Spyin' Kop: Liverpool v Sunderland, Wednesday 2nd January

Posted by Crosby South and Nick on December 31, 2012, 12:08:12 PM

Liverpool v Sunderland






Wednesday 2nd January, 8pm

With two comfortable wins and two 3-1 defeats in their last 4 games, the topsy turvy Reds start 2013 with a home game against Martin O'Neill's Sunderland. A month or so ago this may have seemed like a comfortable home win (by our standards) but Sunderland have been much improved of late, most notably beating the Champions Manchester City at home.

Like an unwelcome guest at a Christmas Drinks Party, I popped over to the SMB/Ready To Go forum, armed only with my easy charm and a bagful of searching questions. At the time I thought they were a fairly hostile bunch but having read through the answers again there are plenty of decent ones in there too - their main causes of ire were:

1) Brendan Rodgers - really not big fans!

2) RAWK in general and the continued themes of not being allowed to criticise our manager, not being allowed differences of opinions (have they not heard of Fordy or Brentie :D ) and that general dictatorship accusation that gets thrown around from time to time.

So, on that note, dear comrades, let us bow down at the altar of St Hinesy, give thanks to our esteemed moderators for extending us the courtesy of allowing us internet access and a consenting voice and examine what the Sunderland fans think about their season so far and how the game will go on Wednesday:

After a slow burning start it seems like Sunderland have picked up a bit of form in the last month or so. How would you rate your season so far?

SuperKev: We had a tricky start playing 7 away games in the first 11 and away from him we picked up some decent results but at home we were very poor particularly against Newcastle and Villa. Fletcher was scoring goals but our other 3 'offensive' players (McLean, Sess and Johnson) were all suffering from a loss of form/confidence and the team struggled as a result. Performances started to pick up second halves against Norwich and Man Utd (even though we lost both games). We got a vital win over Reading that took a bit of pressure off the players and they've started to play much better and were excellent against City.

Aleem Dar: If the season ended now, we'd all be relatively happy with where we've finished. Took us a while to get going after a decent start - draws away to West Ham and Swansea were pluses. Not turning up against the Mags was a negative.

hudson88: Slow! Our attacking players took a while to click. Fletcher hit the ground running, but the 3 behind (Sessegnon, Johnson and McClean) were out of form and short on fitness. We look a much better and more dangerous side now these 3 are linking with Fletcher.

Maravilla: Very disappointing for the most part, however there has been definite signs of improvement in tactics, results and performances in the last few weeks.

Bear: 5/10 but expected it to be honest we've got a very small squad which is lacking in quality in places. Im sure over the next transfer window or 2 we'll see more of an improvement

Haway: Refuse to answer out of a matter of principle - your forum is an absolutely joke and you don't allow free speech. The idea you ban people for criticising managers disgusts me.


To an outside observer, Stephen Fletcher has been vital to you this season – who would you rate as your best performers so far this campaign?

Bear: Danny Rose has been a revelation after coming in pretty much as a unkown a real crowd favourite hope we can keep him, Simon Mignolet (up there in the top 3 keepers in the PL this season)

Gideon Gungeon: fletcher has indeed scored the goals he was bought for. the keeper, the belgian lad there has been excellent. the young loanee rose has been the best outfielder imo mate

Windypants: Mignolet. Another reason to pile money on Belgium to win the Euros and / or World Cup. *clearly a man after L6 Red’s heart! - CN

hudson 88: Mignolet. The lad is absolute class, and will go to the top. Fletcher has grabbed the headlines with his goals, but Mignolet has been our star this season. Danny Rose has been absolutely brilliant as well, and we must make his move permanent as soon as.

seaham ftm: Fletcher for obvious reasons, Mignolet been superb, danny rose we need to get this lad on a permenant and gardner has been consistent week in week out

Haway: Refuse to answer out of a matter of principle - your forum is an absolutely joke and you don't allow free speech. The idea you ban people for criticising managers disgusts me.


…And is there anyone who hasn’t performed as well as expected?

SuperKev: McLean, Sess and Johnson were poor - but they have started to turn their performances round and expect them to get better as the season goes on.

Piehole: McClean seems to have been found out this season but has been performing slightly better in the last few matches.

Ross the Ninja: The list is endless. Colback, Johnson, McLean, Sess, Larsson... (most have picked up a bit lately)

one footed wonder: Johnson, McLean and sessegnon although all 3 are now showing strong signs of improvement

Els Bels: Adam Johnson has taken a while to perform like he's capable of doing and James McClean has been poor, but again, both have improved of late.

Haway: Refuse to answer out of a matter of principle - your forum is an absolutely joke and you don't allow free speech. The idea you ban people for criticising managers disgusts me.


Summer signing Adam Johnson scored the inevitable goal against his former club last week – how has been playing for you?

Ross the Ninja: Until the last few games, crap. Was excellent against City and really put a shift in though.

Aleem Dar: Slow start, getting better. I don't think he is as good as everyone makes out. He's a cracking player but certainly isn't top class/

hudson 88: Neither here nor there for the most part, but he still has a few goals and 5/6 assists. A few people think he is lazy, but he isn't the kind of player to go charging around and chasing everything for 90 minutes. His touch is fantastic, and although his end ball at times could be better, we need him in our side.

Maravilla: Poor for the most part, partly due to tactics and partly due to lack of confidence and alleged off-field issues. Does seem to be finding form over the last month or so, even if he's still been infuriatingly inconsistent.

Gideon Gungeon: some flashes of class mate, but too inconsistent.

Haway: Refuse to answer out of a matter of principle - your forum is an absolutely joke and you don't allow free speech. The idea you ban people for criticising managers disgusts me.


Speaking of former clubs, what do you make of Jordan Henderson’s Liverpool career so far?

Gideon Gungeon: he's not had the best of times iirc. not sure he's happy there, doesn't seem to know his best position. sorry for the lad on a personal level mate

Maravilla: Looks just like he did for large periods of his final season here, occasionally shows glimpses of looking like a very good player but don't think he has the mentality to be as good as he can be.

hudson 88: I think he's been quite unfairly treated. The price tag is the 1st thing people mention, and at the minute, no he isn't worth £18m. But that isn't his fault, and if he cost £3m nobody would have been mentioning the fee at all. I like Henderson, and would have him back here in a flash. Just not for £18m 

SuperKev: Thought you paid too much and then played him in his worst position (not sure if it was because Lucas was injured or by choice). Still think he'll develop into a quality player.

one footed wonder: He left us too early, you overpaid and he has struggled as a result, he will find his feet though and be a strong player for you.

Els Bels: Struggled to impress from what I can gather. Seems to go missing far too often, which he did at Sunderland. Would love to see him do well though.

Haway: Refuse to answer out of a matter of principle - your forum is an absolutely joke and you don't allow free speech. The idea you ban people for criticising managers disgusts me.


What are your thoughts about Martin O’Neill and the job he's doing at Sunderland?

Ross the Ninja: Doing ok this season. His substitutions are always a bit weird, mind

one footed wonder: You can only polish a turd so much......still suffering from Bruce quantity over quality approach. He has us moving in the right direction, next two windows will see if he can kick on.

Piehole: Martin is the best manager any club in our position could hope to have in charge.

Els Bels: After a brilliant start, our season ended pretty abruptly after losing to Everton in the FA Cup. We've had a slow start this season with key players underperforming. He is the right man for the job though and I think he's the person to take us to the next level (consistent top-10 finishes).

Aleem Dar: He's the proper manager we've been waiting for, for years.

hudson 88: Due to the mess he was left by the idiot in charge previously, most sensible people knew it would take time to sort us out. The run when he 1st arrived last season maybes made people jump the gun a little bit with our ambitions, and we have certainly struggled quite a bit. He seems to be going about the squad overhaul in the right way though, allowing 3/4 to leave and signing 2/3 of real quality, rather than the scattergun sign anyone approach of Bruce. He has proven himself at every club he has been at, and given time he will make a success of us

Maravilla: Performed a minor miracle in keeping us up last season, his tactics and style of football have at times been dreadful but there has been a lot of improvement since the 1st half at Norwich, where I thought we looked lost and was expecting it to be his last game.

Shikari SAFC: Fantastic. Has a passion for the club. Turned us around last season. Brought in 2 great signings in the summer (Fletch/Johnson) and a loan (Rose). Slow start again this season but we are improving and will finish mid table imo.

Haway: Refuse to answer out of a matter of principle - your forum is an absolutely joke and you don't allow free speech. The idea you ban people for criticising managers disgusts me.


Liverpool have also gone down the Northern Ireland manager route – what are your thoughts on Brendan Rodgers and his spell at Liverpool so far?

Bear: No mark manager who is well out of his depth a guess he did invent the pass though

Piehole: I think he is a good manager and in time he will get you playing some good passing football and improve the team. Personality wise he comes across as a massive dick. Another one of these managers who always blames everyone else and as for finishing second ...

Gideon Gungeon: transitional period for the club. he's laying foundations. needs to stop saying stupid things in the press though imo mate

windypants: Hard though this may be to believe, he's a bigger dick than Pardew and less able than Bruce.

hudson 88: Can't stand the bloke. His constant ramblings about his 'philosophies' are ridiculous, and I think he will be found out for what he is. The 2nd place comments of a couple of weeks ago already look even more ridiculous than when he 1st said it.

Maravilla: As a manager he appears to be extremely one-dimensional and to be honest I haven't seen anything from him that has impressed me at all

SuperKev: I think he's a pretty poor manager and although better than Kenny I'm surprised you went for him as (an owldun like me) I would expect Liverpool to get better. Think it'll be a hard slog for you to break in to the top 4 and don't see it happening for the foreseeable future.

One footed wonder: Laughable tbf, the documentary done at the start of the season gave him a David Brent like aura. His constant whining also isn't helping him, along with his 'top 2' crack the other week, but as he invented passing we have to give him some credit

Mick Dundee: I hate him. He has the gift of the gab but that's it. Somehow he has won the fans over despite them only being 3 points ahead of us and 4 ahead of the Mags, and we are having poor seasons.

Legend: This wont get published *don’t be so hard on yourself Legend :D - CN. But, he's quite clearly mental. Arrogant with nothing to show for it and goes on like an absolute bellend. He, much like Pardew, says things to get the fans on side and you lap it up. He was talking about finishing in the top 2 after you'd won a few games ffs

Super Kev: I'll have to pop over to RAWK once this gets published to see what actually gets published about SuperB_Rod 

Haway: Refuse to answer out of a matter of principle - your forum is an absolutely joke and you don't allow free speech. The idea you ban people for criticising managers disgusts me.


Do any of our players worry you ahead of this weekend's game?

Mick Dundee: Just Suarez. Gerrard is unplayable on his day but as he gets older his day gets less and less frequent.

Legend: Obviously, depending on who the ref is, Suarez.

Gideon Gungeon: suarez mainly. i'm worried about his behaviour. he'll do his damndest to get a player sent off. got some neck on him imo.

Aleem Dar: None. LFC are rank average.

Hudson 88: Obviously Suarez. Gerrard seems to have picked up a little bit in recent weeks, but Suarez is a quality, quality player. Shame he lets himself down so often as he is fantastic to watch and he doesn't need to act himself like he does.

Maravilla: The obvious one is Suarez, keep him quiet and I think we have a very good chance of snatching at least a point.

Haway: Refuse to answer out of a matter of principle - your forum is an absolutely joke and you don't allow free speech. The idea you ban people for criticising managers disgusts me.


Seeing as 2012 is almost over let’s have a little look back at the year just gone - what’s been your favourite moment watching Sunderland this year?

Hudson 88: It's got to be from the very, very start of the year. 2 midfielders at full back, a central defender comes on who hasn't been seen for the best part of the year, a keeper returning early from having his nose smashed across his face, and a couple of players struggling with flu. Up pops Ji in the 94th minute to beat City 1-0

Shikari SAFC: Last Season - Jiiiiiiiiiiii against Man City on New Years day.
This season - Performance of the season against Man City on Boxing Day to keep our good run going

Seaham ftm: ji against city,bendtner against mags and also mignolet penalty save against the mags

SuperKev: Man City twice (for different reasons) and the Man Utd last game of the season - would have liked to have seen the trophy round the ground but the spontaneous piss take of Man Utd and their subsequent pet lip warms the cockles.

one footed wonder: Beating the champions twice.

Haway: Refuse to answer out of a matter of principle - your forum is an absolutely joke and you don't allow free speech. The idea you ban people for criticising managers disgusts me.


And your favourite Sporting moment in general?

Bear: The Olympics building upto it i wasnt bothered by it...My God how wrong was i got sucked right into it in the end even the sailing

Gideon Gungeon: that mo farah lad in the olympics there.

hudson 88: The Olympics were better than I expected, but the recent win for England over in India was the best for me. Great team performance, and some excellent individual ones as well.

Aleem Dar: Smashing India in their backyard.

Els Bels: Everything about the Olympics.

One footed wonder: Ryder cup win

Seaham ftm: could pick lots from the olympics but I'll go for wiggo winning the tour de france

Haway: Refuse to answer out of a matter of principle - your forum is an absolutely joke and you don't allow free speech. The idea you ban people for criticising managers disgusts me.


What one thing are you most looking forward to for 2013?

Ross the Ninja: Winning some games at home and scoring some goals. I think we look like doing that now.

Els Bels: Seeing Sunderland push on to try to finish in the top-10 and another good run in the FA Cup.

blesner: Finishing above the Mags and Liverpool.

Hudson 88: The impending implosion by Alan Pardew

Haway: Refuse to answer out of a matter of principle - your forum is an absolutely joke and you don't allow free speech. The idea you ban people for criticising managers disgusts me.

SuperKev: Good health *we’ll all drink to that - CN


Finally, care to make a prediction for the match?

Bear: Liverpool 1-2 The Lads can see us causing yous allsorts of problems on the break

Gideon Gungeon: aye mate 1-2 to the lads

Windypants: Liverpool 0 Sunderland 2.

Seaham ftm: 1-0 fletcher

Super Kev: 1-1

Ross the Ninja: Hoping for a 1-1 draw

One footed wonder: 2-1 to you lot unfortunately

I think it’s only fair that we give the final word on this week’s edition of Spyin' Kop to that tireless campaigner for free speech, Julian Assange haway:

Haway: Refuse to answer out of a matter of principle - your forum is an absolutely joke and you don't allow free speech. The idea you ban people for criticising managers disgusts me.

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