The Sunderland Jigsaw Starts To Take Shape

Fans have speculated since the second the 2011/12 season finished as to what formation Martin O’Neill would be looking to use next season. Some even began speculating in mid-April when our season was effectively over.

The Sunderland Jigsaw Starts To Take Shape

Posted by

Andy

July 25th, 2012

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Many Sunderland fans weren’t too happy with the trip to South Korea recently for the Peace Cup, making claims that whole affair was a bit pointless with nine first team regulars left behind at home, but if you look beyond that there was one thing which stood out as Sunderland finished third – the formation.

Fans have speculated since the second the 2011/12 season finished as to what formation Martin O’Neill would be looking to use next season. Some even began speculating in mid-April when our season was effectively over.

With the hunt for a target man in the “Martin O’Neill mould” top of the shopping agenda, all suggestions seemed to form around accommodating such a figure into the side, while also finding room for star player Stephane Sessegnon and emerging star James McClean.

The popular suggestion was a 4-2-3-1, allowing Jack Colback and Lee Cattermole to sit back with Sessegnon, McClean and “A.N. Other” all revolving around likely new arrival, Steven Fletcher – this was also my vision.

However, amid very humid conditions in the Far East we were dealt a bit of a curve-ball as O’Neill lined up in a 4-3-3 for both games, albeit with different personnel.

This answers one main concern about the 4-2-3-1 anyway – where would Seb Larsson fit into all this? – but also brings it’s own questions as to where Sessegnon fits into all this?

The midfield seems congested, and likely to feature Cattermole as captain, flanked by Colback and Larsson for balance.

Obviously McClean would take the left forward position. Not something he is unaccustomed to doing as a left winger, and occasional forward during his time at Derry City. A new striker in the middle and that leaves Sessegnon to take the right hand role – seems fairly straightforward? I’d hope not.

Sessegnon is far and away our greatest asset, but plugging him out wide could severely limit him from reaching his true potential. It was through the middle last season where the Beninese attacker drew critical acclaim, and reportedly bids from Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur.

Sessegnon seems to lack the discipline to play in a midfield three, so questions have to be asked about where he fits in to things.

We should see some more answers as he returns to training and the first team following an extended summer break, but for now it really makes you wonder. We can all see now what shape the jigsaw is, but fitting together the pieces could be a little more difficult before next seasons big kick off.

Written by Simon Walsh.

2 Responses

Posted by Alejandro on

Surely arguing that cncatot = foul is as ridiculous as those players who claim that because they got the ball it can’t be a foul. Leaving your leg in , being a clever player , drawing a foul all terms used by ex-pros to justify getting a penalty for something you did rather than what the opposition player did. Completely mad.Ronaldo (and more recently) Rooney must have spent hours practicising starting to go down before any cncatot is made. Hence, even if there is subsequent cncatot (as in the case of Suarez) the dive started before the cncatot no penalty. Yet refs (and idiots like Hansen) are conned by this all the time.It’s not rocket science.

Posted by Mehrang on

Not related to Henderson, but any gesuess as to why Liverpool seem to have no interest in bringing Aquilani back into the fold? I’m aware that Liverpool currently have a crowded midfield, and that there still may be more additions on the way. Are his wages so high that they’re going to end up selling him for less than half of what they initially paid for him? Seems to me that keeping him and rotating him with the other midfield options is a better deal than selling him for ~$15 (which is, admittedly, nothing more than a speculated price).

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