A BATTLING draw at Arsenal signals a great start to the season. The Premier League debut performance by Carlos Cuellar was particularly impressive, with the Spaniard and John O’Shea forming an effective partnership at the back.
The replacement of Fraizer Campbell by Ahmed Elmohamady maybe should have happened slightly earlier. The Egyptian provided us with a real outlet and looked to take on the Arsenal full-back at every opportunity after his introduction.
The man of the match, in my view, was Lee Cattermole. He chased, harried and didn’t let Arsenal pass their way through the centre of midfield too often. A commanding display marshalling our midfield, with O’Shea taking control of the back line, limited Arsenal to a handful of shots on target.
The tactics of a five-man midfield, with Sessegnon up front on his own, allowed us to sit back and soak up the Arsenal pressure, but, unfortunately, limited our effectiveness at the other end of the park.
With Martin O’Neill’s reassurance to the fans of imminent signings, the visit of Reading this weekend provides a real chance to finish our first two games with a strong four-point total.
To read the rest of the Echo Jury, please see tonight’s Sunderland Echo.