hamstring on the training pitch. I feared the worse but he’ll only be out of action for a week.

Player of the months: Kingsley Coman

This guy is an absolute must buy for any manager. I’m telling you now; I’m going to sign him up in the summer no matter what the price may be. Outstanding talent.

FIFA 15 Career (In Menus)

Four games left and we are currently 7th in the table. There’s a VERY slim chance for us qualifying for next season’s Champion’s League. For that to happen, we need results to go our way meaning we need Arsenal, Everton (who we play in one of our final games), Newcastle and Man United to drop points. That’s a huge ask but still, we’re already guaranteed European football next season so it’s nothing to cry over yet it’s something to build upon next season.


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