SOMETIMES you just couldn’t make up the things that happen to Sunderland Football Club.
After a morale-boosting derby win, who could have anticipated it would all implode so spectacularly in the very next game at Hull?
An own goal, two players sent off, our goalkeeper injured and having to be replaced and Gus Poyet on a last warning from the referee and all this before half-time!
Talk about making things difficult for yourselves, and the fact nine men battled so hard in the second half and even had the best chance only adds to the frustration.
Andrea Dossena’s challenge for his red card was abysmal and he deserved to be sent off but Cattermole’s tackle was no worse than Robbie Brady’s in the second half.
In fact, both of Brady’s feet were off the ground as he lunged in on Adam Johnson and was technically the more dangerous and serious offence but Cattermole pays the ultimate price and Brady escapes – work that one out if you can.
Sunderland had started the game with one change – the temptation to start with derby hero Fabio Borini was too strong for Poyet to ignore.
His selection meant the whole shape and balance of the team was changed and it looked like the team failed to adjust to the different tactical set-up.
The two sendings off in the first 45 minutes have obviously been the main talking points but that has taken away the focus from the fact that we played poorly and didn’t bring out a single save in the first half from Steve Harper.
In fact I thought we played better in the second half with nine men and there was no sign of the team feeling sorry for themselves or giving up.
They fought on, worked hard and if Johnson had a better first touch we might even have snatched an unlikely draw because Hull didn’t play much better.
We will look back on this game as a missed opportunity.
But when you score an own goal and get two red cards – even if one was arguably harsh – you have to accept most of the damage has been self-inflicted.