Jury’s verdict on Sunderland defeat to Chelsea

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Richard Smith

THE atmosphere was one of shock and anger following the announcement Gyan has left to go to the UAE – a move clearly motivated by money, although he claims it’s down to a lack of team spirit.

After watching another defeat and poor performance, maybe he has a point.

The game followed a similar pattern to most Sunderland performances at home since January – a bright start without really creating a clear chance (bar a Bendtner header) and then the visitors take over and we were a goal down by half-time following some awful defending.

Firstly, Cattermole (who has to be dropped for Stoke’s visit) let Mata run past him, which resulted in a free-kick. Then, after the free-kick hit the post, we were slow to react and, after Bramble’s awful clearance and Richardson’s failure to push out, Terry had two attempts to put the ball in the net despite six Sunderland defenders around him.

The second goal again came from more sloppy defending, with Bramble a yard deeper than the rest of the back four, allowing Sturridge in, while Mignolet needs to look at his positioning after allowing Sturridge to backheel the ball past him.

One positive was Ji’s first goal, a tidy finish from Bendtner’s flick. Stoke becomes a must-win this Sunday, otherwise Bruce could find himself out of a job sooner rather than later.

Michael Tuckwell

IT’S that old chestnut again of “It’s a funny old game” yet again as we witness a baffling turn of events at a time when we don’t need controversy.

First off, I find our record signing has been shipped out to a side in the UAE that draws in crowds smaller than our U18s. This, of course, comes on the back of Bruce and Gyan both saying things will stay the same!

Not the news fans were looking for and, to pile on misery, we had to suffer an unwinnable match against a team where the manager himself is worth more than Gyan!

Despite the sub-par account of ourselves, Bendtner looks fresh and eager – something that may be crucial as our season should be due to start against Stoke.

The match itself was a familiar mix of dodgy refereeing, players being dropped by a gust of wind, an inexplicable inability to defend properly against set-pieces and leaving the comeback too late.

Looking ahead, fans are angry at Bruce – the attendance showed that. Two points out of 12 is relegation form and the Gyan fiasco has compounded the matter.

I have been a huge Bruce fan from day one, but faith only gets you so far and the team is now in a sorry state. If it continues like this to the end of the month, Bruce may be leaving as well.

READ the full jury in Monday’s Echo