Jozy Altidore (Sunderland – English Premier League) – Jozy got the start and went the full 90 minutes in Sunderland’s 2-1 loss to Liverpool.
Marc Heider (Holstein Kiel – German 3. Liga) – Marc came off the bench and played 28 minutes in Holstein Kiel’s 3-0 victory over Stuttgart II.
Fabian Johnson (TSG Hoffenheim – German Bundesliga) – Fabian got the start and went the full 90 minutes in TSG Hoffenheim’s 3-1 victory over Hannover 96.
Matt Taylor (Preußen Münster – German 3. Liga) – Matt came off the bench and played 10 minutes in Preußen Münster’s 3-1 victory over Chemnitzer FC.
Bobby Wood (1860 Muinch – German 2. Bundesliga) – Bobby came off the bench and played five minutes in 1860 Munich’s 2-1 victory over Energie Cottbus.
Andrew Wooten (FSV Frankfurt – German 2. Bundesliga) – Andrew came off the bench and played nine minutes in FSV Frankfurt’s 2-1 loss to Erzgebirge Aue.
How did Jozy play? I’m too afraid to check Sunderland’s message boards
I had the game on in the background while at work so wasn’t fully paying attention, but he barely touched the ball (so like any other Sunderland game).
Whoscored has him with 32 touches. Only one Sunderland player had 60+ touches, while Liverpool had nine guys with 60+ touches.
Altidore wasn’t as physical with the CB’s as he has been in past games (i.e Newcastle) but I felt like he was much more aggressive when he did end up with the ball. He was moving the ball forward and was consistently getting in good positions to receive the ball. Many times he was inside his defender and simple through balls would have had him in on goal with defenders on the wrong side of him. Of course, this is Sunderland and no such passes were forthcoming.
In one particular instance he drew his defender from the top of the 18 to the corner of the box and then ran back into the abandoned area. All he needed was an easy pass from the midfielder 25 yards out straight out from goal, but the midfielder opted to play it out wide. There was a chance for him at one point to take a shot from the top of the 18, but it was on his weaker foot and he instead played a nice pass to Giaccherini who ended up being a couple inches offside.
What was interesting was how Poyet approached this game. Altidore and Wickham started together up top and Cattermole, Bridcutt (who was terrible!), Giaccherini and Dossena started in midfield while Johnson and Ki were left on the bench. It was obvious that the plan was to defend, defend, defend and then play long balls to the two target men in hope that they could maintain possession. While both Altidore and Wickham could have done better it was nearly an impossible task as the rest of their teammates were camped on their own 18.
When Liverpool did score I found it interesting that Poyet didn’t make any changes at halftime and it didn’t take long for Liverpool to add a second. Still Poyet stuck with his starters until an hour had gone by and he sent in both Johnson and Ki for Wickam and . This almost worked brilliantly (whether intentional or not). First and foremost, Johnson and Ki were able to rest before a much more important home game against West Ham on Monday. Second, Liverpool were looking comfortable and the infusion of actual skill into Sunderland’s line-up obviously caught them off-guard.
Really from the 70th minute on Sunderland dominated possession and looked dangerous. They played a diamond in the midfield with Ki the attaking midfielder and Altidore as the loan forward up front. I’ve never seen Ki play so far forward and it looked very effective. There were times Sunderland was exerting so much pressure that it almost looked like a 4-3-3 or even a 4-2-1-3 with Altidore, Ki and Johnson interchanging the forward positions and Colback (who replaced Dossena) the attacking midfielder. I’d be shocked if Poyet doesn’t try the same formation again especially since it led to a goal.
A loss is a loss, but I think Sunderland can actually feel pretty good about this game going forward. They actually could have (should have!) tied it late when O’Shea got a free header about 4 yards out. Instead he barely deflected the ball (enough to change its trajectory away from Altidore though who was wide open behind him). The announcers felt like Sunderland would avoid relegation and I kind of feel the same way now. They have some brutal away games left, but if they can get a point or two from those and take care of business against weaker teams at home I think they’ll survive.
Remaining Away Games:
Manchester City (3rd)
Manchester United (7th)
Remaining Home Games:
West Ham United (11th)
Cardiff City (19th)
West Bromwich Albion (16th)
Swansea City (15th)
The Giaccherini pass tat was offsides sums up Jozy and his teammates… no understanding, no trust.
Altidore looked good with his passing at times, his hold up was decent, but sometimes I think he looks to have given up, he doesn’t expect a pass so he doesn’t make aggressive runs. Hard to blame him. Sunderland looks better when Adam Johnson and Ki came on. Ki especially brought energy, and him and Altidore combined a few times. The end result just wasn’t there.
I read the player ratings on some UK site. Sunderland 100% should have tied the match on John O’Shea’s point blank header that he muffed… they castigated Jozy for not “being on the other end of it”… which would have been a difficult play to make. Even when he’s not at fault he’s at fault.
Here is something I think that people would disagree on. If Sunderland get relegated, i think Jozy should spend a year at the Championship. He’ll learn how to score goals again. It’s a brutal season down there, 46 games worth. I think he would benefit from such a thing.
Thanks for the insight, I haven’t been able to watch as much as I’d like. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that he can get a few before the end of the season. It would be nice to end on a strong note. I’ll watch the replay from the 70th on…
At this point, Jozy needs a transfer this summer. Either back to the Dutch league or, gasp, the dreaded return back home!
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