The international break is not something that managers seem to approve of and this is becoming evident as each season passes by and more coaches are revealing their disgust.
The main problem about the international break is that the players have to leave their clubs for a few weeks and practice as well as play friendly matches with their respective national football team. There is one huge dilemma that the players experience when playing with their national sides and it’s the fact that injury is something which seems to always affect them.
Arsene Wenger is another manager who has expressed his disgust to the international break as the Frenchman usually gets to see a few of his key figures sustaining an injury which is a huge blow for their league charge.
Sam Allardyce is now the latest coach that voiced his frustration to these events and the manager of Sunderland even labeled these friendly matches as: ‘’stupid and meaningless’’
The 61 year old manager of Sunderland, Sam Allardyce said: “We’ve got two home games coming up, although we’ve got two weeks to wait for it because of stupid friendlies and international games. You have to put up with that. We had to wait two weeks for the Newcastle game when we didn’t want to. And now we’ve got to wait another two weeks, with international players going away, when there’s a chance they’ll get injured.’’
“Part of the reason why we’re performing so well at the moment is we’ve kept most of the players fit since the turn of the year. We’ve got them fitter, performing better and the new players have made a difference. We’ve just got to do that last little bit to get more enjoyment out of playing well, and that’s by winning.”
Seb Larsson, John O’Shea, Jordan Pickford, DeAndreYedlin, LamineKone and Patrick van Aanholt are the 6 key figures of Sunderland that had to make their way to the international stage and represent their respective countries.
Sunderland secured a surprising 2-1 victory over Manchester United on February 13th and Sam Allardyce took the chance to express just how important it was for him and his team to win the game and it represented more than just 3 points.
Manchester United had the upper hand in terms of possession as they enjoyed having 66% but it wasn’t enough for them to win the game as the team of Louis van Gaal struggled to actually launch goal-scoring shots while Sunderland did manage to make the most from their chances and scored twice which was enough for them to seal the important victory which is a huge accomplishment for a club that is struggling just to get out of the bottom relegation zone.
“You get the big boys and if you can beat them now and again it’s always an added bonus. This is more than an added bonus for us; this is a massive, massive three points’’
“I don’t think anyone expected us to get the result today based on the form of Manchester United in 2016. Injuries have caused us a problem this week and selection-wise we didn’t have too many players available so the team kind of picked itself’’ Sunderland’s Sam Allardyce said after the match ended as he stated just how important it was to win their recent league match against Manchester United.
February has been a rough month for Sunderland as they have had to face off against top clubs in the Premier League including: Manchester City, Liverpool and more recently Manchester United but they have managed to do fairly well as Sam Allardyce’s team was able to draw with Liverpool and defeated Manchester United.
Sunderland will be taking on Liverpool this weekend hoping to take advantage of the opposition’s misfortune with regard to injuries.
Jurgen Klopp has been complaining in recent weeks that his poor luck with regard to injuries has left the team struggling to find good quality replacements in several areas of the pitch. However, Sam Allardyce is not showing in any pity to his counterpart since he believes that the injuries are result ofKlopp’s intense style of management. The former Borussia Dortmund manager is known for employing very intense tactics, which drain the players in the second half of the season.
Apart from doing a lot of work in training, the players are also required to press very hard in the games. Apart from taking the energy out of the players, it also makes them prone to injuries. Allardyce has a reputation for getting the best out of players and it is largely by maintaining their shape. It was a in his long spell at Bolton Wanderers a decade ago. His Sunderland team recently ended a poor run of form with a thumping 3-1 win over Aston Villa. The win ensures that they do not go adrift near the bottom of the table.
Sunderland are now four points away from safety.”That is him (Klopp) asking his players to play a high tempo pressing game from the top end. It’s great that the players have been able to carry it out but I think it has kicked in now.I don’t think Jurgen has realised just how ferocious our league is at this period of time and because he has asked for that extra high energy, that extra 10 yards, these lads are fatiguing now with so many games in such a short period of time and are picking up these muscle strains,” said Allardyce.
This past season of the Premier League was an underwhelming one for Sunderland’s Jack Rodwell as the midfielder struggled trying to stay fit as he was plagued with consistent injuries which kept him out of the pitch and in the sidelines for a significantly long period of time
Sunderland had signed Jack Rodwell for a price of €10 million as the English played made a move from Manchester City over to Sunderland and Sunderland wanted to make full use of their signing by placing him in all of the matches of the past season but it couldn’t happen due to all the injuries that Rodwell sustained but the player is now going through a pre-season training with the rest of his teammates of Sunderland and Rodwell is back in action.
Jack Rodwell has finally managed to recover from his recent injury struggles and for the past few days he has been training with his team at the Academy of Light.
Michael Proctor is a retired footballer who played for Sunderland for over 5 years and he believes that Jack Rodwell is a player that has gone through a lot of tough times but Proctor is expecting Rodwell to overcome it and come back stronger in the next season.
Former Sunderland player, Michael Proctor said: “Jack Rodwell had a tough season but again we know what he can be capable of. For me, one of Dick Advocaat’s biggest challenges is to get the best out of him next year.”
EmanueleGiaccherini is another player who has been hampered with injuries but along with Jack Rodwell, Giaccherini is expected to make a return to the pitch and play a big role for the Premier League club in the next season as Sunderland will be looking towards finishing in the middle section of the English league and avoid sticking to the bottom spots which is what happened in the previous season where they finished in the 16th spot with 3 points separating them from the relegation zone.
The opening day of the Premier League season was a dreadful one for Sunderland as they lost 4-2 against Leicester City and the Dutch manager stated that he is worried about the recent struggles that his team has been displaying.
There was little that Sunderland could do when they played against Leicester City in their first match of the season as the home team was just on a different level. In the opening 45 minutes of the game, Leicester City scored 3 goals and despite Sunderland’s attempts of getting back into the game by scoring twice, it wasn’t enough as the home team won their first game of this new season.
Dick Advocaat has spent around €13 million in signing new players but even with these summer signings they could do nothing from stopping Sunderland of losing their opening match of the Premier League season and even though only 1 match has been played, Dick Advocaat confessed that he is scared about his team.
Sunderland’s Dick Advocaat said: “The result scared me a little bit, but also the way we played. We have to change something as we cannot go on this way. “I’m extremely disappointed for the fans, they came down to back us in their numbers and that was not a great performance for them. Leicester took their chances and made the most of the possession that they had. We were caught out and made mistakes that a team shouldn’t be making at this level’’
The Dutch manager continued on by saying that you can’t expect to secure or make outstanding performances with players who were signed for around €2 million each and that most of them will just have to settle with a place on the sidelines.
Sebastian Coates was signed for €2 million, Younes Kaboul for €3 million and Adam Matthews for €2 million and from the looks of it, Dick Advocaat is not expecting any of those summer arrivals to make a big impact in the team.
Sunderland have managed to persuade Dick Advocaat to return to the club as their manager just a few weeks after he had given his resignation.
The former Netherlands and Ajax coach stated that he no longer had the age to remain as a Premier League or even a club coach. He intended to finish his managerial career at 70 years of age.Advocaat had just managed a stunning campaign with Sunderland. After being brought in as a replacement for Gus Poyet, he had only a couple of matches in order to turn around the campaign and retain the club’s Premier League status.
After seemingly having lost him as their manager, it is understood that the Sunderland officials did not take no for an answer. After long talks with the 69-year-old, they have agreed to sign him on a one-year contract. It has been speculated that finances could have played a major role in his return, butAdvocaat has stated that family and not finances were the reason behind his return to the Stadium of Light. Poyet managed to avoid relegation in similar circumstances before being sacked a year later.Advocaat will be hoping to do much better than his Uruguayan compatriot.
“The club kept calling.The owner of the club, Ellis Short, continued to haunt me with a request to stay.The players continued to look to contact me and tell me to stay.I have decided to sign a new deal.They think I’m still fit enough and personally I also feel fine. And it’s a wonderful club. Sunderland should have a team which is good when the Premier League begins.The owner is willing to make resources available and it’s nice to be able to build a team now in preparation (for next season),” said the Sunderland manager upon his return.
Sunderland quickly returned from the high of beating Newcastle in the derby after they suffered a 4-1 thrashing at the hands of Crystal Palace during the weekend.
As a result, the club still remain with fears of relegation. They will be hoping to pick up some points away from home when they take on Stoke City after a 12 day gap. This is an extended gap that could help Sunderland prepare well for the match, but manager Dick Advocaat has already come up with a list of excuses. He thinks that his Sunderland team will not be able to compete with the physicality offered by Stoke.
Since Stoke play a similar brand of football like Crystal Palace, it appears thatAdvocaat does not seem confident of three points. The team are indeed on a very poor run of form away from the Stadium of Light. Their last victory away from home came back in December when they managed to beat Newcastle. QPR and Burnley have been playing extremely well while Leicester City have also closed the gap to safety. Sunderland are only three points ahead of the drop zone and the threat of relegation still looms large. The club still has difficult away matches against Arsenal and Chelsea.
“We are not a real physical team.If you compare us with the other teams, that’s a big difference.In the Premier League, you need physical players as well.We have to think about that for the game with Stoke City.We have a different type of players, who are more combination players, than with more pace.We have to find a combination to create chances and win games. They also know they played badly in the second half against Crystal Palace. The way we gave the goals away was very poor,” said Advocaat.
Sunderland’s Gus Poyet is under intense pressure after being knocked out of the FA Cup as his team lost against Bradford City with a final scoreboard that displayed 2-0.
Things aren’t going any better for them in the Premier League due to their lack of securing victories on a consistent basis.
With around 4 months left in the Premier League, clubs and managers are attempting to end this season on a high note by sealing important victories and points in the final stages of the league.
The upcoming matches will be especially crucial for Gus Poyet and his squad as they are located on the bottom spots of the Premier League and a single victory could be the difference between being relegated and surviving for another season in the top tier English League.
Despite all of this pressure that has been building up around Sunderland and Poyet, the Uruguayan manager stated that he is used to these kinds of situations and he has affection towards being pressured.
“I like pressure because it’s the way I have been brought up. When you are in Uruguay and you play football for the national team the pressure is there to win. I have never played football or managed without pressure. I suppose it would be nice but maybe I would not be myself after because I don’t have pressure. It is part of the game. I like it, I really like it.” Sunderland’s Gus Poyet said.
It looks like the squad or at least certain players of the squad of Gus Poyet are confident that Sunderland will be able to avoid the bottom drop zone as the English midfielder Lee Cattermole believes that his team has been really consistent throughout this season and they are aiming to finish the English League in a strong way.’’
“I think if you look at the season, we haven’t gone on any eight or nine game runs without a point or without a win. We’ve been really consistent throughout the year. After our wins, we’ve not really followed it up too well. But we’ve got to look to finish the season strong.” Lee Cattermole said as he voiced his confidence in the survival of Sunderland in the Premier League.
These are very optimistic statements from the coach and the player of Sunderland, especially taking into consideration that they have only managed on securing 2 points from their last 4 Premier League matches.
Sunderland claimed a surprising point at the Etihad stadium last season and it proved to be very crucial in the club staying in the Premier League.
In fact, they have had a very good record against reigning Premier League champions Manchester City both at home and away from the Stadium of Light.
Manager Gus Poyet is looking to continue this record going forward when his team visit the Etihad stadium on New Year’s Day.Poyet must have gone through a turbulent 2014 but he is looking forward to a positive 2015. He says that there is no reason why Sunderland cannot look forward to getting more than just a point against the champions.
Manchester City recently dropped the two points against Burnley at home, which came as a major shock given that they were leading 2-0 going into halftime. City have had some surprising results like these in the past andPoyet reckons that the game is not over until the referee blows the final whistle. A number of former City players like Adam Johnson and Jack Rodwell could feature on January 1.
City continue to be without star striker Sergio Aguero, butPoyet says that the club have quality throughout the pitch and the absence of the Argentine should not hurt them much.
“City have quality everywhere but it’s easier to play them without Aguero.He was different class when we played them here and we could not cope with him.But we know what we did wrong that night and why we lost. We need to perform much better.What happened at City was the beginning of the miracle.There were mixed emotions after the game because the feeling was we’d lost a big chance,” said Poyet, who also revealed that former goalkeeper Oscar Ustari played a huge role in the draw with City last season.
There have been a number of managerial changes in the Premier League club, Sunderland in the last few years.
Steve Bruce, Martin O’Neill, Paolo Di Canio and Gus Poyet are all of the managers or head coaches that have taken charge of the squad of Sunderland since March of 2013.
Each one of these managers have arrived to the Stadium of Light with different methods and philosophies but one thing that some of them have in common is in their plan of changing the squad and attempting to increase the quality of the team by signing a large amount of players.
Paolo Di Canio signed 14 new players in the summer of 2013 meanwhile Gus Poyet brought forward 10 players. According to the current coach of Sunderland, Poyet stated that this cannot continue going on and it needs to stop.
Gus Poyet told the media: “It looks like unfortunately in the last two years we’ve always been starting again with another seven, eight or nine players, then another eight, nine or ten players. There’s got to be a moment where you need to add that certain player who’s going to make a difference. A player who is so important that you are going to become a good team for sure.Maybe not at the level of CescFabregas and Diego Costa, but you get the idea’’
“If you see all the teams at the bottom, with the exception of one that is having a bad year, it’s every year that they’re bringing in another nine, another eight players. It’s impossible. It’s a contradiction really. We’re asking for time because we’re bringing in players, and then the next year you bring another nine or 10. So how many do you need? Twenty-five?
Poyet will try to emphasize more on the quality of players instead of simply bringing in a number of players that still have not proved themselves at a big club which is something that the previous managers of Sunderland were doing but Poyet believes that a different method is needed in order to improve the squad.