Spyin' Kop - Liverpool v Sunderland - Premier League - 25/09/10

Posted by The Jackal on September 23, 2010, 10:35:34 PM

Liverpool v Sunderland AFC
Premier League
Saturday, September 25th Anfield, Liverpool
Kick-off: 3pm






Honours:
League   
* First Division: 1 (level 1)    1891–92, 1892–93, 1894–95, 1901–02, 1912–13, 1935–36   

 Runners-up (5): 1893–94, 1897–98, 1900–01, 1922–23, 1934–35   

* Second Division/First Division/Championship: 5    1975–76, 1995–96, 1998–99, 2004–05, 2006–07   

Runners-up (2): 1963–64, 1979–80 

  Promotion (1): 1989–90 

  * Third Division: 1 (level 3)    1987–88

 Cup

    * FA Cup: 2    1937, 1973   

Runners-up (2): 1913, 1992   

 Semi-Finalists ( 8 ): 1891, 1892, 1895, 1931, 1938, 1955, 1956, 2004   

* League Cup    Runners-up (1): 1985

    Semi-finalists (2): 1963, 1999   

 * Charity Shield: 1    1936

    Runners-up (1): 1937 

  * Sheriff of London Charity Shield: 1    1903

    * Football League War Cup 

  Runners-up (1): 1942

It's the first time I've done one of these and I wasn't sure what level of response I'd get, so I hedged my bets and contacted two Sunderland forums - Ready To Go and Black Cat Chat. As it turns out I got loads of responses from RTG (too many to include in the article unfortunately - so I've tried to use a range of different responses) so I've linked the original threads below:

http://www.readytogo.net/smb/showthread.php?t=525797

http://www.blackcatchat.net/forum/showthread.php?t=4370

Too many contributors to name everyone individually, but massive thanks to everyone from Ready To Go and Black Cat Chat who took part.

1) Transfers.  It seems to have been a fairly busy summer in the transfer market for Sunderland, with quite a few new faces joining the squad.
Are you happy with the new signings,  and with the likes of Kenwynne Jones and Lorik Cana leaving?


Mr Blofeldt: Not happy we've lost Cana and was surprised when it happened, but if a players not happy what do you do. Jones going seemed inevitable, but I think we should have held out for more spondoolics, hopefully Gyan will become as important as Bent

hakuna matata: It has been busy the last few transfer windows here, but the squad is getting stronger and stronger. A lot of dead wood has been moved out and decent players moved in, along with, hopefully some that are better than decent. Cana leaving was no great blow; he started really well and looked class only to become poorer and poorer (in my opinion). If you could start with the best Kenwyne Jones every week, then his loss would have been a catastrophe. Unfortunately, his form was very hit and miss (no pun intended). On his day, he’s as good as Torres, yes that good, but his days are few and far between. I’ll bet he has a stormer if he plays against us of course.

Pacific: Wasnt overwhelmed with our new signings but thats quickly changing. Bruce appears to have found a few gems in our new keeper and Elmo the egyptian lad and Titus Bramble is already looking steal of the season. Gyan needs time to adapt but has already scored a peach despite not being up to pace yet, surely only good things to come. same applies to a few of the other new lads. wasn't that bothered about Jones leaving, only ever seemed to have one decent game in 6 and needed a change of scenary, the move suited both him and us.


Is the squad stronger this season than last?

Baldock Mackem: I think it is. We are playing as a team now, last season we saw a lot of hoof ball.

Dixonsafc : At first I was apprehensive of the squad this year, felt if anything we had weakened. But I realise now this is just because a couple of the players I didn't know a lot about, Riveros seems to be starting to find his feet and I've got a feeling Elmohammady will really cause you some problems on Saturday.

AlanaDurban: I am very happy with the new signings and fully believe that this squad is stronger than last season's. In my opinion they have huge potential!

Pacific: squad is definately stronger than last year which is evident by the options we now have from the bench, our starting XI must also be one of the youngest in the league so looks good for the future.


On a related subject, other than Gerrard or  Torres, if you could pick one Liverpool player for the Sunderland squad who would it be and why?

Baldock Mackem: Joe Cole or Reina. Joe Cole is a hell of a winger, and Reina is the best keeper in the league IMO.

Mr Blofeldt: one player from you lot... Cole probably

AlanaDurban: As for Liverpool, you have taken away my two favourites (as an aside, I briefly met Fernando here in Durban :D ), so my choice would have to be Dirk Kuyt. He's very hard-working and talented and does not seem to have glory as his only objective like some blue-shirted twats that I won't mention by name.

hakuna matata: I honestly don’t rate the current Liverpool squad much, apart from Torres and Gerrard. You haven’t got over losing, in my opinion, your best player, Alonzo. I think after your top two, your best asset is your new manager. Perhaps I’d choose Kuyt at a push.

Pacific: any Liverpool player? has to be Joe Cole for obvious reasons.


2) The case for the defence. In the 2009-2010 season you finished 13th with 44 pts. The 48 goals you scored was actually the 9th highest goals tally in the league, but at the other end the 56 against was bettered by all the teams that finished above you in the table. It seems that a major priority this season would be to tighten up at the back. The signings of Mignolet, Onuoha, and Bramble seem to have been made to address this issue - how do you rate them so far?

Baldock Mackem: Mignolet had a dodgy start against Birmingham, but since he has looked incredible. Onuoha has been decent as well, but Titus Bramble has been our best signing! Absolutely quality so far.

Mr Blofeldt: Bramble has been immense so far, best £1Million SB has spent, Onouha has played well, I'm happy, Mignolet has certainly given Brucey a tough choice as he's played very well

Reggie Perrin: mignolet was just bought as a reserve keeper - turns out he's actually pretty good. Onouha and bramble are certainly better than what we had (turner-fedinand & bardsley)
It's still early. Defensively we've conceded 1 goal a game, but the past 2 seasons have been 1.5 goals a game so we seem to be tightening up. That could all change on saturday though.

Pacific: Mignolet looks a fantastic find and is going to give Craig Gordon a run for his money when he finally recovers from injury. Onuoha looks solid but is a centre back playing at right back so doesnt offer alot going forward so far but may change. Titus is just immense and arguably has been MOM in every game we've played so far this season, an absolute rock. add to that we've got Mensah on the books who if he wasnt a crock would be a regular player at a Champions League club and we've got two cracking centre backs on the books

Bongo: Our defence has improved no end, we now have players that can play the ball out of defence instead of hoofing the ball away and hoping for the best.
It's early days and they need to settle but with a defensive squad of Mensah,Turner,Bramble,Da Silva,Riveros,Ferdinand and Richardson we have a good mix of pace,intelligence,muscle and experience.


Does Steve Bruce know his best back-line and do you agree with him?

Baldock Mackem: He see's our backline as Mignolet, Onouha, Mensah, Bramble and Richardson IMO.

Dixonsafc : I think our best back four is still up in the air but i'd go for Onuoha, Bramble, Mensah, Richardson.

Steak Pie: Gordon, Onuoha, Turner/Bramble, Mensah, Richardson is the 1st choice defence when everyone is fit.


Is Kieran Richardson really a full-back?

Baldock Mackem: Kieran has looked very good so far, as well as containing a certain Adam Johnson in his pocket!

Dixonsafc : Richardson is doing a decent job, he really struggles with the ball in the air but he's streets ahead of McCartney

Mr Blofeldt: no, Rico isn't a full back but he's trying very hard and you've got to give him credit for it

Reggie Perrin: richardson is not a full back, but he's done well there this season.

Pacific: Richardson is coming on leaps and bounds at left back and hopefully will eventually become a poor mans Ashley Cole.


3) Darren Bent - I heard a statistic recently that if he doesn't score, you don't win (I haven't actually checked on the accuracy of that so please feel free to correct me) . Of course every team relies on their top players, but are you worried you're over reliant on him?

Baldock Mackem: It's quite a misleading stat to be fair, but I suppose we are over relient. More goals from midfield would be canny.

Dixonsafc : He scores in most games, so it's not suprising at all.

AlanaDurban: Bent is fantastic and exceptionally talented. I think that he relishes his role in the team and I don't think that he feels pressurised to score every time. He seems to be one of those people that doesn't have to work too hard to be brilliant - there's so much natural talent there. I think that Gyan and Welbeck will add a new dimension (especially Gyan) to DB's game and if they can forge a strong partnership then we could be in for some cracking football. I am very confident about the impact that they will have.

Reggie Perrin: not strictly true, but we haven't won that many games anyway. Of last seasons 11 wins, only 4 were down solely down to bent's goals, 4 we could have won without bent's goals or were down to other goalscorers and 3 were a combination of bent and other players (i think)


Do the signings of Gyan and Welbeck take away some of the pressure?

Supersleeves : The signing of Gyan doesnt take the pressure of Bent, the pressure is still there to score goals (not from our fans or the club) but for Bent himsel to prove to the England set up and his critics, hes done it year in year out in the premier league how long does he have to go on to prove his worth for gods sake.

Dixonsafc : Gyan hasnt played enough to judge yet, but his finish against Wigan was great. Welbeck has played most of his football on the left wing so far.

Pacific: Bent getting injured isnt worth thinking about. hopefully Gyan can take some of the burden of his shoulders but we'll wait and see. Welbeck hasnt really been used upfront that much and not expecting that much in terms of goal from him. it's the midfield we could really do with some sort of contribution from, even someone chipping in with 4 or 5 goals from the middle would be nice.


4) Steve Bruce - he's got a big, fat head :P , but is that because it's crammed full of tactical knowledge, or because it's full of hot air?

Baldock Mackem: Bit of both haha, some of his tatics are genius, but then some of them are baffling. At Arsenal away last season, he was moving players all over the place. Was quite strange.


What are your views on Bruce, and is he the right man to take the Black Cats forward? Did your view of him change at all over the course of last season?

Supersleeves :  Yes Bruce has got a fat heed. I like his dealings in the transfer market, picking up Bramble for 1m so far is the buy of the season for me and also El Mohammady he tore Clichy a new arse hole on saturday. I think he is the right man for the job, after a few bad results hes a bit like marmite to some fans

Mr Blofeldt: He's building a young team, it all takes time, but I like what I've seen so far

AlanaDurban: I actually like Steve Bruce. He gets rather red in the face from stress and I worry that he might have a heart attack at his age. I was thinking on the weekend that he looks like he's lost some weight, so maybe he is looking after his health. I think that he has the right personality and experience to guide this team. You can see that he's doing his mind sometimes, but he never loses his cool. I think he can give us a top 10 finish - I really do believe that!

hakuna matata: (he) is taking the Black Cats forward. We are steadily getting better and better. He is no tactical genius as far as I can see, but neither was Shankly or Brian Clough or Bob Paisley for that matter. Didn’t seem to hamper them much, did it?

RossTheNinja: My view of him at the end of last season was that we'd be steady and finish a couple places better than the previous term. My view so far this season is that we may actually improve by up to 3-4 places this year. Now that kenwyn has gone, we seem to play some good football and he's bought some cracking signings and dumped some deadwood with a relatively small net spend.

Pacific: He's doing a good imo. comfortable mid table finish last year and is looking to build on it again. has an eye for a player and is assembling a young team. also has us playing decent football despite Wigan fans having you believe Bruce teams are all about hoofing it. went a bit wayward last year when we went 721 games without a win, could definately do without something similar this year as our fans are very knee jerkey.

Marv: Bruce is absolutely clueless as a manager. You are very lucky to have had Benitez then Hodgson as managers of Liverpool. I was against him from the first day he was appointed as he plays long ball football, and his teams are very aggresive. These fears have been confirmed.


5) Ownership. This is obviously a burning issue for us at the moment, and perhaps gets discussed even more among the support than what goes on the pitch these days (it shouldn't be this way, but unfortunately that's the situation we find ourselves in currently). A few questions on this one:

a) What do you think of our current situation (or are you even aware of the problems currently facing LFC in regards to our 'owners')?


Supersleeves :  Yi were aware of it its hardly out the rags is it. Not really fussed with how they are treating LFC? to be honest i dont like LFC much, too big for your boots (well some fans are)

Baldock Mackem: Not sure what's quite going on haha! Last I heard the Chinese were taking over, then some other group. What exactly is going on?

Dixonsafc : I'll be honest, I havent taken a huge interest in what's going on there.

Mr Blofeldt: sounds like you've got a set of Cnuts in charge, your not the first and certainly won't be the last

AlanaDurban: I can't really comment on the ownership situation as I don't know much about it. I have heard a little about your ownership worries on Sky News - hopefully it all gets sorted out for the sake of your iconic team.

hakuna matata: I look at Liverpool, a club I have long admired and anyone in football has to acknowledge their great history (after all it’s nearly as good as ours), and I shudder at the way in which your club has been raped by the philistines. Your only hope is that Hicks in particular clears off and stops screwing you up.

RossTheNinja: Nope, other than you arent happy. I dont particularly care. If you are looking for sympathy, look elsewhere.


b) What do you think of your owners? Are they doing a good job - getting the balance right between sufficient investment and not loading too much debt on the club? Do you feel they have the best interests of the club at heart?

Supersleeves :  Ellis Short and Niall Quinn are a dream partnership imo, ES sits in the back ground supplying the funds while Quinny deals with everything else and ES knows Quinny has a football brain so doesnt step in. Look at ES celebration on saturday when Benty scored, he is 110% dedicated.

Baldock Mackem: Our owner (Mr Ellis Short) has been brilliant, along with sir Niall Quinn. Regarding the best interests of the club at heart, just watch their celebration of Bent's equaliser at the weekend!

Mr Blofeldt: Short is an American but clearly one who knows what he's doing as opposed to the idiots you've got in charge

hakuna matata: I was going to say that our owner seems to have the good of the club at heart, but I think that’s not right. His actions over the past couple of years indicate to me that we can take out the word seem as he has demonstrated a loyalty to SAFC that leaves me very comfortable with the club in his hands. He has invested in players and reduced debt at the same time. Add to that the fact that we have a real living Saint as our Chairman and the future looks rosy.

Steak Pie: Ellis Short has capitalised his investment into the club, meaning we're not carrying the massive debt some others are. He couldn't really do much more in terms of investment and we're in an enviable position that if he walked tomorrow, we would still be financially sound. Along with Sir Niall, he seems to be doing his very best for our club and I'm delighted that we have them running our club. Just look at Short's (the famously shy and reclusive Ellis Short!!) reaction to Bent's goal on Saturday. Superb.


c) Would you welcome fan ownership  - (either 100% or perhaps like the German model where 50% ownership by a supporters trust is a legal requirement), or is the whole ownership issue not something that generally bothers you?

Supersleeves :  no

Baldock Mackem: Not really fussed, it would be great thing as long as I know we are in safe financial hands.

Dixonsafc : If the fans on here had a say in what was controlled in my club, 100% no :)

hakuna matata: I wouldn’t want any changes at present. I certainly wouldn’t want fan ownership on the Barcelona lines.

Pacific: i would hate to think what would happen if some of the numpties of here had a say in our club so no.

Guiness Guzzler: As long as the owner is someone who has the clubs interests at heart and isn't risking the future of the club, i dont mind if the club isnt supporter owned, certainly we couldnt invest anything like the required amount to see SAFC be competitive in the top flight so, unless everyone else does it, it isnt something we could consider. I do think it would be good to see supporter's groups have some say in the club though, so would be supportive of a plan to have, say, 20% of the club owned by the fans (but again, if we want to buy players, we would really need to invest proportionally to the main owner, which probably wouldnt be possible)

Raven5: It would be great for every football fan to feel part of the club. The German pattern should be used all over the world IMO.

Les Miserable: Fan ownership seems attractive until you study the demographics and the IQs? Most supporters couldn’t run a whelk stall.


6) North East football. Are you looking forward to playing Newcastle this season, or would you rather they'd stayed down in the Championship?

Baldock Mackem: Rather them stay in the Championship. They got annoying last season, seeing as they won a lot of games, they started to believe their own hype and started comparing their squad to ours and constantly belittling our attendance. Hate the f*ckers!

Dixonsafc : It was great they went down, and I would have pissed myself if they had stopped down. But nothing compares to derby day. Not being able to sleep for a week before, and feeling proud as punch or dragging your feet for a month after.

RossTheNinja:  Yes and yes. I'd like the mags to yo yo every season and get gibbed by us on the last day every time by 18 goals, which results on them going down on goal difference. The boro, I don't mind. Its an easy away game to get to.


Is having 2 (or 3 if 'boro ever get back up) clubs in the top flight better for North East football as a whole, or would you not be bothered if you never saw either of them again?

Supersleeves :  Dont class Boro as much rivals to be honest, some Sunderland fans including mysel class Leeds as more rivals. A dream would be tak 6 points from the mags, maybe knock them out the FA cup and they get relegated

Dixonsafc : Couldnt give a shite about Boro.

Tank: Personally, I feel it's a mixed blessing. It's good when we can say we have 3 teams from the North East in the top flight, and I suppose, if you look at the larger region, it would be good if the Sheffield clubs and Leeds were there as well. When you look at the North West, where you've got 8 clubs in the Prem, the midlands with 5 clubs, and London with 5 clubs, it makes our 2 look a bit sparse
On the other hand, I got immense pleasure from them getting relegated


7) Youngsters. With the likes of Man City inflating transfer values to ridiculous levels combined with new Premier League rules on home-grown players, a strong academy and good youth development seems to be more important than ever. What's the set-up like at Sunderland?

Baldock Mackem: Quality. There is a decent crop coming out, likes of Henderson, Colback, Meyler and Waghorn who all look Championship level or better (Henderson looks very good, will be a great player) We have some other great players coming through as well. Keep an eye out for Ryan Noble, Blair Adams and Matt Fletcher.


Do you follow the Youth Teams/ Ressies much?

Baldock Mackem: I watch highlights of the games on SAFC TV, I don't get to see them as I live down south.


Any promising youngsters we may not have heard of that could make the break-through to the first team this season?

Baldock Mackem: Unless you followed the Championship last season, Jack Colback looks decent. Ryan Noble could make a name for himself if we have an injury crisis.

Dixonsafc : Jordan Henderson is improving with every game. Best youngster i've seen at the club for a long time. Other than that there isn't a lot. Hoping to see a bit more of Ryan Noble at some point. It's a shame Waghorn ended up leaving for Leicester, but the kid obviously wants to play football.


8 ) Formations and tactics. Last season Bruce seemed to go 4-4-2 for the 'easier' games and 4-5-1 for the 'bigger' games. How do you see him lining the team up on Saturday? Would you line up any differently? What sort of tactics do you think you will adopt for the game?

Supersleeves :  4-5-1 on sarrada imo, bent up top on his jack. I would play 451 see how the game is going on the hour mark then hoy Gyan on

Reggie Perrin: if cattermole plays, we'll probably go 4-4-1 after the first 30 minutes.

AlanaDurban: Yikes - that's a bit much for my girly brain. I would have a guess and say that Bruce will stick to the tried and tested, but then I don't know very much about tactics and the intricacies of football strategy.

RossTheNinja: I reckon he'll go 4-5-1 then 442 for the last 30 when he brings on Gyan.

Pacific: Bruce appears to favour a 451/4411 formation against the bigger teams. im not sure if you's still class as a bigger team like but whatever. We'll probably line up exactly as we did against Arsenal, with Bent leading the line and Malbranque playing a sort of advanced free role midfield type thing, not really sure what it is but it works.


9) Form and expectations. SAFC:  D-L-W-D-D. LFC: D-L-W-D-L . We're on a very similar run of form so far this season, with your result against Arsenal over the weekend putting you a point ahead in the table. Do you think the Liverpool team is weaker than previous seasons, and are you expecting more out of your visit to Anfield? What do you think the result of the match will be, and where do you think both teams will finish in the table come the end of the season?

Dixonsafc : I think your sides the poorest of my lifetime (though I am only 22). I think come the end of the season you'll be around 6/7th. We'll be around 10/11th

Mr Blofeldt: I'm not convinced Hodgson is the manager you need, he was good at Fulham, but Liverpool seems like too big a step, I think this was proved when he brought in Konchesky, he's a good solid defender, but not liverpool calibre, losing Mascherano has made you a little weaker and I think Torres is fucked off and wants out, although I still expect to get beaten at Liverpool, I don't think it'll be the battering we got last season!

AlanaDurban: I don't think that Liverpool is necessarily any weaker than last season - your game against United was really exciting actually. I wish that Fernando would get his form fully back as he is a pleasure to watch when he's at his best (and no boys, not just because he's gorgeous!). I have to say that I believe that we can beat you, or at least get a draw. I'm still considering what score to predict so I won't put my head on a block just yet. I think that both our teams will finish in the top ten at the end of the season, but I am not sure where.

Pacific: From what i've seen Liverpool look poor and Torres doesnt look interested. that being said tho we're woeful away from home and likely won't even turn up. play like we did against City and Arsenal and we've more than enough to get at least a draw, but play like we did against West Brom and we're equally as likely to get hammered. head says 3-0 Liverpool, heart says 1-1. as for finishing, Liverpool 6th, Sunderland 11th.

Marv: Worst Liverpool team I can ever remember. I am expecting a narrow Liverpool win as Sunderland are rubbish away. And I am expecting Liverpool fans to sing YNWA 2 minutes from the end with absolute silence from the Kop for the rest of the game

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