ISN’T there some sort of cliche about a week being a long time in football?
Or is that politics? Or both?
I said last week that we here at Wise Men Say Towers decided Gus Poyet’s comments about the fans wouldn’t matter one bit should we beat Burnley.
That’s with the understanding he doesn’t revert to such tactics next time we lose, of course.
Similarly, the gaffer’s bizarre decision to select the midfield three he did at home to Fulham could quite easily be forgiven should we progress to the next round of the FA Cup; where a trip to Bradford provides us with an outstanding chance of making the quarter-finals.
Furthermore, he played Defoe, he played Giaccherini and he played Alvarez at Craven Cottage.
There’s been a clamour for these players to play for long enough, “especially against the likes of Fulham”, so if we can criticise the team selection when it fails then we can give credit where it’s due when we win in such a convincing manner.
And what about that Ricky Alvarez, eh?
It appears that there’ll always be a second forward on the pitch in some capacity whenever Jermain Defoe starts for the Black Cats, meaning it’s unlikely we’ll see Alvarez and Johnson on either flank. Gus may have a decision to make there.
Without wanting to get bogged down on formations and the like, Emanuele Giaccherini’s role on Tuesday night means there can actually be more than one creative player on the park, meaning we could see two of the three aforementioned on the pitch at the same time as two strikers.
It may not seem much but it’s a bold step for Gus in the context of previous team selections and it’s extremely refreshing to think that we’re on the verge of seeing more of it.
Whether we’ll see that at Swansea tomorrow, I’m not too sure. In fact, I’d be very surprised.
The evergreen Seb Larsson will play, as will Liam Bridcutt, meaning Jordi Gomez would have to drop out to accommodate this.
I just can’t see Gus throwing caution to wind that much in an away game against decent opposition such as this.
It would be nice for the Lads to revenge the 4-0 loss to Swansea last season, remembering it was where it all started for the current management regime.
Disregarding all I’ve just said about new-found attacking ventures, being primarily hard to beat at the weekend wouldn’t be the worst strategy in the world.
Who knows, maybe we’ll continue where we left off at Fulham, dominate the game and leave with three points.
We’ll all hail the tactical development and bravery of Gustavo Poyet.
Or maybe we’ll get done 4-0 again before becoming the first side to drop points at home to QPR at home this season.
Imagine the polarising moods birthed by each respective scenario.
As they say, a week is a long time in football. I mean politics. I mean, oh I don’t know.
Ha’way the lads.
– Stephen Goldsmith
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.