Tag Archives: Steve Bruce

Sunderland feeling affects of injuries and absence of Bent

The Stadium of Light hasn't had been so bright for Sunderland sincethe sale of Darren Bent to Aston Villa during the January transfer window. (Courtesy Les Hull)

By Ryan Fleming

It can be hard to swallow, but the exit of Darren Bent has directly led to the downfall of Sunderland. Digest it fully, because it’s true. When Bent, an England international, was shipped to Aston Villa for 15m, manager Steve Bruce maintained that the team would trudge on without it’s best player.

Nothing that Sunderland has done backs up what the one time Manchester United star has said, and the most recent 3-0 loss to Fulham at the Stadium of Light further exemplifies the utter struggles that the team inherited.

In the team’s most recent loss, Bruce relied heavily on Stéphane Sessègnon up front to provide the needed attack while Asamoah Gyan, Danny Welbeck and Frazier Campbell sat out due to injury. The almost-forced experiment was a complete failure.

Continue reading

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , ,

Bent move makes sense now and Arsenal setting up title challenge

Darren Bent's exspensive move to Aston Villa was highly criticized, but it proved to be the right move last weekend. Bent's goal sealed an important win for Villa over Manchester City. (Courtesy Bad English Flickr)

By Ryan Fleming

It makes you think that maybe, just maybe these managers know what they are doing. A week after acquiring £24 million man Darren Bent from Sunderland, Aston Villa not only played with Manchester City, but beat them thanks to Bent’s first-half strike, not to mention impeccable keeping from American international Brad Friedel.

Personally, I have a soft spot for Sunderland, so after seeing him go, and the way it all happened, I was rather disgusted to see that outcome, but it got me thinking.

Perhaps Gerard Houllier does know what he is doing and maybe Steve Bruce, despite losing his No. 1 scoring threat can still get things done. Aston Villa had to dig deep, but they picked up Bent to assure that the club would remain above the relegation zone. My initial thoughts were skeptical. How could one player ensure that a club doesn’t go off the deep end and begin next season in the Championship? At least for now, the ex-Liverpool manager is looking pretty smart.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Darren Bent move to Aston Villa could leave Sunderland lacking attacking punch

Darren Bent's proposed move to Astonv Villa would be his fourth transfer in England. (Courtesy Vic. T.)

By Ryan Fleming

If rumors of Sunderland’s and Darren Bent’s demise … I mean, change of paths are true, then I am utterly confused – sort of. After handing in a written request to manager Steven Bruce, Bent showed his desire at moving away from the Stadium of Light and on to bigger and better things. Really? Not quite.

Aston Villa have reported offered somewhere between £18 million and £24 million for the England international. The move makes complete sense for Villa, a team struggling against relegation zone and are as inconsistent as weather in New England. With the move for Bent, Villa are showing, to its supporters at least, that the team’s dedication to success can no longer be questioned and the fight not only against relegation, but to make an impression in the second half of the season, is on.

In regards to Sunderland, the move really doesn’t make much sense at least in the short term. Despite being managed by one of the best in the English Premier League, Bruce’s side has also struggled with inconsistency, especially as of late. Sunderland were embarrassingly shown the door out of the FA Cup by League One side, Notts County, after defeating Blackburn 3-0 and Villa 1-0.

Continue reading

Tagged , , ,

Upsets make Cup competitions worth it

By Ryan Fleming

It felt good. Really good. No, I’m not talking about an evening walk with someone far more attractive than I should be spending time with. Nor am I referring to getting a nonexistent raise or finding a real full-time job. What I’m gloating about is the FA Cup – all domestic cups for that matter.

Back in the good ol’ days Leeds United used to be the cream of the crop. Not just in England, but the world. Nowadays they are seemingly trapped in England’s Championship, continuing to fight, scratch and claw their way back up to supremacy, or at least a chance at it. This year could be the year that Leeds reach promotion to the EPL, currently fifth, good enough for the promotion playoff.

But now, unlike back in the 1970’s when things were simpler. Honestly, Leeds will never reach the glory or come close to the glory of their past. That goes for teams like Queen’s Park Rangers, Celtic, Rangers, Ajax, Benfica or even the basically unheard of Clubb Brugge (yes, they made it to a final). These are now the days of Barcelona, Real Madrid, Manchester United and Bayern Munich. This is not implying that these teams weren’t dominate before – they were – but now they stand above the rest even more.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , ,

Sunderland Making Mark on Title Race

Steve Bruce has led his Sunderland club to wins over Chelsea and Manchester City, along with draws against Arsenal, Manchester United and Tottenham. (Photo Courtesy Struway)

By Joe Meloni

Seven months from now, either Arsenal, Chelsea or Manchester United will claim the 2010-11 English Premier League Championship. While headlines throughout the world will inevitably hail one of the clubs’ star players as the deciding factor in the title race – whether to excellence or injury – another group of players, likely to finish in the middle of table, may provide the goals and moments that give us our champion for this season.

Sunday afternoon, Steve Bruce’s Sunderland walked into Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge and lit the table-leaders up for three goals in a dominating shutout win. Entering the match, Chelsea averaged more than two goals per game, while allowing a tidy 0.42 goals per match in 12 Premiership games this season. In those 12 games, the Blues pieced together a 9-1-2 record, and stood three points clear of second-place Manchester United with a game in hand and five points clear of third-place Arsenal. For fans in North London and Manchester, a pass was issued entering the weekend to pull for Bruce’s Black Cats in hopes of preventing the gap between Chelsea and their rivals from growing.
Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

What The Soccer Guys are Reading — Sept. 22, 2010

Wesley Sneijder was sold by Real Madrid last summer to make way for Kaka and Ronaldo, now he could be on his way back to Spain if Jose Mourinho has his way. Courtesy Paul Blank

The Independent — Serie A strike called off

Good news for Italian soccer fans: The player’s union and Serie A have come to an agreement and there will not be a strike this weekend. Players will play, and this weekend’s round of games will go on as planned. The player’s union and the league came to an agreement on six of the eight points of contention in the talks over a new collective bargaining agreement. The two sides will try and hash out the details for the remaining two issues at hand in the near future.

BBC — Sunderland’s Titus Bramble arrested over rape claim

Steve Bruce hasn’t had much time to celebrate his team’s miraculous, 1-1, draw with Arsenal on Saturday. Today, Bruce had to wake up and open the newspaper and see one of his summer signings topping the headlines. Titus Bramble has been brought into police custody because a woman has charged him and his brother with rape. Bramble moved from Wigan this summer to the Stadium of Light to bolster Sunderland’s defense.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

What The Soccer Guys Are Reading — August 31, 2010

Manchester City broke the transfer record fee in England when they signed Brazilian forward Robinho from Real Madrid just two seasons ago. But the little playmaker has been a flop in the Premier League and had to be loaned out last summer to his boyhood club Santos for the season. Could he be on his way out of Manchester for good today?

The Washington Post – Bob Bradley to remain with U.S. National Team – Steven Goff

After leading the United States Men’s National Soccer Team to the Round of 16 in this summer’s World Cup, Bob Bradley has signed a four-year extension that will likely make him the leader of the USMNT for another World Cup. Bradley, who took over following Bruce Arena’s dreadful performance as manager in the 2006 World Cup, had been connected with the job atop England Premier League club Aston Villa, but he agreed to terms with U.S. Soccer on Saturday night. German national Jurgen Klinnsman, who has lived in California for years, was rumored as Bradley’s replacement.

The Guardian – van Persie likely out of a month – David Hynter

Arsenal fans worried that Saturday’s match at Blackburn was going to be more of the same – a loss or a draw instead of what should have been an easy three points. While the Gunners defeated Blackburn, 2-1, Arsenal fans did see a familiar sight, as van Persie left with an ankle injury. It is likely the Dutch international will miss at least one month due to the injury, which rules him out of European Championship qualifiers for the Netherlands and Champions League matches with Arsenal.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Mixing and Matching: From Celtic to Bordeaux to Sunderland

By Ryan Fleming

It wasn’t easy, nothing really has been for Celtic during this season. Sunday morning the Glasgow side defeated Dunfermline, 4-2, in the Scottish Cup. New signings, Diomansy Kamara, Robbie Keane and Morten Rasmussen tallied goals and an own goal by Calum Woods lead the Hoops to victory and increasing ,perhaps boosting, their confidence coming into tomorrow’s matchup at Parkhead against Hearts.

Throughout the week the players and coaches alike continued to state that the confidence they once had after the Winter transfer window signings is still there even despite the team’s loss at Kilmarnock back on February second. If you watched Robbie Keane’s long celebration after scoring from the penalty spot late in the match on Sunday, his confidence never left. It must have been a huge lift off the Irish international’s shoulders – getting his first strike on his new team out of the way.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Darren Bent Deserves A Call-Up

By Kevin Koczwara

Darren Bent added another goal to his Premier League tally– he has 8 goals in 9 matches. and 1 assist. Bent’s goal in the fifth minute at The Stadium of Light gave Sunderland a 1-0 lead against Liverpool. The goal would be the only one in the game and also of much controversy.

Bent’s shot appeared to bounce off a beach ball that had made its way on the field. According to the rules the goal should have disallowed and play stopped until the ball was removed from play. A drop-ball would start play again. But the goal was allowed, giving Sunderland a much needed win against a top opponent, and hurts Liverpool in their hunt for the EPL championship. Now Liverpool’s chances of their first title in 20 years is slim to none. For Sunderland, they look to be in a good spot right now, they have a chance to qualify for European play next year.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Cattermole and Cana Can

By Kevin Koczwara

Lee Cattermole played under Steve Bruce at Wigan last year. This year, he plays under Bruce at Sunderland, and he is thriving as the holding midfielder for The Black Cats.

The 21-year-old center midfielder was a hot commodity this summer transfer window with the likes of Liverpool rumored to be interested in the England U-21 International. But, Bruce got his man. Snapping up the youngster for a reported £6 million (Wigan made a £2.5 million profit), and in getting his man he has got a skilled, ambitious and strong midfielder.

What else did he get this summer in the signing of the youngster?

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Advertisements