Often Partisan

Sunderland Preview in Association with EZE Group

Blues take on Sunderland in the second round of the Capital One Cup with the Black Cats looking to avoid an upset. Blues however will take heart from the win against Swansea last year as proof that they can beat the odds and put themselves in the hat for the third round.

Sunderland

Sunderland come into the game on the back of two draws against lower mid table sides West Bromwich Albion and Manchester United, and will be hoping for their first win of the season against what could be much weaker opposition.

Costel Pantilimon and Billy Jones could make their debuts as Gus Poyet mulls over changing his side.

Blues

Blues are still without Matt Green and Andrew Shinnie while Gavin Gunning is now out for the season. They too will look to make changes with Colin Doyle due to start between the sticks and possible runouts for Mark Duffy, Reece Brown and Denny Johnstone among others.

For me this is a bonus game, like Swansea last season. The pressure is entirely off as Blues will not be expected to win and if I was Clark I’d tell the players to go out and enjoy themselves – a win would be awesome and would be a morale boost but a defeat need not feel like the end of the world.

Postscript

Yesterday morning, a Bluenose and Small Heath local Qasim passed away at the young age of 21 in a car crash while on holiday in Pakistan. Many people will have known him on twitter as @ThePiqasso – a funny, principled and clever young man who talked about the Blues among other things with good humour and friendliness.  I hope you will join me in sending your best wishes at this sad time to his family. Rest in peace my friend.

Match previews sponsored by EZE Group - Lifestyle Experts

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108 Responses to “Sunderland Preview in Association with EZE Group”

  • fingles says:

    Qasim RIP, onlyb 21 what a tragic event.

    Thoughts go to his family.

    KRO

  • Mineheadblue says:

    My thoughts are with his family. (A young man known to my family died suddenly last week and it’s devastating for everyone when that happens)

  • Rick says:

    I want to see more of Duffy, I think he can do better than Novak on the left.

    • Staffs Blue says:

      Duffy is a right winger. Cotterill usually plays on the left.

      • Chris W says:

        Still like to see them both given a run together, I think it would stretch defences and cause the opposition mayhem with their midfield having to drop deeper. It would take the onus of our defence allowing us to play the high line with comfort.
        I would also drop Thomas, use him in the second half to keep the pressure on defences and hopefully consolidate any lead we should have.
        KRO+DNM

        • Staffs Blue says:

          I believe we’re only a whisker away from clicking. We can play two out and out wingers if we can keep the middle of the park tight and the full backs are on their game. We could possibly wipe the floor with some teams this season, especially with the strength and speed of our forwards. Play Duffy and take Caddis out of the midfield. I think they’re all the changes that’s needed. Who plays as Donaldson’s partner is optional (hurry up Matt Green.)

          It’s all up to Lee Clark now.

          • Chris W says:

            Looking forward to seeing Green pull on the Blue shirt.
            If you pull Caddis out of midfield wouldn’t that leave us vulnerable, Cotterill seems either slow or reluctant to track back when we lose the ball in the top half?
            But I definitely agree with Duffy and Cotterill on either wing.
            Just need to convince Clark that what is trying will work if he doesn’t make silly substitutions when we are cruising.
            KRO+DNM

          • dave mann says:

            does he ever make a good substitution chris, it always changes the game against us and for the opposition, ime fed up with naff subs for naff reasons….4-4-2 all night weather were winning 1-0 or loosing 1-0, playing against 11, 10 or 9 men or even if we get a player sent off…..clark stop tinkering because its pretty obvious that your not any good at it….stop changing a team thats winning a game, its starting to get on my t–s. KRO

          • Chris W says:

            His substitutions are as bad as last seasons selections, totally illogical and unwarranted.
            He has kept the same 11 except for injuries so now he has to show them he has faith that they can see a game out.
            Not just with blues but all teams change for the sake of changing when it comes to substitutions, many use it as a time wasting tactic that I think should be stopped.
            KRO+DNM

          • dave mann says:

            the thing is how can you stop it in play when a team can make upto3 subs ?. KRO.

          • Chris W says:

            To stop the time wasting last minute substitutions I would make a rule: No subs to be made for the last 10 or 15 mins of a game unless a serious injury occurs, any subs made during that time the player replaced will not be legible for the next game.
            That would stop these petty 88th,90th minute subs that have no bearing on a game other than time wasting, which in the rule book comes under the category of Ungentlemanly Conduct, but no one ever takes it to task as all clubs do it.
            KRO+DNM

          • dave mann says:

            what does a serious injury relate to ? …but i love the idea of the last 10 mins being sub free and if a player as to be replaced then they cant play the next game, thats a cracking idea chris and i would love to see it implemented….great shout mate. KRO.

          • Chris W says:

            I really mean a genuine injury, pulled hamstring or head injury, the other alternative is just no substitutes for the last 15 minutes end of.
            But then players would waste time with cramp etc, so if a player goes down he is removed from the pitch in a sin-bin situation for two minutes. Should stop the silliness that ruins the last 10 minutes or so of a game with unnecessary substitutions.
            KRO+DNM

          • Staffs Blue says:

            I think a lot of us remember the days of only 1 substitute. How would managers cope with that today?

          • Chris W says:

            I remember when they had none, players like Bert Trautmann and a Blues striker who played on with a broken bone in his leg became heroes and whose name eludes me, today they go down with the slightest knock.
            How many games did you see an out player taking over in goal for a keeper injury?
            KRO+DNM

          • Staffs Blue says:

            I do remember the days of no subs.. just. The first sub I actually remember being used (was listening on BBC radio,) was the South African player Albert Johannson, of Leeds.

          • Chas says:

            A lot of us remember No Subs at all and the games generally were no worse off.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            I think it’s a good idea… it would stop the last 15 minutes being ruined by subs and let the game flow to a natural end.

          • RichardM says:

            But as we saw with the Ipswich game (6 subs / 5 mins injury time added), the ref adds the time on anyway so not sure time wasting is a real problem?

          • Chris W says:

            Not sure all refs add on the time usually only get 1 or 2 mins, I think Ipswich was in the minority, and I think the ref got it wrong.
            But I still think if you stopped the last minute subs it would be more beneficial to flowing football and more positive results, my opinion only of course.
            KRO+DNM

          • Staffs Blue says:

            I have to be honest, I’ve never been a fan of 7 subs. 4 would do, a keeper, a defender, a midfielder and a striker. Absolutely no need for any more. IMO of course.

          • Chris W says:

            I think only 3 is all you need, not many teams use three strikers, usually take one off, unless you are LC then you take both off and replace them with midfielders.
            KRO+DNM

          • Staffs Blue says:

            The only reason I said 4, was because of the goalkeeper, otherwise, as you said, 3 is enough.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            To be honest Chris, I think it’s having Caddis in there that makes us vulnerable. He charges round like a headless chicken (similar to Adeyemi.) When you play centre mid, you have to be disciplined and stick to your job. I’d put either Gleeson or Reilly in the position… I don’t think Brown is ready yet.

          • Chris W says:

            Not many options for centre mid, how about putting Edgar in there, push Davis forward to CM and using Will Packwood in defence, I think he will benefit having someone experienced along side him.
            KRO+DNM

          • Staffs Blue says:

            It’s an option. But I’d like to see how Packwood would do alongside Edgar. It would be interesting to see who would be the better partner for Edgar…. who for me is the nailed on No1 centre back.

          • Chris W says:

            Have to agree re Packwood, he needs to have experience around him and that would mean Gleeson having to take the CM place and I’m not overly convinced with him just yet.
            KRO+DNM

          • Staffs Blue says:

            I have to say, I’m not convinced by Gleeson yet either, but a lot of managers are, so I’d need to see more of him to be fair.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            Another option in midfield, would be Reilly, his passing isn’t that good, but he can do the physical side, allowing Davis to venture forward a bit, because he has a better passing range. Just a thought.

          • Chris W says:

            I thought of Reilly too, but as you say his passing isn’t too clever.
            KRO+DNM

          • Staffs Blue says:

            But his graft in midfield might allow Davis to play with a bit more freedom. He seems to be one of the better passers in the squad.

          • Chris W says:

            He also sticks to any task given to him, not sure why he didn’t feature in many friendlies or been on the bench yet.
            I liked his work ethic and he hasn’t been loaned out yet either.
            KRO+DNM

          • Staffs Blue says:

            Reilly could be a good ‘un, if only he improved his passing. Get that part of his game right.. and he could be a future captain imo.

          • Chris W says:

            Absolutely Staffs. Certainly one worth working on.
            KRO+DNM

  • Chris W says:

    Such a tragedy, Condolences to his family at this sad and difficult time to lose someone who has their whole life ahead of them.

  • dave mann says:

    tragic to see someone who was a nice guy die while on holiday….ive just come back off holiday and some off the drivers out in italy were rediculous and dangerous so very sorry about young Qasim, RIP………on the cup game, yes we are underdogs but ime not going to the game NOT expecting us to win, were 4 unbeaten and we should have won all 4 games, sunderland will play a weakened team and mk dons beat man utd last night….we can win and we will win because there just a very average premier league side that will struggle again this season, we also will sruggle but were at home and the home form curse as been removed…….come on blues KRO.

  • Staffs Blue says:

    It will be interesting to see who Clark picks for the game. Give or take one or two, we’ve used more or less the same players in 5 games in 14 days… tonight’s game will be the 6th in 18 days. As Clark said, there were a few who looked knackered on Saturday, so will he leave them out? I think that if we don’t play our strongest team tonight, we could be exiting the cup.

    Someone has to get a hold of Cattermole (and maybe wind him up,) and, if they play Brown and O’Shea in defence, we’re going to need the pace of Donaldson and Thomas. Brown and O’Shea are very experienced, but they have the turning speed of a battleship. We need to win the midfield battle and give the strikers half a chance.

    • Chris W says:

      Got to be Duffy and either Brown or Gray, attack both flanks. He might go Donaldson and Johnstone tonight, it is a game where he can experiment without losing face.
      I think it will be closer than many expect, could even go to penalties, something we could do without, but I have a feeling we will be in the draw for the next round.
      KRO+DNM

      • Staffs Blue says:

        I must be the only one who isn’t convinced Gray and Brown are ready yet. As for the match, if we lose, Lee Clark will get the same criticism as always, doesn’t matter who the opposition are. It’s win or bust. My team for tonight, would be;

        Doyle
        Spector Edgar Hall Grounds
        Duffy Gleeson Davis Cotterill
        Donaldson Thomas

        No pratting about… go for it and if we lose, at least we lose taking it to them.

        • dave mann says:

          hancox for grounds and thomas for johnstone and agree on the other 9 staffs. KRO.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            I think the criticism of Grounds for the goal is a little unfair. The whole defence were moving up when Gleeson hit that lob across to him. He was caught on the front foot (as were the rest of the defence) and couldn’t adjust to the pass quickly enough. Watch it again and you’ll see what I mean.

        • Chris W says:

          Brown and Gray are useful to have on the bench and when the defenders are tiring at the moment, but they need some game time to get the experience.
          Can’t see much wrong with that line up Staffs, the need to keep the back four together has to be the norm, the more they play the better and stronger they will become.
          KRO+DNM

  • Agent McLeish says:

    There’s as much chance of us winning this as Ziggy signing for Arsenal….hang on a minute!

  • RichardW says:

    Man U – ‘lower mid-table side’ Love it !!!

  • Steve says:

    Dan,have you heard anything on the takeover rumours on freeforums ?

    • Staffs Blue says:

      They reckon 2nd September. It sounds extremely optimistic… but with our owners, who knows!

      • Steve says:

        Day after Pannu goes,so he won’t get anything out of it. The bloke on freeforums named Jeremy Wray before it was announced.

      • Chris W says:

        Next Tuesday, I doubt anything will happen this year or even this season.
        Been too quiet for too long and nothing really happening on the HKSE or an announcement of an EGM which I would think has to happen to get everything signed sealed and delivered.
        Maybe I am up the wrong tree, I usually am when it comes to BIHL.
        KRO+DNM

        • Staffs Blue says:

          I’m not so sure you are wrong this time mate.

          • Chris W says:

            Like I said, barking up the wrong tree :-)
            If it happens all well and good but I’ll not hold my breath just yet or be putting any flags out.
            KRO+DNM

  • Chas says:

    Terrible news. What a tragic event. As with Fingles, thoughts go to his Family.

  • Staffs Blue says:

    I see Jordi Gomez is playing for Sunderland tonight. We need to be careful of that diving little tw*t!

  • Staffs Blue says:

    Didn’t deserve that.

  • AussieBlue says:

    We were well defeated by an undefeated Premiership side in 11th spot….take heart; we are a Championship side made up of hard working League One aspirants. Not so bad; we can now focus on staying up or better….with new owners soon!

    • Staffs Blue says:

      We pretty well matched them up until the last 10 minutes though. 1-0 you could have accepted… but 3-0? Nah, they weren’t that much better.

      • dave mann says:

        it us on the break three times in the last 13 mins staffs and killed us off in a game where the scoreline flattered them and totally undeserved for us….but if you dont take your chances…..!!!! KRO.

        • Auld Bertie says:

          Once again a personality change seemed to affect a referee who in the first half had been quite good but in the second half firmly had his premiership side goggles on. Virtually every decision was awarded to Sunderland and the decision not to award us a throw in at the start of the move that resulted in their first goal was unbelievable. The ball was at least 12 inches over the touchline and he was positioned about two yards away and simply must have seen that it crossed the line. That sorely deflated us but we continued to battle well and got caught twice on the break. The 0-3 scoreline severely flattered Sunderland and I was quite heartened by the performance.

          • dave mann says:

            yes it was quite a good performance but no end product again
            and nothing to show for there battling spirit, if we continue to keep going for 90 mins then our season might not be as bad as we first thought….heres to three points at wigan on saturday…….PS..at least we lost to a team in a league above and not to a team two leagues below us like the dirty vile did….thats some concelation i suppose. KRO.

          • AussieBlue says:

            I was thinking the same Dave….remember Bradford?? And the great ‘Downfall’ video spoof?

          • Tony says:

            Bertie that was down to the linesman oooops sorry lineslady. nuff said lol

          • Auld Bertie says:

            True Tony but she was at least 30 yards away and he was two yards away – surely he could have overruled her? On another subject she ref’d the Villa vs Blues ladies match and spoke to the players like dirt. Obviously thinks a lot of herself.

          • Chas says:

            Nuff said ? Was that a reference to her Gender ? The worse offenders I have seen were all men and the best Assistant that I have seen , time after time, is the small girl who those idiotys Gray and the other fool slagged off on TV. She has proved them wrong time after time. Some fans really ought to grow up.

          • Tony says:

            Chas are you a member of the loony left, treacle knitting fraternity who have brought this country to its knees?. the last few days have demonstrated how dangerous that philosophy is

          • Chas says:

            Your insults are not needed ,Tony. Did you see the Assistant in the Everton Match yesterday ? A bloke , nuff said . He made terrible decisions, the worse being Howard being nearly a yard outside his area when he picked the ball up. Nuff said.

        • Staffs Blue says:

          That’s been our main problem so far this season dave. If we’d scored just 2 or 3 more goals, it could have resulted in 4 more points and maybe a 3rd round draw. The margins are that fine. But, hopefully the team will get better, we’re only 4 league games in…. and we have Matt Green to come back yet and Denny Johnstone to get up to full fitness.

          • dave mann says:

            looking forward to the rest of the season staffs to be honest but our looks got to change in and around the penalty box otherwise were end up throwing far to many points away and looking over our shoulder again and I think were better than that but its points that count and hopefully were get more than last seasons 44 but will it be enough to stay up ? KRO.

          • dave mann says:

            looking forward to the rest of the season staffs to be honest but our looks got to change in and around the penalty box otherwise were end up throwing far to many points away and looking over our shoulder again and I think were better than that but its points that count and hopefully were get more than last seasons 44 but will it be enough to stay up ? KRO.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            The annoying thing is, we’re this close to being a good team. Maybe when we can get the blend between midfield and up front right, we’ll click. The most important thing is the final ball… that’s where we’re falling down. We’re maybe giving the strikers a bit too much to do with our final ball… but, the strikers need to start taking their chances too.

          • Chris W says:

            Can’t complain at the number of crosses last night but they were all too deep, we need someone coming in from the far post.
            It was also good to see Doyle throw the ball out to build from the back a little more often too.
            As I say there are a lot of positives and not many Championship sides will be as well drilled or skilful at the back, Brown and O’Shea are two very experienced defenders and that showed last night.
            KRO+DNM

          • Staffs Blue says:

            I noticed Lee Clark giving Doyle a big thumbs up when he was bowling the ball out. It bears out my thinking of last week, that Randolph hoofs the ball far too much, giving the strikers little chance of getting on the end of them.

            As for the far posts in football, we should all feel very sorry for them… they’re so neglected in today’s game.

      • AussieBlue says:

        I’ll go with your summary Staffs as I wasn’t there. The reports did sound positive but we have often lost points very late in games when we have played well otherwise. It’s as if we are unprepared for final aggression and last ditch efforts. As they say in opera: ‘It ain’t over till the fat lady sings’

        • Staffs Blue says:

          Our main problem AB, is that there are chances going begging every game. We need to up the average a bit (goals per chances) and things will look much better. As I said earlier, 1 more goal in each of the last 3 games and we would have been looking at an extra 4 points and maybe in the hat for the next round (even with a draw.) It’s that fine atm.

  • Tony says:

    Nothing unexpected there, We were beaten by a poor premiership side who will again be fighting relegation this season. They took their chances and we did not Thomas again.
    The gap in class is all to obvious and told in the end they had over 60% of the ball we had 39%. Sunderland find Stans a difficult place to get a win but last night was all to easy. Problem is reversals become a habit and I fear last night together with the Brentford debacle will knock the confidence and begin a downhill spiral.

    • Chris W says:

      I think you are being a little unfair, we were not out played or over run, imo.
      I agree that Sunderland were better than us but our work rate and shape gave us plenty to cheer and if LC had not tinkered yet again the way he did who knows what might have been.
      I saw more positives from that game than I saw all last season, I don’t think we will be too badly off this season once all the players play to their strengths.
      I still have doubts about Thomas, but he works well with Donaldson who also had a couple of half chances last night, and it is the half chances we need to be taking.

      • dave mann says:

        that’s more like the confidence were looking for chris, keep up the good work and not the doom and gloom of happy Tony who wants to make all of us go for the rope and end it now. KRO

      • Raymondo says:

        We had some near misses on their goal in the first half including Cotterill hitting the post and their defenders clattering into Donaldson in the penalty area. But as the comntators on WM said “This ref won’t give Blues anything if they play all night. Sounds like a very “pro the Premiership team” type of ref. Robinson was booked with his first tackle whilst their defenders got away with a lot of fouls throughout the gane. Still the Villa lost at home to Leyton Orient and the WM commentator described the game as being so poor from both sides that it should have been described as a “non football” League Cup game.

        • Chris W says:

          I must admit we have had a couple of bad referees at our last two home games.
          I think the standard of refereeing has dropped considerably over the last couple of seasons, it has been in decline for a lot longer. The refusal you use technology isn’t helping and any introduction is slow filtering through.
          The Vile losing was a brighter note and the work ethic of our players, I just hope they can maintain it for the whole season,
          We didn’t get much from referees last season so it is not something we are not accustomed too.
          KRO+DNM

      • Tony says:

        Trying not to be unfair, Sunderland are a poor premiership side but much better than us. You cant make a silk purse out of cows ear, and Im afraid cows ears are all we have playing for us.

        • Chris W says:

          I believe credit where it is due, the players didn’t let themselves, the club or the supporters down last night.
          We are at best, an average Championship and we have players who are giving 100%, we were knocked out by a Premiership side, unlike our sad neighbours.
          Following Man U’s embarrassment on Tuesday most Premier clubs set about no following suit otherwise I think we would have beat Sunderland.
          KRO+DNM

    • dave mann says:

      like your confidence Tony, keep it up mate and maybe were be relegated by xmas. KRO.

    • Agent McLeish says:

      Wow, you sound like Frazer from Dad’s Army (showing my age). “We’re all doomed”!

  • Staffs Blue says:

    I’ve seen enough of Duffy, albeit in cameos so far, to make me believe he deserves a run in the team. He’s better than anything else we have down that right flank. Also, I think Lee Clark should think again about bringing in a naturally left sided winger/midfielder. Novak isn’t the answer and neither is Gray. Cotterill can play there, but we need someone else. A dip into the loan market maybe?

    • dave mann says:

      Jordon ibe on his way to derby….he could have been the answer? KRO.

    • Chris W says:

      I could not understand the logic in taking Duffy off last night, with Cotterill we kept the back four occupied which was instrumental in limiting their attacking options, they were pretty impotent to be honest.
      It was when Novak came on that they ventured forward with any zest and venom.
      KRO+DNM

  • Jazzzy786 says:

    The team is overloaded with right sided players and LC needs to either get a left winger on loan or play a left footer like Hancox there. Gray and Cotterill are poor on the left. Novak grafts hard but has the pace of a dead snail and his passing is not great. Up front we look impotent. I don’t understand why Gleeson is even in the side let alone ahead of Reece Brown and Callum Reilly in the pecking order.

    RIP Qasim

  • Staffs Blue says:

    Reece Brown has joined Notts County on a month’s youth loan.

  • Staffs Blue says:

    Tom Cleverly going to The Vile. Desperate, much?

  • Staffs Blue says:

    Blues spent £407,000 on agents fees last summer. Half a million on vultures. Could have bought a decent left footer for that!

    • Chris W says:

      And that was just Ziggy’s.
      About time clubs stopped encouraging these parasites.
      KRO+DNM

      • Staffs Blue says:

        If football stood together on this and said agents will now be paid out of the players wages, or we won’t deal with them, things might go a different way. I’ve always failed to see why the clubs have to pay the agent’s fees. They’re representing the players not the clubs… so should be paid by the players, not the clubs. But, whilst the greed remains at the top, nothing will change.

        • Chris W says:

          The payment by players has always been my argument, since when did a garage pay you to buy a car, Transfer fees would drop and players would not be so quick to force a transfer request if they had to pay someone to negotiate for them.
          KRO+DNM

          • Staffs Blue says:

            If clubs refused to deal with agents… what would the players do then?

          • Chris W says:

            See out their contracts and show some loyalty as most have a low I.Q to negotiate contracts on their own.
            KRO+DNM

          • Staffs Blue says:

            The Professional Footballers Association used to negotiate players contracts…. and as far as I’m aware, that facility is still available to players. You could see the PFA getting a decent deal for players… but no, the players are so greedy and lazy these days, that’s why they employ agents.

          • Chris W says:

            Then it should be down to clubs to only negotiate with the PFA, if all clubs did that it would soon see the end of players agents. The alternative is to not pay an agent, any fees comes out of the transfer fee. i.e, £1 m fee becomes £900,000 which is less the 10% or whatever the agents fee may be.
            KRO+DNM

          • Staffs Blue says:

            Agree 100%.


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