What an odd game. We looked great in parts and awful in others. I thought some of our passing in the first half was excellent, but the one goal lead never looked enough. Sunderland are not a pretty team, but are effective in stopping others playing. Their centre forward Kenwe Jones gave Upson a hell of a roasting for the whole game.
In some ways you’d have to admit that a 3-1 win did not reflect the ebb and flow of the game. As Kieron Dyer said on SKY, many of us may have settled for a draw after 60 minutes.
It was the substitution which changed things. I had to laugh when the crowd chanted : “you don’t know what you’re doing”. A minute later we scored. Maybe the crowd should have then chanted: “we don’t know what we’re saying”! Mind you, quite what Curbishley thought he ws doing subbing Noble is anyone’e guess.
George McCartney had a stormer today. I thought he was head and shoulders above anyone else. Carlton Cole also did well. As I said in the previous piece, it was an important game for him today and he came through it well. Bowyer has a good first half and Bellamy was all over the pitch. And Robert Green. well, what can one say? His save from Leadbitter was the turning point. If that had gone in, that would have been curtains.
Green 8 Superb
Gabbidon 6 Steady
Upson 4 Jones had him
McCartney 9 Awesome
Neill 6 Anonymous
Noble 7 A couple of bad passes but gave his all
Mullins 6 Average
Bowyer 7 Good first half
Cole 7 Good in the air. Great goal
Bellamy 8 Buzzing