WITH the two week international break over and deadline day just a memory, the Premier League can start up once more without further distractions on Saturday.
Our opponents Tottenham are always glamorous opposition with quality players and I can’t see this being anything but a tough fixture for Sunderland as they look for their first league win.
Spurs got their season off to a flyer, winning their first two games against West Ham and QPR, but the wheels came off in their last game when they fell apart in the heavy home defeat to Liverpool.
Hopefully, that will be the Tottenham that turns up on Saturday, as they are that sort of team who on their day are capable of beating anyone, but lack consistency and can be vulnerable on their off days.
Sunderland fans will be keen to see new signings Ricky Alvarez and Sebastian Coates, and the big question for Gus Poyet will be whether to throw them in the deep end in the starting line-up, or more likely, introduce them gradually from the bench.
Points-wise, Sunderland’s start to the season has been disappointing and in our last two games against Manchester United and QPR, we haven’t created enough, scoring just once from a set piece.
With Steven Fletcher still to score after three games, his position can’t be safe and Connor Wickham must be coming into consideration for a start in the position where he did so well at the end of last year.
I’m also hoping to see the best of Jack Rodwell, who should be much fitter and stronger now than the player who started the season.
Jack can be that box-to-box goalscoring midfielder we’ve lacked for so long and with one already in the bag, he should be aiming to get into double figures for the season.
The last time we played Spurs, it ended in a 5-1 thrashing, with relegation staring us in the face and Gus Poyet looking for a “miracle” which he eventually found.
This time, it’s not quite so serious, but the Sunderland head coach will know how massively important it is to get that first win on Saturday.