Wise Men Say: Actions will need to speak louder than words

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“REACTION” appears to be the word of the week.

Whether it’s how Sunderland will react tomorrow against Arsenal, or how Gus Poyet reacted in the aftermath of the Southampton surrender, there are plenty of opinions flying about. Mainly regarding the latter.

Gus shouldn’t have said what he said, without doubt.

The words echoed the comments he made after our last heavy defeat, to Spurs last season, when all looked lost.

Whether you hear them or read them, they don’t look good.

Lee Congerton has no right of reply and this kind of discussion should be had behind the manager’s door and never leave that room.

Early indications are that their first transfer window as a pairing was a bit average and it’s probably their responsibility in equal measure.

On the other hand, Poyet has just been humiliated.

If there’s one thing you learn about him when you’re in his company after a defeat, it’s that he despises losing. You can feel it. His body language, his eyes.

It’s written all over him.

It’s also worth considering the fact he has to come out and give his views minutes after the final whistle.

In modern management, self regulation is paramount.

It would take a stone-hearted person to stand there and not lose it in some capacity after an 8-0 hammering though.

On the two occasions Gus has creaked, the circumstances have been extreme and the moan was the same; I’m the head coach, not the manager.

I don’t think this is a shouldering of responsibility.

This is a man who wants full control.

In that sense, he wants quite the opposite.

Deep down, I bet he knows he needs people like Congerton around him. He signed the new deal and was fully ware of the coaching set-up when he did so.

He needs to learn to work within that system. As does Lee Congerton.

Simply put, it all needs time and Gus could do with taking a breath every so often.

I’d take his words with a pinch of salt.

It’s the actions that matter and I’m confident, given time, they’ll prove positive.

As for the game itself, it might have been nice if we weren’t facing Arsenal.

Usually these are the sort of games where the pressure is off slightly. No expectations, just go out and give them a game.

In the greater scheme of things, that should still be the case.

But like Gus, emotions among the support will be running high after last Saturday.

A bad start and I don’t think there’ll be a whole lot of kindness from the terraces.

Personally, I just want to see some character.

In fairness, we’ve shown that in every other game this season. I wouldn’t be expecting a plethora of changes as we just don’t have the options.

Maybe it’d be an idea to give the majority of the previous starting XI a chance to redeem themselves?

You never know. A wounded Sunderland against a tired and injury-hit Arsenal?

Any other week you’d fancy us to get something.

It might be hard but we need to forget last week and take a positive mentality into tomorrow’s game. The lads might just spring a surprise.

I say surprise; it would be typical Sunderland.

Gareth Barker

H The Wise Men Say podcast is available from every Monday, with SAFC debate from a variety of guests and post-match reaction from Gus Poyet. You can be stream it direct from wisemensay.co.uk or subscribe to it on iTunes.