Sunderland Vs Oxford Utd – Match review 03.08.19

Footballs back! First day of the season is always exciting, personally I like an away game to start with, but still felt pretty giddy on Saturday morning.

It’s no secret that we are currently plying our trade at a level below where we probably should be? Last season was ultimately a failure, but we got what we deserved in the end? Finished 5th and despite being given a goal head-start at Wembley, we never really looked like winning. But…….Never Look Back…….. onto 19/20.

Sunderland Vs Oxford Utd - Match review 03.08.19
Feels like we’ve never been away? (More of that later)
Sunderland Vs Oxford Utd - Match review 03.08.19
Here we go again

Defensive mix up and it’s 0-1

They have a goal disallowed, looked in real time like it could have been handball? TV showed it was probably a legitimate goal? Player reaction is huge and not one of the ten SAFC players in the box appealed for handball.


We win a penalty, whilst their defender was a bit naive sliding in, it looked, (in real time and on TV), like a decent tackle? The penalty still needs putting away though and Gooch did this with consummate ease.

Sunderland Vs Oxford Utd - Match review 03.08.19
1-1 game on!
Let’s hope the story of last season, isn’t the story of this season?


game over
Sunderland Vs Oxford Utd - Match review 03.08.19
Last time we drew the opening game at home 1-1 after going 0-1 down and equalising with a dodgy penalty, we went to Norwich, (bit like Ipswich?), and smashed them 3-1; the highlight of which was a wonder goal from McGeady.

Like thousands of others I’ll remain as positive as I can.

I’ve said many times, it’s a game of opinions…., and so it should be. I’ve used this blog to praise and criticise in equal measure, and on the occasions I’ve been negative, I’m delighted to be proven wrong. As the curtain raises on a new campaign, it seems like a good time to offer a few opinions…..

Yesterday was one game, pretty much irrelevant in the bigger scheme of things and a draw is better than a loss. 34’000 is an amazing crowd; realistically most would agree that, this season needs to be different than last. The detrimental effect of 19 draws has been well covered, (lose 10 & win 9 and you win the league, created a culture of being unbeaten/doing ok etc. Not winning yesterday doesn’t matter, but I left the game feeling like I did so often last season? Did we really entertain and control in more than a dozen or so games last season?

Working from the back…..


He was good last year and will be this year. If he does have a dip, the evidence is our new keeper is also very good.


Not very good last season, not very good yesterday – but it’ll take time for the new boys to bed in? Ultimately conceding 1 goal in a home game, shouldn’t be the end of the world if things are ok at the other end of the pitch? Hume steaming forward is exciting, but his delivery was woeful, but like strikers missing chances, at least he was getting in the positions and on another day would have created a goal or two?


Hugely promising debut from Dobson and for me McGeough was the best player on the pitch – he hasn’t reached his potential at SAFC, (mainly due to injuries), but he is a fantastic footballer – expecting a good season from him. I’m not aware that Power was injured, whilst Grant has been given the captaincy, the placement and tone of Power’s article in the programme, suggested he was in line for the armband? Might be reading too much into it….. but shades of the Honeyman omission from the Portuguese trip?

On the subject of Honeyman…. probably not the best choice as Captain last season, (hindsight a wonderful thing – as I thought at the time he was a good choice), but always gave 100% and in a era when we’ve had so many shithouse players stealing a wage, he always gave it everything. He came in for a bit of stick, but let’s remember the internet gives idiots a voice, (yes, I know). For me…. Thanks George and Good Luck.


No Wyke in the squad yesterday…… suspect he may be subject to an offer?

McNulty looked decent and expect goals from him.

Grigg…….. I have on occasions been critical of Will Grigg. For me, (game of opinions), he looks like a man who doesn’t give a shit. 3 subs yesterday, 2 of the players applauded the fans, 1 didn’t bother. We’ve all worked with people who can’t be arsed….. he just looks that way? Come on Will, prove me wrong…….. I have no problem whatsoever with lack of ability, but lack of application in a SAFC shirt is unacceptable. When 10 of the players were celebrating in front of our fans at Rochdale, you didn’t bother….. I don’t know whether you want to be here, but you are – we’ve all had jobs we don’t particularly enjoy – please prove me wrong….. looking like you don’t give a shit, is just as bad as actually not giving a shit!


I’ve always been in the Pro JR Camp….. but I do have reservations.

We have no divine right to win games, but being the biggest club, with the best support, the biggest budget and the best players, should be quite a good starting point? We lack a swagger, our squad is the best in the league by a mile? I’m not suggesting a change, (yet), but it’s got to improve, (and soon)……. yes, the players regularly underperform, but let’s remember Sam had players looking like world beaters and 2 months later Dour Dave couldn’t get a shift out of the same players?

I like Jack, I really do, but it just feels like a massive opportunity could be passing him by? Something is missing from the way we perform, we have the players to piss the league, (as we did last year).

All said and done, momentum is massive and we go again Saturday.

Sure some will read this as negative shite after one game, (that’s fine…. opinions etc), but it’s only because I care.


CM a clown, I no longer comment on SD.

Satori remains the key, I’ve just got a feeling we will be seeing much more of him sooner rather than later………. watch this space I guess?

SAFCBlog – It’s not the Expectation …… it’s the Hope that hurts the most