Tony Gillan: Monday’s tactics will not suffice for every Sunderland game

Jermain Defoe in action for Sunderland
Jermain Defoe in action for Sunderland
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Not one of the papers forewent the opportunity to say that "it wasn’t pretty," but they concurred that the tactics at Crystal Palace were very shrewd.

Lessons had clearly been learned.

After getting it wrong at the back against Everton, then up front against Southampton, Sunderland did not really use the reported 3-5-1-1.

It was five at the back. Those who don't concede don't lose and if you can hit them on the break, all the better.

Credit to the players too. There was some ropey passing, but occasional flowing moves – and nobody shirked.

Teams making errors such as the Dann/Hennessy beauty deserve to lose. Ergo, Sunderland deserved to win. It was also quick thinking by Jermain Defoe and a decent pass from Billy Jones.
I wouldn't like to say who the greatest manager in the world is and I don't suppose many people would make the claim for Sam Allardyce.

But only the very worst manager would look at Sunderland's squad and league position, then decide that attempting to emulate the style of Barcelona was the solution.
Monday's tactics will not suffice for every game.

A different approach will be required in home fixtures such as Saturday's against Stoke. There is also the worrying issue of the opposition in three forthcoming away fixtures being considerably better than Palace.

Allardyce is used to the sneering but has been consistently vindicated by results. Nor has anyone grounded in reality suggested superior methods of play at the clubs he has managed.

As manager of West Ham in January 2014, he amusingly offended his yobbo counterpart at Chelsea by deliberately defending to draw nil-nil, rather than allowing multi-zillion pound opponents to score a big bag of goals.

Allardyce's response was pithy, wise although perhaps not too eloquent.

He said: "I don’t give a s**** to be honest."

And so say all of us.