Sports – Films – Reviews – Life Stories – Video Games It's all here on The Rif Files.
Sunderland vs. Swansea City
Barclays Premier League
Venue: The Stadium of Light, Sunderland
Goals: Gomis 45’+3, Defoe 62’
Today, Sunderland have picked up their first point of the season with a 1-1 draw with Swansea City. Before kick off, I was surprised to learn that club legend, Michael Gray has been banned for criticising the club. What bullshit. He’s achieved a lot at the club and his opinion counts. Just imagine if that Kevin Phillips who was in that position, they would be protests in the streets. Let’s hope that Ellis Short doesn’t read this otherwise I’ll be in for the chop!
Speaking about Ellis Short, I learnt that he’s worth around 2.5 billion whiles Huw Jenkins is worth 40 million. Since Huw took over the reigns at Swansea they’ve climbed the leagues, established themselves as a solid Premier League side, won a trophy and had a run in the Europa League. Sunderland have appeared in a cup final and continued to survive in the Premier League by the skin of our teeth. That makes the position we’re in even grimmer.
There’s a ton of empty seats in the Stadium which doesn’t surprise me. Just sad knowing that there was a time where we were constantly packed to the rafters back in the good old days of 1997-2000. There was a much better start from the lads where we were running off the ball, taking people on and taking the fight to the Swans. Our final balls were shocking but the effort was there and I can’t fault them for that. High intensity and fully committed, just what I like to see from the lads. Swansea had spells where they were dominating the ball which was expected but we were looking much tighter and putting them under pressure which resulted in them making mistakes. Despite the drop in attendance, the fans who showed up today were in good voice so full credit to them.
Jermaine Lens is causing many problems already and he’s going to be key this season. He does has his flaws though, like Cattermole and Rodwell, his tacking can be reckless. They all picked up early yellow cards very early on which made the rest of the match nervous viewing. Surprisingly, no one got sent off!
Danny Graham’s overhead kick was something of sheer beauty. Would have been even better had it went in! Would have loved to have seen Danny Graham of all people to score with an overhead kick, had it did hit the back of the net, I’m certain that it would eclipse the Zidane goal from the 2002 Champion’s League Final!
Billy Jones did very well with the overlaps and the crosses. He wasn’t caught out of position which is a rarity for him. Still remember signing him on Football Manager’05 for Ajax, became a club legend he did!
Towards the end of the first half, we were sitting too deep which allowed Swansea to pile on the pressure and it was a question of when not if they would score and that would come courtesy of Gomis in injury time. Van Aanholt and Coates were responsible yet again for us conceding.
One of our biggest problems lies with the way our defence and midfield operate. The defence and midfield are on top of each other which opens up a gap between midfield and attack, so when we do win the ball there’s inevitably four defenders around our strikers and it allows their defence to sit on the half way line which adds more pressure in our half.
The bad habits from our last games returned with us all over the place and whacking the ball up field just hoping for the best. We almost made it 1-1 but Lens was offside, miles offside in fact, but he had nice control so I’ll forgive him for that. The high energy work-rate from the first half was gone as we were running on tired legs.
Step up Jermaine Defoe with what could be his final goal for the club as he levelled the game at 1-1. Brilliant build up play from M’Vila, Lens and Graham. Yes, I’m praising Danny Graham. Just imagine what I would be writing about him had his overhead kick went in!
Swansea responded positively and were all over us. Gylfi Sigurdsson nearly clinched the winner but had a shot palmed round the post by Pantilimon. That’s got to be save of the season right there!
In the end, I’m pleased with the result. I don’t know what Dick has said to them during the week but it’s worked. Let’s build upon this. Let’s get a victory over Exeter in the cup then go out and get a win against a team that I’m tipping for relegation, Aston Villa.
To you Swansea fans, I have huge admiration for your club. It’s the poster boy for the way a football club should be run and how I want to see Sunderland operate both on and off the field. You’ve got an ambitions chairman who’s willing to invest in the squad, they play a quality attacking style of play, loaded with quality players and you have a talented young manager in Gary Monk who is my pick to become the next England manager someday. It’s a club that’s going places. They’ll be competing for trophies and playing in Europe season in season out mark my words.
I reckon a draw is a fair result. A defeat for either side would have been cruel.
First point on the board, a pleasing performance, let’s build upon it.
Current league position (out of 20): 20th
Rif’s Man of the Match: Costel Pantilimon (Sunderland): He kept us in the game by pulling off some crucial saves.
Next game: Exeter City @ The Stadium of Light (Capital one cup)