No excuses for Simon Grayson not to freshen up Sunderland’s stale style of play

editorial image
Have your say

Never get your hopes up. That bizarre confidence I had going into the QPR game was drained as soon as Idrissa Sylla was given a free header to put the opposition ahead.

Aiden McGeady may have spared our blushes with another wonder strike but every Sunderland fan I’ve heard has spoken with disgust after another abject performance.

Callum McManaman.

Callum McManaman.

It’s rare that you feel like you’ve lost a game when you’ve actually came from behind to rescue something. That sort of feeling is usually reserved for the conceding of a last minute, heartbreaking equaliser, so it’s a true testament to how fed up most Sunderland supporters are.

There’s no applauding of a spirited fightback and nor should there be – not losing at home to a side who haven’t won on the road all season is a pretty low expectation and we’re still just scraping above that.

So it’s hard to get excited about the trip to Brentford. Well, it’s difficult to look forward to the 90 minutes of football, anyway. It will be a canny day out, London away games are always fun after all and Griffin Park has lots of novelties in it’s favour.

Us travelling fans get to stand on the terraces, something our decade in the Premier League never gave us, in a league game at least. There’s a pub on every corner of the ground, so you can do a lap of the stadium while breaking it up with some pre-match pints. The match itself will probably make us so despondent that we forget all that but nevertheless, we can get some cans for the train home to console ourselves.

It does make me frustrated that I can’t honestly say I’m looking forward to the match itself though. No disrespect to Brentford, they’re a solid Championship club and haven’t finished outside the top 10 during their three years back in the division, but they’re only four points better off than us at the minute.

The Bees have only won two games during the campaign, the second of which only came last week and the first was against Bolton, who are only marginally worse than we are.

The team Simon Grayson has at his disposal should be perfectly capable of getting a result at Griffin Park, especially now that our injury problems are clearing up.

The style of play is so stale but Grayson now has no excuse not to freshen things up. After a decent cameo last week, Jonny Williams could come in to play either alongside or in place of Lee Cattermole and Didier Ndong. Duncan Watmore looked bright on his first start in almost a year and with Lewis Grabban also making a return, there’s a chance we could add some much needed pace to our attack, complementing the skill of McGeady.

The defence is clearly still in dire need of sorting out but with the aforementioned players, along with others such as Callum McManaman, Grayson could be bold and put his emphasis on our attacking strengths.

It sounds a little basic and risky but we’re second bottom with only one win all season, we need to try something different and we need to take that risk.

We probably won’t line up in such a bold fashion, but I would love to be proven wrong and not have a day where the match itself is the worst part of it.