Blogs & Opinion


David Jones:

Most Popular Posts:

Sunderland: Ki and Lee Cattermole can help Black Cats survive

David Jones - David Jones Posted 18th December 2013 view comments

The dramatic extra-time victory over Chelsea was just the Christmas present Sunderland fans had been hoping for.

After all, they had been good all year; supporting their team through thin and thinner and for a time under Paolo Di Canio becoming the laughing stock of football fans nationwide.

Sunderland are in strife, says David, but Ki can help them improve

Sunderland are in strife, says David, but Ki can help them improve

At last, here was a moment of hope, far removed from the doom and gloom of the Barclays Premier League, which Sunderland will prop up on Christmas Day.

Fitting, too, that the moment of joy was delivered at the Stadium of Light which is where Sunderland's league fate will be decided over the coming days, weeks and months.

Survival is not beyond them, but it soon will be if they can't turn their home into a fortress: just look at the evidence.

Ki shines like a lone beacon as a success story from a summer of slapdash recruitment.

David Jones
Quotes of the week

Saturday's game against Norwich will be their first at home since the opening day against a team in the bottom half of the table.

They have 11 more matches at home, all winnable and only one against a side in the top eight (Everton): the door is still open for an unlikely escape.

Saying it though is one thing, doing it consistently has proved beyond them for some time, as four wins in 31 games testifies.

Playmaker

Ki Sung-Yueng quite rightly grabbed the headlines against Chelsea with his well taken goal, and he shines like a lone beacon as a success story from a summer of slapdash recruitment masterminded by director of football Roberto De Fanti.

Cliched as it sounds, the South Korean really is the key to Sunderland's survival; he has thrived as Gus Poyet's playmaker and can continue to dictate games with the muscular presence of Lee Cattermole beside him.

It looks like Cattermole has earned his manager's trust and now he must keep it with the quality of performance he showed against Chelsea.

Emanuele Giaccherini buzzed around the pitch, too, with his best display in the red and white stripes, showing off the kind of trickery that should be too much for lesser opponents.

Now all they need is a striker with the finishing touch: for all Jozy Altidore's commitment to the cause, goals elude him; Steven Fletcher could be the answer but only if the supply line improves.

Perhaps Poyet's Christmas wishes will be answered by his owner Ellis Short - who must surely wish he turned to the Uruguayan when he dispensed with Martin O'Neill back in March - in the form of a new player or two in the January window.

Short has gambled before to protect his t Premier League investment and may choose to again.

You will forgive the upbeat indulgent message, after all it is Christmas and if you can't be positive at this time of year you might as well give up... and no one on Wearside is ready to do that.

Catch Sunderland play Cardiff, from 5pm, Saturday, Dec 28 on Sky Sports 1.

back to top

Other Football Experts:

Latest Posts in Football:

Latest News RSS feeds

Chelsea in good shape for PSG

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho is likely to have a strong squad to select from for their Champions League game with Paris Saint-Germain.

'Let's throw some punches'

New Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood says he is planning to install a more attacking approach at the club.

LVG: We must sign a midfielder

Louis van Gaal has confirmed that Manchester United will attempt to sign a creative midfield player this summer.

Live transfer updates

Live transfer news as Louis van Gaal makes the signing a creative midfielder his top priority this summer.

Bony trains with new team-mates

Wilfried Bony has trained with Man City for the first time after winning the Africa Cup of Nations with Ivory Coast.

Features

Tim Sherwood's to-do list: Five things the new Aston Villa manager must make a priority if he is to succeed

Tim Sherwood's to-do list: Five things the new Aston Villa manager must make a priority if he is to succeed

As Tim Sherwood settles into his first day at work as Aston Villa manager, the challenge of keeping the Premier League perennials in the top flight begins.

Pogba? Verratti? Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal wants a creative midfielder but who should he sign?

Pogba? Verratti? Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal wants a creative midfielder but who should he sign?

Only a fortnight after the transfer window closed, Louis van Gaal has set tongues wagging again by admitting that Manchester United need to sign a creative midfielder.

Xabi Alonso impressing at Bayern Munich under Pep Guardiola and eyeing a third Champions League medal

Xabi Alonso impressing at Bayern Munich under Pep Guardiola and eyeing a third Champions League medal

Adam Bate looks at Xabi Alonso's fine form with Bayern Munich and why he can make history this season.