I had a fear when I saw the weather forecast for up here that things may go wrong on Tuesday. We had been enjoying incredible weather but from Tuesday night it was going to break and wind & dark clouds was the forecast for the next week. So it proved for Sunderland, the cup run ended and a lot of dreams shattered. This morning though, as I write this, the sun is streaming through the window. The window is blocking out the strong wind but strong wind is normal for life up here. Life has returned to normal with the wind but it is bright outside.
What does that mean for Sunderland. Well being a supporter our dreams are often broken, no Wembley for us, maybe next year. Life back to normal? Not quite, we do have a bright side. We are 8th in the league as we go into April, that's not normal. We have a manager who has taken a team that was heading for relegation and propelled it up to these dizzy height. MON has also given us a cup run that we have all enjoyed. Think of the dreams we had leading up to Tuesday evening. MON has given us hope of a promised land. Yes we have had this hope before but I feel much more optimistic that this time it could happen.
Anyone who thought that Everton would lay down in front of us and say, you go through to Wembley were deluding themselves. They are a good team, on a par with us in the league but have been together much longer. They know each other and Moyes knows them. Moyes & MON are also on a par, I have a lot of respect for them both. Also Moyes has a large squad of decent players to pick from, we have a first team and not much else. The defence is the weakest part when you take into account injuries. I think that is where our problems started. A defence that did not know each other, with Kyrgiakos who proved to be a big liability, at the heart of it made the rest of the team uncertain. The team's mind was more on shoring up the defence than closing down Everton as we had been doing, instead they were closing us down. The midfield never got going, instead of close neat passing we played long balls that never reached a red & white shirt. This meant we were always on the back foot. The only player who came out of the game with any credit was Mig, yet again. Sess & McClean can be blamed less than the others as they had such poor service. As for everyone else best to forget the game.
I have read criticism of Colback for not playing, what tosh. Anyone how has had a child knows it rubbish. If a father wants to be there when the birth happens he has every right, especially the first. It is something you will never experiencing again. How long did the birth take, 5 hours, 12 hours, 24 hours, 48 hours or even more. Was the birth straight forward? What was Colback's emotionality & physical state after the birth? We don't know but from personal experience after 4 kids, I was tired & could think of only 1 thing and that was not work or football. Yes modern day footballers are well paid but they are human just like us all. I say well done to the new family and every happiness to them.
As I have said before we don't need to fear any team on most days. Not so sure about tomorrow though. I hear that Bridge & Catts are injured and Richardson has only just returned to training. That makes a injury list of defenders of O'Shea, Brown, Bramble, Bridge and a unfit Richardson. It does leave us threadbare at the back. Therefore a lineup of maybe Bardsley, Kilgallon, Turner, Colback or Rich if deemed fit enough. We must be hard up starting Kilgallon but better than Kyrgiakos. This defence does not inspire me with confidence but who else? I would of liked to of seen Egan or Laing given a chance but both are out on loan. There is a outside chance of Gardner, Kilgallon, Turner & Bardo, been done before I think.
With Catts out & maybe Colback in defence then it must mean a chance of Meyler. So a midfield of Larsson, Gardner, Meyler, Vaughan, McClean. Being away at the City ground I think we will have a 5 man midfield, who will try to break up City. That means Sess will be up there on his own. I don't think it will be a high scoring game for us, we will be sitting back and hoping to score on the break. What we don't want is what happened on Tuesday, pumping high balls into nowhere in the hope that Bendtner or someone will get it. It did not work then and won't work on tomorrow.
OK then my team, Mig, Bardo, Killgallon, Turner, Colback, Larsson, Gardener, Meyler, Vaughan, McClean, Sess. I will be very conservative and go for 1-1 or 0-0. Lets hope I am right.
Lets not be downhearted after Tuesday, we have come a long way since Bruce. The boys will need to know we still love them and believe in them so
Shout ya Hearts Out for the Lads