Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

EvertonChelsea (Getty Images)

By JUSTIN FERGUSON

After a road loss to Manchester City last weekend knocked them out of the FA Cup, Chelsea will look to stay in pole position for the English Premier League title against an Everton side that got the best of them earlier this season.

The Blues fell 1-0 to USMNT goalkeeper Tim Howard and Everton at Goodison Park earlier this season, but they have risen to the top of the EPL table since their loss on Merseyside. Chelsea, who still have not lost in league play at Stamford Bridge this season, are unbeaten in their last 18 home matches against Everton. The Toffees have struggled on the road in recent weeks and will most likely need a positive result to keep them in a Europa League spot.

In other Saturday EPL action, second-place Arsenal will take on USMNT forward Jozy Altidore and Sunderland at Emirates Stadium. While relegation-zoned Sunderland have only lost once in their last 10 matches across all competitions, Arsenal have not lost a home match in league play since Opening Day against Aston Villa.

Elsewhere, Manchester City host Stoke City at Ethiad Stadium, while struggling Manchester United look for a road win at Crystal Palace before the start of their Champions League fixture with Olympiakos next week. In Spain, Barcelona visit Real Sociedad in hopes of keeping their lead above rivals Real Madrid, who host Elche at the Bernabeu.

If you will be watching today’s action, please feel free to share your thoughts, opinions, and some play-by-play in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action. (Today’s TV schedule is after the jump):

7:45am – Chelsea vs. Everton – NBC Sports Network

7:45am – Heart of Midlothian vs. Celtic – Fox Soccer Plus

9:30am – Hamburg vs. Borussia Dortmund – GolTV USA

10am – Arsenal vs. Sunderland – USA Network

10am – Real Madrid vs. Elche – beIN Sports USA

10am – Manchester City vs. Stoke City – Premier League Extra Time

10am – West Bromwich Albion vs. Fulham - Premier League Extra Time

10am – West Ham United vs. Southampton - Premier League Extra Time

10am – Cardiff City vs. Hull City - Premier League Extra Time

11am – Marseille vs. Lorient – Univision Deportes

12pm – Celta de Vigo vs. Getafe – beIN Sports en Español

12:30pm – Crystal Palace vs. Manchester United – NBC

12:30pm – Wolfsburg vs. Bayer Leverkusen – GolTV USA

2pm – Real Sociedad vs. Barcelona – beIN Sports USA

2pm – Montpellier vs. Ajaccio – Univision Deportes

2:45pm – Bologna vs. AS Roma – beIN Sports USA

4pm – Almeria vs. Malaga – beIN Sports en Español

5:30pm – Nacional (Uru) vs. Danubio – GolTV USA

6pm – Club America vs. Pumas UNAM – Univision

8pm – Pachuca vs. Morelia – Univision Deportes

8pm – Tigres UANL vs. Veracruz – UniMás

9:05pm – Club Leon vs. Santos – Telemundo

10pm – Atlas vs. Monterrey – Univision Deportes

This entry was posted in European Soccer, Featured, Mexican Soccer, South American Soccer, Your Running Commentary. Bookmark the permalink.

230 Responses to Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

  1. malkin says:

    If you click on Live Table on espnfc right now, it shows Hull, Swansea, and Stoke at the top of the table. Looks like Klinsy has instilled some new champions league beliefe in geoff and co!

  2. Omaha Central says:

    Jozy not in the 18!!!!

  3. Fed Up says:

    Can’t find the Sunderland eighteen yet, but these comments from Poyet about Jozy should be absolutely terrifying if you’re a USMNT/Jozy fan. To steal the article headline, Poyet seems to have given up on Jozy.

    link to rokerreport.sbnation.com

    • B says:

      Seems pretty bizarre considering he said the exact opposite a couple weeks ago. Doesn’t seem like much has changed since then.

      • Fed Up says:

        Could have been buying time and keeping the peace until his new signing and Fletcher were back healthy? Not idea.

        Does sound like a quick switch.

    • B says:

      And he’s starting. So don’t get too stressed about this.

    • Leo says:

      I think it’s funny how you read the headline and ran straight to SBI to offer your opinion, rather than actually reading the article.

      Thanks for the link, though.

      • Gerard D. says:

        Er?

        He/she directed you to read the quotes in the article–which is pretty much the entire article–and that makes you think he/she did not read the article because?

        • Leo says:

          “Maybe he is playing a different way for the national team. I went to see him against Scotland and I didn’t see any difference. It was 0-0.

          Look, I had a good record with Chelsea and a rubbish record with Uruguay. I was the same player, same boots, same everything, but it didn’t work for me. Maybe this is the opposite case. I understand why.

          We are all different. [Look at] Steven Pienaar. I absolutely love him from Everton. He went to Spurs and it didn’t work. He went back and he was unbelievable.

          Can he only play for Everton? No, come on, but it didn’t work for him. Why? Who knows. You don’t know. It’s the way you play, the way he understands the players around him.”

          Even taken out of context, these quotes can *barely* be seen as critical of Jozy, inasmuch as Poyet was critiquing his ENTIRE attacking corps in the interview these quotes were culled from.

          Fletcher, Wickham (who hasn’t seen many minutes, to be fair), Altidore, none of them have put the ball away. Fletcher did well last season. Altidore did well last season for AZ. Poyet is saying that perhaps the style of play may or may not suit Altidore; however, Poyet’s the manager that has been tasked to get the Cats out of the relegation zone, and that’s what he’s doing. I’ll wager any amount of money that Jozy’s doing everything Poyet is asking of him.

          In my opinion, these comments serve primarily to light a fire under Altidore, secondly to relieve pressure from fan criticism from Altidore, and thirdly to give Klinsmann the finger, in a classy manner, for saying that Jozy should be playing for a better team.

          I don’t like Poyet’s style of play right now, but I respect it. I think he’s a good manager.

          I hope that addressed your question.

          • Dman says:

            +1000 I didn’t read anything in Poyets quote that made me think that he changed his view of Jozy.

            • Nate says:

              and Sunderland’s second half performance, without Jozy, illustrates that their striker problems arent limited to just him.

    • BB says:

      When was this quote from? I feel like I’ve read this before, and also, the Scotland game was in November.

  4. Observer says:

    Joy is starting today.

  5. Fed Up says:

    Ozil dropped from the lineup entirely? Yeah, I can see that.

  6. A.S.A. says:

    Tim Howard playing like a dog today.

  7. cps says:

    Howard with 2 fantastic saves vs Chelsea within 5 seconds.

  8. Observer says:

    Dempsey is not starting today.

  9. TomG says:

    Juve apparently sweetening their offer to SKC for Erik Palmer-Brown. Happy to be wrong about that one. I thought they should have taken the first offer.

  10. Omaha Central says:

    Timmy half clearance leads to a chance.

  11. Omaha Central says:

    Own goal by Howard. Chelsea 1 Everton 0

    • away goals says:

      I think it’ll go down as a lampard goal. If the original shot is on target a deflection doesn’t turn it into an own goal.

  12. Dave says:

    Gee, a dive decides Chelsea/Everton What a surprise

  13. A.S.A. says:

    Everton does not deserve to lose

  14. Fed Up says:

    Of course Chelsea wins a game on a blatant dive.

    • Joe C. says:

      I’m not sure I can dislike a team more than I dislike Chelsea. They have truly mastered the arts of simulation, complaining, and smug superiority.

      • Leo says:

        I dislike Chelsea more than any other sports team I ever supported.

        What’s the use of supporting a team if you feel terrible every time they win? About to hop off this bandwagon.

        • Joe C. says:

          Man, I never even thought about what it must be like for their supporters. Glad I started hating them the first time Mourinho was there, at least I dodged that bullet.

  15. Arsenal says:

    The amount of diving and cheap shots chelsea have taken today, and all season, is disgusting. There needs to be some reform in referring where they are forced to play instead of falling down constantly and grabbing the ball to stop play. It is extremely painful to watch, and really ruins the game.

  16. Fed Up says:

    That’s what, West Brom and Everton that have been lost games to a blatant, disgusting Ramires dive?

    Seriously, time to break out investigations. This is getting ridiculous.

  17. Clemsonuee says:

    The new manager seems to have made no difference for Dempsey. He’s not in the 18. Burn and Kvist get replaced after both performing well these last two games. Mitroglou makes the bench so hopefully we get to see him sometime today.

    Dempsey’s loan doesn’t end until the end of the month but I’d assume at this point it would do both sides good for him to head back to Seattle.

  18. Nate Dollars says:

    are people just not watching? the everton defender definitely caught ramires on the knee. it was always a foul, and, i’d argue, a legitimate yellow, since he knew he wasn’t getting to the ball. ramires going down unnecessarily has nothing to do with it.

    • Arsenal says:

      For myself, I was talking about the entire game. Torres just jumping in the air and falling down like he has been shot is ridiculous. Chelsea defenders just falling down with the least bit of contact when their backed into a corner and in trouble. You can’t even breath on a player these days without getting a card. The game has gone soft, especially in the bigger leagues.

      • Nate Dollars says:

        “The game has gone soft, especially in the bigger leagues.”

        i absolutely agree, but that’s certainly not limited to chelsea (witness everton in this *exact same game*), nor are they far and away the worst, so i’m not sure why people are just hammering chelsea for it.

    • away goals says:

      Conspiracies and moral outrage are more fun.

  19. ZTom says:

    Howard own goal in 92nd minute….

    Any fanboyz still think this clown is any good?

    If so, you need your head examined.

    Guzan is USMNT #1, now there can be no doubt.

    • Nate Dollars says:

      lol, didn’t watch the game

    • away goals says:

      Whoever’s conceded a goal most recently should be benched that’s how JK should do it.

    • Leo says:

      Clearly, you started watching the match in extra time.

      Everton claimed more of the possession and their defense was actually pretty good today, but their attacking was atrocious. The ball spent most of its time in Everton’s half. Despite Howard’s Howler, if you’re being objective, some of that should be put on where that foul was given up and the forwards/midfielders inability to do, well, anything right all match long.

    • Gary Page says:

      Both Begovich and Stecklenberg gave up goals they should have stopped today and both are the GK’s for teams in the World Cup. I wonder if their fans are saying they should be replaced?

      • GW says:

        Those calling for Howard to be dropped by the USMNT based on this game defective in many ways.

        Neverthless he will need to be much better than he was in this game or than he was against Ghana in 2010.

        Begovich plays for Bosnia H.

        Stecklenburg plays for the Netherlands

        Neither team needs their keeper to be “Freidelesque” in this World Cup the way the US will.

        If the US keeper is not nearly red hot perfect, the USMNT might as well not show up.

  20. Gerard D. says:

    Must be said, that is the second time Chelsea has avoided dropping points at home by a last-minute Ramires dive directly resulting in a goal.

    Hard to think their matches have integrity with this kind of blatant consistency.

  21. Shawn says:

    Fun day for sports, basketball, soccer, racing, ufc.

  22. JayAre says:

    The Return of Jonathan Spector & Return of Brek Shea to the Bench!

  23. argh says:

    chelsea and Manchester United are cheats. we all know it

    apparently Rooney is getting 300,000 pounds a week thoug 18 months ago he demanded to leave and back in late 2010 he threatened to joined Man City.

    it’s ridiculous how he can be rewarded. no loyalty

  24. away goals says:

    You’ll all be relieved to know altidore will not be seeing much of the ball today.

  25. Fair Observer says:

    dear Brett…… guess who’s man scored a goal in the first 5 minutes……. YOUR boy M Alonso……

  26. jones says:

    Sunderland defense doing nothing so far today…

  27. Fair Observer says:

    another point, Arsenal’s goal is the EXACT passing that sunderland NEVER do in the final third. Sunderland’s mids never make those simple touch passes inside the box. there would have been a shot from outside of the box before they could have gotten there …… hopefully sunderland can watch and learn

    • away goals says:

      That’s true, but making those passes in the box is pretty difficult and it’s why arsenal’s players play for arsenal and sunderland’s play for sunderland.

      • Fair Observer says:

        fair point, yet sunderland never even ATTEMPT to play those passes, although they may not have the skill to consistently make those passes, they can at least try some here and there rather than A) 30 yard long shots or B) hopeful (read: terrible) crosses that find no one

        • away goals says:

          That kind of quality in the box is as much about vision and awareness as skill.

          It’s the difference between players who can think in four dimensions and those who can only see what’s right in front of them.

          • Fair Observer says:

            true, but some of them are blatantly obvious

            also, Giac is the type of player who is capable of those passes but POYET “cant find a place to get him on the field”……. really???!!!!? take off colback……… pertty obvious

  28. Francois says:

    Jozy with a good pass in transition to send Ki on the counter.

    • away goals says:

      By my count that’s one positive contribution on one touch. Outstanding efficiency, not great frequency.

      Oooh now a nice headed layoff. Two for two!

  29. Fair Observer says:

    aaaaaaaand M Alonso getting burned on his side defensively again…….

  30. Observer says:

    Why didn’t Borini pay the ball to Altidore…?

  31. Fair Observer says:

    like right there, borini should just play a simple ball to altidore, even the commentator said it, sunderland dont look for ground passes in the box, so frustrating to watch

  32. TomG says:

    Almost an inconceivably naive gameplan to start the match from Poyet, sitting back, putting 10 men behind the ball, not pressuring the ball, and allowing Arsenal to pass the ball into the net. I like Bus in general, but that was just stupid, especially since the Gooners were ripe for taking after the tough midweek clash. Instead of pushing the pace against the tired side, they sat back and allowed the Gooners the time and space to set their own pace.

    • TomG says:

      Gus, not Bus

    • Fair Observer says:

      yea, literally NO ONE on sunderland want to close down on the ball. especially Brett’s favorite “defender”: M Alonso

    • Gary Page says:

      At least this is understandable since Arsenal is a superior team and everyone knows that. However, I have seen Poyet use that strategy against a team in the bottom half while playing at home. Now that is hard to understand if you are fighting to get out of relegation.

  33. usa fan says:

    Prime example at how the players don’t set up Jozy. Jozy was coming in on a beautiful run and Borini ball hogs it while running into 3 Arsenal players. Very stupid play by Borini. If Altidore had done that they would have been crying and yelling at him for not passing the ball.

  34. Bob says:

    Borini has ignored two simple passes that would have put Jozy in on target with only a defender or keeper to beat.

    • Fair Observer says:

      yet somehow it’s ALWAYS 100% Jozy’s fault that he’s not scoring on the regular………….. haha. Im not giving Jozy a free pass but haters that don’t watch the game and just say he’s bad because he doesn’t score don’t know the whole story. this game is so far the definition of “No service to the ST”…..

      • Citronomics says:

        Folks should check out an analysis Greg Seltzer posted getting underneath the top line on Altidore’s play. While he definitely has missed chances and has let his frustration/lack of confidence impact his play (though not as much very recently), it is clear looking at NSC analysis Jozy is not getting help. He is last, among the players analyzed, in shots taken and best in strikes put on frame.

        Cheers all

    • Fan Futbol says:

      It’s amazing how bad Sunderland are at making simple passes. Wow.

    • Gary Page says:

      And that is why Jozy did so much better in Holland and for the USMNT than for Sunderland. As I have pointed out before, he averages only a bit more than 1 shot per game.

  35. TomG says:

    Awful ball by AJ to Borini. Come on, AJ! Feed that to Jozy. At least he has a chance at winning that.ball. Borini has no shot at all.

  36. Fair Observer says:

    wow……..

  37. Maykol says:

    Fantastic passing from sunderlands defense for both goals. 10/10!

  38. Bob says:

    Fantastic finish.

    But that pass…

  39. Yusef says:

    All the Yanks in the Championship seem to be back in their squads. Onyewu, Packwood, Spector, Ream, and Williams all starting. Lichaj and Shea on the bench.

  40. Nate Dollars says:

    i think i’ve said this before, but whenever i see sunderland play, i’m always amazed that they’ve earned as many points as they have. god they’re horrible. maybe they’re actually overachieving?

    • Fan Futbol says:

      Seconded. They are unbelievably inept and ugly.

    • Leo says:

      I think Poyet’s approach has been to maximize point total. Fine against grouses your size, but easily found out against clubs like Arsenal.

      It’s definitely not attractive, not by a longshot.

  41. Bob says:

    This is painful.

  42. usaalltheway says:

    Jozy is such a great MEMBER of a team. He isn’t much of a play maker or singleton, but as a cog there is no better. His passing has always impressed.

    Too bad his teammates don’t reciprocate as much. A simple pass or two to him in the box would do wonders for him and the team but…

    Arsenal is running amuck. They are simply the better team in every position.

    • Maykol says:

      His passes are awful what are you talking about?

      • usaalltheway says:

        Not from I have seen. His passing game is great.

        Although I don’t have the stats for that, but I am pretty sure they are high.

        • Maykol says:

          Every game i have watched him with sunderland he always makes at least a couple really bad passes.really dont consider passing as one of his strengths

          • Nate Dollars says:

            most forwards make a couple of bad passes a game, due to the space being closed down, and reward being greater for risk taken. he’s a good passer.

            • Maykol says:

              When hes pressured i can understand, but he has had so many giveaways in the midfield with plenty of space

              • Gary Page says:

                When it comes to Sunderland, I would rate Jozy as one who has among the fewest in bad giveaways. You are delusional.

              • Maykol says:

                Hmmm, i see altidore having bad giveaways in midfield plenty of times in the past. I see actual sunderland fans complain about it too. But who i should i believe? My own two eyes as well as sunderland fans? Or the guy that only watches Sunderland games because of altidore?

      • Francois says:

        Really? Do you even know about soccer? Do you watch him regularly? He’s the best passer on the team besides Ki.

  43. Bob says:

    You know its bad when the generally neutral and soft commentators are calling into question the professionalism of most of a squad.

  44. Fair Observer says:

    thats the first good tackel ive ever seen by m alonso…… although if he didnt make it he would have left two players wide open on the wing….

  45. Bob says:

    This might be a good time to recall that Sunderland has a starter for the Italian national team on their squad somewhere… hiding.

    • Fair Observer says:

      yea he scored their only goal….. yet Poyet “can’t seem to find a way to get him in the lineup”

    • Gary Page says:

      I have pointed that out before. Jozy plays a lot more minutes than Giac. Yet the haters think Jozy is terrible and thus the US team is bad, etc. So, what does that then say about the Italian team if lousy Altidore plays more than Giac? Actually, what it says is that many people commenting here don’t know jack about soccer.

      • MidWest Ref says:

        to the contrary GP,doesn’t it mean that we know the same as the prior and current coach of an EPL team who also don’t play the Italian forward? I don’t understand your post

  46. Don the Jewler says:

    The difference between a top EPL team and a bottom tier team makes the game nearly un-watchable.

    • JayAre says:

      I noticed the same thing. This is the same team that Bayern systematically broke down for 90 minutes. This is why the English league is third best behind Spain and Germany.

      • Herschel Skywalker says:

        That’s BS. Any bottom table English side could beat regularly mid to bottom table teams in those other leagues. That’s how you have to judge it, not by the top few teams in eCh league. Spain has basically two or three teams worth a damn and, though Germany is getting better parity, Sunderland would beat hodge brim like a drum. Get real here.

        • JayAre says:

          You are very wrong! Go back and look at the recent history in the Uefa Cup/ Europa League and you’ll see

          • Herschel Skywalker says:

            That’s the few top teams again who make those leagues. You won’t see Hertha Berlin in Europa League or anywhere near it. Nor will you see bottom table Spanish sides. Half of the English Championship sides could beat the bottom table sides in the top tier of almost every other league in Europe. That’s how you have to judge the quality of a league: how many of the leagues teams could compete with teams from other leagues. It doesn’t matter if the top team (like Bayern) can compete with another leagues top teams. That’s why EPL is so far above the other leagues – not bc Chelsea could beat Milan, but because Sunderland, Fulham and West Brom could whip Chievo, or Hamburg or Real Betis on a pretty consistent basis.

            • Gary Page says:

              Also there is the fact that Man City, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool, Tottenham and even Everton are all pretty close in quality (plus Man United when they get their stuff together). No other league has as many good teams in the top half. All 4 English teams made the knockout stage of the CL this season.

            • Increase0 says:

              Well Hamburg is mega bad.(I know they beat Dortmund. Still mega bad.)

  47. g-dub says:

    Sunderland gameplan: backpass – sidepass – packpass – sidepass – sidepass – backpass – backpass – giveaway. Repeat.

    • jones says:

      you forgot stand still – stand still – stand still

    • usaalltheway says:

      You forgot to mention, “let the opponent score, then backpass – sidepass – backpass, etc.”

      This is just awful.

      Jozy on the other hand has actually looked good when he gets the ball.

    • JayAre says:

      WoW I’m glad someone else finally noticed this. Jozy doesn’t suck Sunderland does!!!

    • ZTom says:

      Just like watching SpongeMikeySquarePass (when he plays that is, been awhile) and then Ives marvels at Mikey’s “completion rate” and compares Mikey to Pirlo, funny..

      • Gary Page says:

        It seems like every comment you make is to knock a US player. You sound like a tr011 who hates on the US.

        • Pirithous says:

          A couple weeks ago, ZTom’s evidence that Tim Howard and Michael Bradley are terrible is that they blew the 2006 and 2010 world cups for us with their inexcusable play. He couldn’t be put off the idea even when it was pointed out that neither player played in the 2006 world cup, but he kept insisting that two world cups ruined was too much.

          • Nate Dollars says:

            ha, didn’t realize that was the same commenter. i thought that guy was trying to be funny at first.

        • ZTom says:

          “” You sound like a tr011 who hates on the US.”"

          Buddy, I’ve been a USMNT fan since before you were born, guarantee it.

          I don’t agree with Klinsi and his 5 “core” players who he says are the rock of the USMNT.

          SpongeMikeSquarePass, Deuce, Howard, JJ, they all need to be dropped and we move on. That’s 4, drop the other one, too.

          • Gary Page says:

            I’m 68 years old, played soccer in the late 60′s and early 70′s and have followed the men’s team since they qualified in 1990. I have watched literally thousands of games. I only comment when I have a good idea of what I’m talking about and which is based on lots of experience. So, you’ve been following the national team since 1944?

  48. Scott says:

    That. Was. Pretty.

  49. Increase0 says:

    Scrubsssssss. Traffic cones.

  50. Roy says:

    So far no one can blame Jozy for not scoring in a game with Sunderland playing defense–and defense only.

  51. TomG says:

    Gorgeous tiki-taka from Arsenal but why oh why is O’Shea standing there watching Rozicky instead of tracking him?

  52. Don the Jewler says:

    Duane Holmes starting for Yeovil Town V Doncaster

  53. Fair Observer says:

    i truly hope Brett watched M Alonso, who was marking Rosicky during that whole play, just stop running with Rosicky….. allowing him to run open into the box off a wall pass, alonso literally just gave up.

    Brett: THESE ARE THE EXACT MOMENTS I SPEAK OF WHEN I SAY M ALONSO IS A TERRIBLE DEFENDER……. HOW CAN YOU NOT SEE THIS?!?!?

    • jones says:

      ok we get it, you don’t rate Alonso and you have a beef with “Brett.”

      [ps - I agree Alonso is pretty terrible]

      • Fair Observer says:

        apologies for the overkill. Brett seemed to want to lay into me a few matches ago saying that Alonso’s ability to help in the attack made him a good choice for LB. I however like defender’s to defend first, then attack second (like Dani Alves, etc). I’m basically just tryin to poke at Brett until he stops sitting on his tongue today. If he’s watching this game there’s no way possible for him to stick up for Alonso’s defense….. its terrible as usual. Ill stop tho. haha

        • Gary Page says:

          As I pointed out back then, managers who favor defenders who are better at attacking than defending are called ex-managers. It doesn’t matter the sport, defense wins championships.

        • Brett says:

          You shouldn’t make stuff up. All I ever said about Alonso was that Poyet plays him at LB because he wants his fullbacks pushing the width. Your obsession with him, and me, is nothing more than deflecting the focus from Jozy’s inefficacy.

          • Fair Observer says:

            Brett’s alive!!!!!!!

            all i ever said about Alonso was that he’s bad at defense and Sunderland would be better with an LB that plays defense. and there’s no obesession with either of you, just comically laughing at the fact that once again Alonso proves my point, terrible at defense. half of Arsenal’s goals today were his fault (he left giroud open on the first and let Rosicky waltz into the box and shoot on the third goal) and many more chances they had came from his side.

            glad to know you’re still alive…

    • Nate Dollars says:

      who is this “brett” you keep talking to? are his comments just being deleted before i can see them?

    • Kingsly Alexander says:

      He might be a bad defender, but he’s one of the better service providers on the team. I don’t care about how many goals they give up because I don’t care about this team, but the one thing I do care about is more scoring opportunities to Jozy so in that sense, he’s one player I want on the field.

      The only players I don’t want out there are the ones who’s job it is to get the ball to Jozy who elect not too

      • Fair Observer says:

        then move alonso up to LM, get colback outta there……… but what would be even better is Giac AND Jozy on at the same time, with borini and AJ. seems so obvious

  54. Fan Futbol says:

    Ok, I’m done. Sunderland is so bad I can’t watch anymore.

  55. Bob says:

    You know what’s really incredible? Sunderland is still one of the most expensive squads on the planet.

    • usaalltheway says:

      Really??????

      I can’t believe that. Not that you are lying but could you link that please?

    • Rabbit says:

      Yeah, sorry man, I’m not believing that

      • Rabbit says:

        I stand somewhat corrected after reading the article. But I don’t see a comparison with any leagues outside of England. And even within England, their wages are pretty middle of the pack, and are greatly surpassed by the big 4. But I will admit it is surprising to see such a poor product on the field for a relatively healthy wage bill.

  56. TomG says:

    Jeez. Pass the ball, Johnson. Stop playing with it.

  57. argh says:

    fulham will be relegated. same with cardiff.

  58. argh says:

    JOZY is going to score 5 goals in the world cup. you heard it here

  59. usaalltheway says:

    Anyone watching Stoke?

    If so, what is the news on Cameron?

  60. Pace says:

    Jozy off at half. Ay

    • Roy says:

      If Sunderland can’t attack, what’s the point, I guess.

      • zeusbrowne says:

        FWIW Jozy was pretty invisible today. His only decent touches came when he dropped deep (not unique to today). However, because watching this game was making my eyes bleed I fast forwarded the 1st 20 minutes of the 2nd half (watching on DVR). Because Sunderland is SO awful, and their strikers are so isolated it took until Giaccerini’s goal for me to have a clear enough view to identify who was at striker (about 13 minutes). I defy ANY striker in the world to function effectively under those circumstances

  61. jones says:

    Taking off a striker makes sense but I probably would have taken Borini instead.

  62. Brian S. says:

    Boroni still on so he can dribble in to a wall but Altidore off. I guess Poyet is calling it quits for the day.

  63. usa fan says:

    Wait a minute, Jozy gets benched and Borini gets to stay on? Did Poyet even watch him miss every pass possible?

  64. Gerard D. says:

    Absolutely no need to watch the remainder of this game.

  65. A.S.A. says:

    Jozy and Johnson off at half. Interesting thought Jozy was playing well

    • Gerard D. says:

      He was probably their best player… despite doing not much. He made quality runs and don’t think he even misplaced a single pass.

      Sounds like Jozy and Adam are being protected for the Wembley final.

  66. usaalltheway says:

    And Jozy is gone. Why?

    Jozy really screwed up choosing this garbage team.

    He deserves better. Much better.

  67. Fair Observer says:

    with Giac on, Sunderland already have more creative play. i cant wait til the day Poyet starts

    Jozy
    Borini Giac AJ
    Ki Bridcutt
    (enter whichever 4 defenders)

    4-2-3-1 with talent and creation up front

    • Joe C. says:

      Not sure why this hasn’t gotten a better response, but for the most part I agree with you, I think this would be a pretty decent lineup.

    • Nate Dollars says:

      it’s because poyet doesn’t play a 4-2-3-1, he plays a 4-3-3/4-5-1. he can get a bunch of bad players to play not quite so badly, but he’s known to be pretty inflexible about his system.

      • Fair Observer says:

        really?…… 4-2-3-1 is basically a 4-5-1….. similar positioning. So call it what ever formation you want but get those players on the field was the point…

        • Nate Dollars says:

          the “5″ in poyet’s 4-5-1 consists of 3 holding players and two attacking players (roughly).

          if you did split it into 4 lines, it read more as a 4-3-2-1, but an unusual 4-3-2-1, because the “2″ would be split out wide.

          • Fair Observer says:

            semantics… the larger point was that he needs to have his best players on the field….. whichever formation works. Jozy as the “1″ with some form of Giac, Borini, AJ, Ki and Bridcutt…………… cal it a 4-1-1-1-1-1-1 for all i care, haha. but just get them on the field. Colback is a solid sub along with Gardner, Cattermole, Larsson and the rest

  68. TomG says:

    Jozy actually played very well, it seemed. Every touch was right to a teammate, putting them in a good position. Unfortunately most of the rest of the team was playing as if their mom forgot to give them their medication this morning. I think spazzy is the only word I can think of to describe their demeanor on the ball.

  69. Gerard D. says:

    Biases aside…. the Twittersphere provides perfect insight into why England continues to fail miserably internationally and at the club level.

    Not joking, there are more than a handful of vocal supporters who believe Borini is their best player. Apparently running fast without purpose and no tactical awareness is rewarded…

    • Fair Observer says:

      um, do u realize Borini is Italian……… not English…….. please do your homework before coming to class

    • JayAre says:

      This is why English teams always get someone sent off when they play teams with high tactical awareness (Germans & Spaniards). In England if you can run for days and have the touch of a donkey you’re a star player.

  70. Kingsly Alexander says:

    Jozy off. My take is that Poyet feels Jozy can only function as a target striker. If he thought he was clever or skilled enough to play as an out-and-out striker, then he’d have him out there still otherwise why would he take him off?

  71. Rabbit says:

    At what point do we stop subjecting ourselves to this torture, guys? I’ve gotten up for every Sunderland match I can this season, only to be disappointed EVERY time. It’s one thing to root and hope for Jozy, but his team is just so abjectly terrible, I’m not sure it’s worth the emotional investment anymore. On the fence about whether I will tune in anymore this season.

  72. John says:

    Can Stoke only defend like this for another half hour?

  73. John says:

    Fabian draws the PK that gets Hoffenheim a 2-2 draw

  74. John says:

    Brooks gets on for the last 5 minutes for Hertha, another step in the right direction

  75. Fair Observer says:

    confusing subs, scocco for ki? st fo cdm? i guess poyet just wants to give some players minutes in a terrible decided loss…

  76. Herschel Skywalker says:

    If March 5 happens, Packwood and Onyewu ought to get a runout, while Spector ought to get a call as a fullback and Lichaj as a left back. Ream has also played left back this year some. We have defensive options. Maybe Chandler or Spector can play defensive mids if JJ isn’t healthy.

    • Don the Jewler says:

      Chandler ? not even sure he will have resumed training from his injury by then. He is a long long shot for Brazil at this time.

      • Benny says:

        Chandler will see the field in about 6 to 7 weeks. If he is on form, it will be difficult not to put him on that plane considering the teams the U.S. will face.

    • ZTom says:

      ” Packwood and Onyewu ought to get a runout, while Spector ought to get a call as a fullback and Lichaj as a left back.”

      Agreed all around there, except,

      Spector & Klijestan as holding-mids in a 4-2-3-1, good bye SpongeMikeSquarePass and JJ…

    • Joe+G says:

      I guarantee that March 5th will happen.

      I won’t guarantee that there will be a match that day…

  77. Fair Observer says:

    second tackle ive seen by alonso ever, kudos

  78. John says:

    Now that is a missed sitter from Dzeco

  79. Fair Observer says:

    Dear Poyet, Giac needs to start, make Colback your first sub………………………

  80. Don the Jewler says:

    From reading the match tracker on espn it appears Duane Holmes draws a PK and Yeovil goes up 1-0

  81. g-dub says:

    Tough loss for Stoke. Admirable effort. After going down a they had a couple good attacks.

    Cameron – Shawcross – Pieters are remarkably solid across the back. So happy for Cammy and what he’s achieving at Stoke.

  82. Clemsonuee says:

    That’s 3 straight games with a late lead for Fulham and a total of 2 points to show for it. Frustrating to watch what would have been the points that took them out of the relegation zone slip away late.

  83. Fair Observer says:

    Sunderland’s best players by talent (roughly):

    Giac, Borini, AJ, JA, Bridcutt, Ki, Brown, Bardsley, O Shea, Colback, Alonso, Larson, Gardner, Wickham, Cattermole (as for the rest, who cares)

    I still cant understand why Poyet can’t get his starting line up right…… PUT GIAC IN THE STARTING 11, he’s the exact creative flair you need to pair with borini to create chances. It would help Jozy as well. so frustratingly obvious. put your best players on the field FFS

    • Leo says:

      I think Poyet’s going to be forced to start making some tactical changes, especially after today’s start. Do you know if Sunderland currently possess players capable of providing service from the wings?

      • Fair Observer says:

        AJ is the RW but he’s the kind of player that cant do anything with his right, he’s basically a RW that looks to only cut in along the 18 and shoot or lay off pass for a streaking mid, AJ does a good job at that tho. I still feel he’s better suited as a LW.

        Larson has good curve on crosses yet has played more centrally under poyet behind the winger. Larson also isnt really a full 90 type of player.

        as for the rest of the team there is no real crosser besides the LB M. Alonso, whom i believe would maybe be a better LW (he’s left footed with good possession and terrible at defense, positionally and 1v1).

        I feel Poyet’s system, ironically, strives to be like Arsenal’s possession and quick 1 touch passes at the top of the box to diessect defenses. sadly the mids for Sunderland never have met a shot from 30 that they didnt fall in love with like a highschooler…….

        where sunderland can improve are on seeing ground passing lanes in the final third (eg the same way Arsenal scored the 1st and 3rd goal today). granted this is like asking a JV team to play college level but still, shouldnt Sunderland want to get better? there were several times where players had open streaking players up front and held on to the ball looking for some long shot and eventually lost the ball. Giac is the only player i feel sees this and tries to create simple, quick ground passes near the box to create chances.

        i could go on but really, whats the point………. haha

  84. Fair Observer says:

    interesting stat: Sunderland’s second leading scorer is a sub…… Giaccherini. How does Poyet not start this man. JA, AJ, Borini, Giac, should be your front 4. with Bridcutt and Ki filling out the mid. simple 1 ST, 2 ST doesnt matter. JA and borini as 2 strikers with AJ and Giac out wide, ki as cam and bridcutt as cdm. JA as 1 ST with borini as CF/CAM, Giac and AJ out wide and ki and Bridcutt as cdms….. can it be more obvious……..

    • Fair Observer says:

      i actually wouldnt mind Borini wide left with Giacc (the workhorse) under jozy in the middle if he goes with 1 ST still.

    • Birgit Calhoun says:

      There is no telling about coaches’ motivations. Maybe he didn’t do well in training or he was late for practice. There are all kinds of ways to become a bench warmer. With Altidore its obvious with others not so, and then there is betting over all kinds of items from throw-ins to who scores and who doesn’t. Read “I Am The Secret Footballer”. That book contains all kinds of good stuff.

      • Fair Observer says:

        true, yet in Poyet’s recent interview he spoke in detail about Giac saying “[ He's a great player but I can't seem to find a place to get him in the lineup. It's not his fault, it's on my, I just can't figure out a spot to play him]” –paraphrased–. It was a believe in the last week or so if you want to find the interview and read the actual quotes.

        basically Poyet feels others have earned it more? im sorry but talent reigns supreme. Put your best 11 on the field for the majority of games…… especially when your squad lacks creativity and you have the most creative player on your team on the bench.

  85. John says:

    Boyd hits the post on what could have been a game winner, so close.

  86. Fredo says:

    Sociedad running all over Barca, 3-1. Barca looked mentally fatigued.

  87. Joamiq says:

    Howard superb all game long, and then makes a meal of a play in stoppage time to give Chelsea the winner…

    • ZTom says:

      “”Howard superb all game long, and then makes a meal of a play in stoppage time”"

      He’s a specialist in doing this, in case you haven’t been watching. (not stoppage time, just big match time)