Sunderland 3 v Rochdale 0

Sunderland 3 Rochdale 0

Sunderland 3 v Rochdale 0

Taking 6 points from 2 home games was the perfect response to losing at Portsmouth. We expected to win last night, but we know only too well – turning home games into points has been an arduous task in recent years? 

It feels like we are hitting form and gaining momentum at just the right time. Whichever way you look at it, last night was as routine a win as you’ll ever see, aside from the obvious benefits of 3 points, goal difference, morale, confidence etc, we didn’t expand an awful lot of unnecessary energy and we were able to give key players a rest in the 2nd half.

Relentless Sunderland

First and foremost, huge credit to the lads for another victory. Rochdale weren’t very good 1st half, but we really put them to the sword, this was perfectly summed up by their gaffer, who said we were relentless – what a great word to sum up our recent improved fitness and intensity? 

A huge frustration is the amount of teams that come to SOL and set out to frustrate through time wasting, play acting etc – whilst this is annoying, it’s a veiled compliment to us and whilst not the most attractive approach, it does represent a plan of sorts? 

We were brilliant 1st half, but I’m not sure whether Rochdale had a plan? Sitting deep and allowing us to get out wide was never likely to be a great idea for the Lancastrians? But….. credit to the lads on a job very well done.

Anyone reading this will have been at the game, listened to the game, watched a feed of the game, read about the game, had conversations about the game etc….. 

With this in mind, I’ve decided on a slightly different approach tonight…. player ratings….. we’ve had a settled team of late, and are performing well as a team, so it seems a reasonable idea to look at the individual performances.

Sunderland Player ratings……

Jon McLaughlin

He had the quietest of quiet nights. He must have been fucking freezing?

 Whilst not tested last night, his recent form has been brilliant, reflected by the amount of clean sheets. 

Confidence is massive with keepers, ultimately it doesn’t matter why he’s back to his brilliant best, but he is! Credit must go to new goalkeeping coach, Lee Butler.

Goalkeeping Coach – Lee Butler

denver Hume

His first touch is sublime, his final ball is mostly poor. He’s got pace to burn and he is a raw talent that just needs channelling – of our current squad, he is the one I would back to make it at the very top level. 

Whilst it’s natural to have a stronger foot – it’s bonkers to have a professional football who avoids using his right foot at all costs! Not since the portrayal of Christy Brown by Daniel Day Lewis has there been a more redundant right foot?

Bailey Wright

Looking like a fantastic signing. He has slotted in perfectly – a centre half who goes mostly unnoticed whilst keeping clean sheets is a great thing – on the evidence of his misses at Tranmere and on Saturday, I hope he’s not reliant on goal bonuses?

jordan Willis

Playing well, his contribution attacking down the right has been a huge bonus of late. He’s clearly a natural athlete.

Tom flanagan

My Man of the Match against Ipswich and steady last night. Credit to him – as he’s spent a lot of the season on the bench and never lets us down – he’s also the centre half of the 3 that offers a goal threat from set plays.

Luke O’Nien

He’s just mint, so refreshing to see a footballer who just loves being a footballer. If you have the time, watch one of the behind the scenes videos that the club put out on Twitter etc – watching Luke arrive on a matchday is a breath of fresh air.

The King

What a turnaround, he’s gone from eating chips with his scotch pal, to playing brilliant. He was previously fat and is now fit. He covered every inch of the pitch in the first half last night, setting up 2 and having a hand in the other goal.

Lynden Gooch

He’s been brilliant since his return, we need to go up as he will be playing Championship football regardless of where in August. The outing of McGeady has probably benefitted Gooch’s game more than anyone else?

George Dobson

Seems to come in for a bit of stick, but I’d have him in the 1st eleven every week. He had a tendency to go missing in early season games, but he is getting better every game.

Max Power

He’s not done a great deal wrong, but I’m surprised that Scowen isn’t starting? Although competition for places is never a bad thing?

Charlie Wyke

He epitomises all that is good about us at the moment. Heart of a lion and always gives 100%.

“Just stay calm Charlie and avoid any sudden movements…. the police are on their way”

The Subs

Difficult night for them as the game was flat and effectively over. 

Wyke playing so well is always likely to limit Lafferty’s involvement, Seymenyo has pace and looks like he gives a shit – a good option to have on the bench. 

SAFCBlog likes Watmore….. he’s clever, he’s a nice lad, he cares etc – sadly, (and it’s heartbreaking for him), it’s beginning to look like injuries have taken their toll?

Watmore…… what more in the name of love

SAFC Blog Verdict………

We are playing well and competition for places is healthy. It’s a big game Saturday, but it’s great to be involved in big games?

All roads lead to Oxford 


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