TOTALLY INEPT! enough said!!!!
So we set out at 2.30pm bathed in lovely sunshine and in buoyant mood after Sundays outing to the big smoke.
The further north we got we hit road works, traffic congestion and then to cap it all rain, we should of realised this wasn't going to be our night!
Pepe decided to make 4 changes from the team that performed quite admirably against Arsenal only 3 days earlier with Reid, McAuley, Yacob and Anichebe replacing the unlucky Dawson and Mulumbu whilst injuries forced Amalfitano and Olsson to sit out.
The least said about the first half the better really but I suppose I should give credit to the home side and mention their goals.
From the whistle Sunderland, confident after their recent excellent form set off on the front foot and didn't give us any time to settle. We on the other hand gave them the freedom of the pitch.
On 9 minutes the visiting supporters applauded in respect of one of Albion's true legends then followed it by a few verses of "Astle is the King" and "Justice for Astle"……….Absolutely brilliant.
It was no surprise when Colback popped up in the box with only 13 minutes on the clock to put the Black Cats 1-0 up. No passion, no commitment and no drive, we thought this might be the wake up call the players needed!Oh how wrong we were!!!!
The pattern continued, Cattermole dictating the play in the middle, Brown and O'Shea looking comfortable at the back and Borini and Johnson causing havoc everytime they went forward.On 31 minutes the Albion were torn apart once again but this time Borini found the net knocking the ball past the advancing Foster.Is it just me but why do we persist with Jimmy Morrison in the middle of the park?Don't get me wrong I love the bloke but he's got no positional sense, he can't head a ball, can't tackle and he gets caught too often. Put him on the wing where he's free to express himself and there's less pressure or in the hole where Sessegnon is operating.Dorrans played central against West Ham and looked good but 2nd half he brought Jimmy on and moved Dozza wide which took him out the game completely.
To me you've got to play Mulumbu AND Yacob central then let others express themselves around those two. We had no width on Wednesday and made Cattermole look like a world beater in the middle of the park!Pepe stood on the touch line in the pouring rain most of the first half and it was only when we conceded the 2nd goal that Downing came out and started talking to Mel and pointing.
Half time couldn't come quick enough for the away supporters who'd made the long trip up north and who'd sung their hearts out throughout the first 45 inept minutes.What no pies at half time…………..oh greaaaaaaaaat.
Excellent, Dawson and Mulumbu are warming up, lets change things around and make a fight of it.
Dawson for Reid, fair enough as much as I admire Reidy I think he realises his time is up.Mulumbu for………………………………………Yacob, wtf!!!!!!! Surely that's ‘like for like?'Where's the invention, where's the initiative but most of all where's the ambition gone?
Surely if your going to give players a run out you need to be looking at the ones who will be staying next season and not the loan stars who will be going back to their parent clubs or players who will be out of contract and moving on?
Second half we had a bit more about us and had plenty of possession but was this down to the half time talk or had Sunderland taken their foot off the gas!
We couldn't break them down or get in behind them and they restricted us to long range shots, none of which troubled Mannone.Dawson, who was playing more as a midfielder than right back sent in a wicked cross which Anichebe missed by inches.With 10 minutes to go Vydra replaced Berahino but never really got in to the game.We had to wait until near the end before we actually registered our first shot on target and the Albion supporters went wild as though we had scored. We could still be there now and I don't think we'd have hit the back of the net.
Lee "I haven't got a clue" Mason blew the final whistle to massive cheers from the Mackems who burst in to song for the first time on the night but fair play they were loud.
On behalf of all the travelling supporters who lost time from work, got drench, went hungry and spent 8 hours on the road, I'd like to say thank you to Ben Foster, Chris Brunt, Youssouf Mulumbu, Craig Dawson, Gareth McAuley and even Jonas Olsson (who was on the bench) for showing their appreciation and applauding the fantastic away section at the end.
The rest of them can kiss my big fat hairy a**e because they don't deserve the support they get as they all headed straight for the tunnel and out of the rain.
Roll on Sunday, before the game there will be 24,000 A4 cards handed out to every home supporter so we can pay tribute to a true LEGEND JEFF ASTLE.At 9 minutes past 3 these are to be held aloft for 1 minute whilst singing "Astle is the King" and then "Justice for Astle".
This has already been in all the local papers, spoken about on Talk Sport, will be featured on local radio and even Sky Sports are doing a piece on it.SO LET'S GET BEHIND THIS AND SHOW THE FOOTBALLING WORLD JUST HOW GOOD OUR SUPPORTERS REALLY ARE.
Come on you Baggies