New Boots and Gomes. Sunderland 1 Tottenham Hotspur 2

As I suggested in my preview piece I expected a torrid period in the game and it came right at the start. We started slowly but Sunderland was straight out of the blocks. Unfortunately Gallas was off the field for the opening goal changing his boots and Dawson was unable to take both men with Gyan turning well to score leaving Gomes no chance.

The difficult bit is why boots needed to be changed. The team has run out on the field in its warm up so I would expect decisions about the length of stud to have been made in the dressing room. My first impression of the goal was that the crosser had too much room and where was Charlie? He had been beaten trying to challenge the man further up the field while Pienaar stood by. 

After that it was up to Spurs to put in a decent performance full of character to turn the game around and we were able to do it. Lennon and Palacios were on the bench so Pienaar and Sandro came into the side and as I had hoped Kranjcar got a start. 

The words “away” and “Sandro” have not sat well together thus far but this was by far his best performance away from White Hart Lane and he ended up contributing well in our winner. Alongside him Jenas had another decent afternoon breaking up most of what Sunderland had to offer and turning defence into attack in a much improved second half performance. 

In defence Dawson and Ekotto linked well and looked pretty secure for most of the time. As at Blackburn Benny did not commit himself to attack as much as at White Hart Lane and it paid off well. Dawson was able to get our equaliser with a decent header from a corner which Gallas enticed to go through Gordon’s legs by unsighting him as he ran across him at the important moment.  

Up front Pav came into the side to partner Defoe and our final stat of 2 shots on target says much. That’s not to say that they were both awful as they both contributed towards moves in the opposition half but opportunities for them in the box were few and far between as the Sunderland centre backs played them well. 

In the first half Defoe held the ball up well and laid a decent ball into the box which Jenas could not keep down and Pav played a challenging cross field pass which Corluka then got inside to Pienaar whose shot went over the bar. 

Our second half performance was a great improvement on the first but it was clear that a moment of brilliance would be needed to win the game for us. That came when Corluka lifted a delightful ball into space down the right which Sandro ran onto it before putting in a cross that was headed away from Defoe straight onto the right foot of Kranjcar before it hit the back of the net.

Last week Niko climbed from the bench to hit a brilliant left foot winner. This week he starts and puts in the type of performance we saw from him last year before finishing it with another great goal. Pienaar played better but without Lennon the side lacked a little pace which did not assist our front men particularly Defoe. On the other hand having two central midfielders with a less adventurous outlook helps to close out the opposition and prevent us getting overrun.

That certainly helped us hold out our lead. Sunderland came back well in a late flourish which saw Gomes make a save from Steed and Gyan twisting and turning Dawson, Corluka and Gallas at different points. 

Not wishing to be left out Gomes once again gets into the action ending up booked for time wasting after once again feigning injury in an effort to get Gyan booked?  Why does he do it? On the replay the contact looked to be nothing at all and all he achieved was getting the crowd whipped up for the home team. 

How does this affect the defenders around him? Dawson appeared to be saying “get on with it” to him after talking away the referee.

So another 3 points which puts us into the top 4 until Monday night when Chelsea has a chance to regain fourth spot. By that time the squad will be in Milan looking forward to a round of 16 game. Going in level at half time was an important feature and the improvement in the second half won us the points. 

Quite who plays in Milan we have to wait and see but we will need to have two good halves in Italy and get our stud selection right before the kick off.          

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16 responses to “New Boots and Gomes. Sunderland 1 Tottenham Hotspur 2

  1. I agree Sandro was great, he probably wont play against Milan but I think hes the best option.
    I know Bales out but havent heard anything on Modric who could be our most important player.
    My team for Milan
    Gomes
    Corluka Dawson Gallas BAE
    Lennon Palacios Modric Krancjar
    VDV
    Crouch

    Crouch has to start in Europe he is soo effective against European teams

  2. I thought a great win for Spurs…showed charecter…this was absolutely a game we would have lost over the previous season. Sandro…this guy is going to be a class…people expect too much he is young…the EPL is so different to club football in Brazil whose pace and sytle is more like Italy …My wife is from Brazil I vist there often and I have family that are WELL into football…they really rate this guy…be patient…like we had to be with Bale…this guy WILL be a world class defensive mid

    • I think you may be right Peter, it is difficult for foreign players in their first season in the UK. He is a young lad and if he has the mental ability to tough it out he’ll do well. Hopefully Gomes is keeping an eye on him.

  3. I’m still hoping Bale will feature on tuesday, but if Modders and VDv are back then might be an idea to rest him a bit longer, Agree Sandro looked good, and could turn out to be the player we all hope he was going to be. AS for Gomes instead of going on about a bit of play acting, How about how well he done, took some decent catches, when before he would have flapped, held the ball taking shots, and seemed to be getting back to how he can be…

    • Yes he did take some catches and looked better but you expect him to do this. I worry that he unsettles his colleagues when he plays up that’s all and away from home we don’t need it.

  4. Great to see Kranjcar start and have a good game capped with another well balanced strike to claim the points. Jenas was better than usual seemed more confident, Defoe lacked support, Daws is starting to show real class, Gallas was caught out of position 4 or 5 times, Pinear needs time to gel but it looks good…………..You mentioned Gomes feigning injury/time wasting costing him a booking………..Why does he still punch/palm the ball straight back towards the attackers, many of these could be caught or at worst deflected either side of goal, he makes many great saves, commands the area fairly well and has a good understanding with team-mates but he`s slipping back into the old habits. If it costs us 5 or 6 points at the end of the season that could very well cost us a champions league place. Goalkeeping coach please take note.

  5. I think Gallas’ change of boots was to do with the fact that he’d had an injured ankle strapped and the boots were causing him pain. Still strange I know, but it wasn’t through a poor choice of studs.

    2nd half performance was solid and we’re now into the return to the San Siro on the back of 3 wins. Can’t wait, just hoping Harry is bluffing with Bale. COYS!

    • If that is the case why would a change benefit him but not doubting your answer.

      I think Bale may well be missing. If so he clearly needs the rest and rushing him back might end up costing more games missing. I fancy that is why Lennon was on the bench so he can play to give us some pace.

  6. 3 points……maybe now harry will learn that ‘power is nothing without control’
    variety is the spice of life..Kranjcar is not my favourite Spurs player, but he clearly brings to the table something that most others Cannot-important,brilliant goals. As for defoe and Crouch…well! the less said the better, it’s an embarrassment that players such as Modders and Vdv have these
    ‘tools’ to work with, yet still they get the job done. Imagine if we had strikers(God for bid)with: genuine pace-skill-flair-vision-touch-dribbling ability and leader ship qualities…..until then??/!!

    COYS

    • When you see Berbatov sitting on the bench for all the yop games it makes you think how good we would be with him still in the side!

      Niko has come good again but I fancy that it is him or Modric in the side and whilst he scores exceptional goals I still think their is only one winner of that battle.

  7. SpurredoninDublin

    Bearing in mind that we were missing Hutton, King, Lennon (for most of the match) Thud, Modric, VDV, Bale and Crouch, I think this was a great result for us and shows the class gap between the top 5 and the rest of the prem.

  8. Spurs were horrible in the first half! But would you believe me if I said I thought we would turn it around in the 2nd half? Even before we scored the 1st… I just knew that things couldn’t get any worse, so it was only a matter of time before we would realize how to break them down.

    Niko once again saved us! I love the boy! Sandro was a bit of a wild one in the first half, but he was great in the second, covering a lot of ground as well.

    • It was certainly Sandro’s best performance and a really decent second half performance after a stinker in the first. At the end of the season these points will be important.

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