Home
Prediction League
Fixtures
Results
News
Features
Premier League
EPL Home
Latest
Clubs
Stadiums
Friends
Blogs
Football League
La Liga
Europe
Euro Football Home
Latest
Russian Premier
Bundesliga
Ligue 1
Football Italiano
International
International Home
Latest
World Cup 2010
Euro 2012 Stadiums
Euro 2012
Denmark 2011
AFCON 2013
Twitter
About Us
Advertising
Write for us
Privacy
Recruitment
newswriter
Contact Us
 
 

Sunderland Club Focus - Players need to prove themselves to stay at club


Bookmark and Share

By Roger Domeneghetti

Saturday 28 April 2012

Sunderland face Bolton on Saturday knowing a win will see them equal last season’s points tally. It will be far from an easy game, however. Wanderers went to Villa Park on Tuesday night and came away with a 2-1 victory while the Black Cats could only manage a goalless draw at the same ground on Saturday. They have now failed to score in their last four games and have lost the form that defined the earlier months of Martin O’Neill’s time in charge.



The will also be missing Craig Gardener through suspension and both Sebastian Larsson and Kieran Richardson who have been added to the injury list following surgery. Larsson, who has been playing through the pain barrier for weeks hopes he will be fit for Sweden’s Euro 2012 campaign.


It’s a mark of the turn around in the club’s fortunes that the goalless draw at Villa and the nil-nil at home against Wolves the week before – teams which were above Sunderland when O’Neill took charge – have been met with disquiet from the fans.


To that end the Black Cats’ boss warned his players that they would have to get used to a rise in expectations from the Stadium of Light’s faithful and urged his team to perform like one aiming for the top ten and not one struggling against relegation. When asked, he also said he didn’t know whether the squad is a good one which underperformed for Steve Bruce or an average one which, at least to begin with, over performed for him.


While it shouldn’t be forgotten that at the start of this season Steve Bruce was proclaiming the squad to be the best he had had since he had arrived in the North East, that was surely a coded message from O’Neill to his players that if they want to be part of the project going forward now is the time to stake their claim.


The Ulsterman says he will sit down in the close season and assess where the club is going in terms of personnel however, it’s unlikely that the canny operator doesn’t already know which players he wants to push towards the door marked ‘exit’ and which he doesn’t.


One player who falls into the latter category is Craig Gardener who has been persuaded by O’Neill to stay on Wearside for at least another season despite interest from West Brom. There had been suggestions that he was homesick and would return to the Midlands (where he played for O’Neill at Aston Villa) but having started the last 18 games he has committed his future, at least in the short term, to the club.


Niklas Bendtner is one player over who there are still question marks. Despite suggesting he wants to bring in some strikers in the summer, O’Neill has been fairly reticent to commit either way regarding the future of the on-loan Arsenal player thought to be available for around £2.5m.


See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on Sunderland v Bolton



Related Articles


» 

Pochettino: Shaw will stay with Southampton

» 

Nothing can be taken for granted, says Rodgers

» 

Looking for a job in football? Submit your CV now

» 

Wickham: Scoring against City was a huge relief

» 

Sherwood: With Bale we could have mounted title challenge

» 

Looking for a job in football? Submit your CV now

» 

Sunderland's Colback in demand

 
 

 
 

Name

Email Address *

Comments


Please enter code on left.


Terms & Conditions

* A valid email is required to submit a comment. Your email will not be displayed on this or any other website, nor will it be passed to any 3rd parties. For more information please see the terms and conditions.



1 Comments


By Russel on 22 July 2012 at 11:53


Aww Thanks man, its an honour to be in your new cosuneqt (not really a cosuneqt, didnt no what else to say lol) yeh i hope i get more recognised, just installed windows live writer to show i mean business lol. no idea how to use it properly though . But thank you


 
 

 
 
 
 

 
 

Premier League Football News


ArsenalAston VillaChelseaEvertonFulhamLiverpoolManchester CityManchester UtdNewcastle UtdNorwich City
ReadingQueens Park RangersSouthamptonStoke CitySunderlandSwansea CityTottenham HotspurWest Bromwich AlbionWest HamWigan Athletic

 
 

 
 
 
 

 
  
 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 

 
 

Follow us...



 
 

 
  
 

Kick Football News