So much more than three points! - 23/09/2002

So much more than three points!
Same old Shearer!

The derby win was worth so much more than three points and I hope that we can really move forward after this result.

Bobby Robson can take a number of positives out of the game – a (well deserved) clean sheet, the form of a number of players, and apart from the obvious three points; a boost to the confidence of the lads. Taking things in more detail, the defensive performance was excellent – organised and committed, in fact the only time Sunderland really threatened the goal was due to Shay hitting the ball at Flo! Andy Griffin came in and continued his good performance in Kiev with a battling and effective display. Aaron Hughes looked comfortable after switching from right from to left, and the lads in the centre can both take credit for the clean sheet. Looking further up the field, Gary Speed had a great game. He’s had a bit of undue criticism lately, but he’s got a tough role to play. With so much flair in our midfield it’s up to him to provide the cohesive role – something he did very well on Saturday. Robert saw a lot of the ball and always looked dangerous, and I also feel that Nobby Solano’s form is picking up. There’s little point in saying anything about ‘same old’ Alan Shearer – always committed, always dangerous and always scoring! Bellamy also took his opportunity very well – to score a goal like that needed confidence and composure, it seems he’s got them both!

My thoughts are also with Peter Reid, there’s no doubting his managerial skills, but it seems that he’s got his back against the wall. They’ve got Villa on Saturday, and three points will provide a cushion, but will it be papering over the cracks? It’s still early on in the season and with only six or seven games played, for me, Bob Murray will certainly give him a few more games. The media are smelling blood and for a man who loves the game and has done an awful lot for Sunderland, he’s going to have to fight like hell to turn things around. Mind you, that’s one of the qualities of the man, he’ll never say die.

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