Your Say: Time For A Change…?

Another of your posts, this time from Gary Spalding, who asks whether a change in system is needed to get the best out of some quality¬† attacking players, while tightening up Sunderland’s leaky defence. Read his thoughts below and feel free to get in touch with some of your own by emailing them to


Since the beginning of the season Dick has seemed weirdly stubborn with his 433 system. He often reiterates the point that it’s his preferred system of play. However, in my opinion he’s been well aware of the fact that it just hasn’t been consistent enough for a while, and now is the time for him to make alterations in our setup before our ‘Cup Final’ at the weekend.


Any person who has viewed our games can see that in an attacking sense we’ve been much improved on the dross we were forced to watch last season. There is genuine attacking quality in the side for the first time in a while, and it’s actually impressive to watch the likes of Lens, Borini, Toivonen, and M’vila enjoying some tidy link up play in the final third.


(Now for the negative part)


Dick’s dilemma is now apparent. Does he stick with the current 433 system he’s most fond of, in the hope that it miraculously clicks together? Or does he change the team setup in order to sure us up at the back and regain some of that defensive stability that kept us in the league last season? I’m no Jeymeee Carragher, but i think it’s got to be the latter.


Too often this season, teams who are shall we say ‘less equipped’ on paper, have embarrassed us with the simplest of passages of play (Bournemouth and Norwich spring to mind), and it simply cannot keep happening, or we’ll most certainly be drinking Coca Cola in the Championship next year.


Personally, I think that the positioning of Toivonen and more so, Lens, are potentially where some of the problems are developing from. I’d class both players as ‘luxury’ players at the minute, and in a Sunderland team that can’t keep a clean sheet for toffee, it can’t go on. Both players are arguably up there with my favourites at the minute, but in a defensive sense, they aren’t doing anywhere near enough, and this is leaving us exposed in dangerous areas of the pitch.


Can Dick persuade Lens to run back past the half way line and track his man? Can he get Toivonen to a fitness level where he can tuck in and support M’vila and Catts when we’re defending, as well as getting back up to play the number 10 role on the attack? Or does he change our formation and sacrifice some of our attacking threat for defensive stability?


I’m not going to say what he should do, because my lass doesn’t get flowers bought for her off the Mackem faithful, but Dick, it’s time to earn your money marra. Sort us out! There’s a team in there somewhere.