Talking Points: A win for the Lads in Dubai… so we’re all pissed, right? | News Bharat

A win is a win – take it, go home and move on…

This will be one of the strangest games I’ve ever seen, but getting a win in Dubai even against a side like Al Shabab in the Saudi Premier League continues the positive momentum we got back with the Brum win.

That last league game seems like ages ago, but getting that odd win will have helped keep the Lads’ eyes and their pecking order a bit on.

The game also gave several less fit and sharp players a chance to take to the grass (was it grass?) against what looked half-decent at times, in preparation for the return against Millwall next weekend.

The team did not play as well as it can, but when he made nine substitutions in Orange, it was never likely to be a classic.

We’ll leave Dubai with the benefit of a bit of team bonding and a very forgettable win, which I suppose is better than trying to forget a loss that can affect morale.

Sunderland v Wigan Athletic - Sky Bet Championship

Aji is back in action. Good.
Photo by Michael Driver/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Was the risk worth it?

It didn’t take long for the tackles to start flying as we entered the second period, and I was left looking for the very poor quality footage to see if SAFC had sent out the boys in rainbow suits after the break. .maybe they decided to make a point about the human rights record of their opponents, as I hoped they would in a recent panel discussion about this whole trip. Something set the locals off, and it wasn’t pretty.

After several two-footers and overly physical collisions, the Lads had had enough of being hacked like a Sunday League football team and started a bit. Gooch drew a red card with one of the opponents joining in, and it looked like the game had stopped there. It resumed, but I still doubt if it should.

As well as being a PR disaster for the club, I personally don’t think it’s worth the trouble or the risk. Surely the club could have settled a game “behind closed doors” that would have achieved the same or more, and probably not have had half the chance of a broken shin or broken nose?

Let’s hope Lynden faces no retribution for his red, no one has any major damage from the event, and we can draw a line under this and get back into the league spotlight very soon.

Sunderland v Blackpool - Sky Bet Championship

Decent to defend and attack, as proved in Dubai… Goooooch
Photo by Alex Dodd – CameraSport via Getty Images

Was there an advantage?

There were a couple of them.

Amad continued his ever increasing form with a well taken goal in the first half. Ba’s ball to find him in acres of space was also sweet, as was Amad’s run that set up Ellis Simms. The Manchester United loanee goes above and beyond, and the brilliant way he jumped inside the defender and half-sat the goalkeeper before slotting the ball in was fantastic to watch.

Another player who deserves a shout out in my opinion is Elliot Embleton. He caused a lot of problems in the first half and hit the woodwork and forced a save from his keeper (well, I think it was a save – the crap picture suggested to me that it hit the post and also the crossbar).

The other thing that stood out to me was the standard of our play in the middle. Matete, Pritchard, Ba and Evans all had solid performances, although Pritch once again failed to convert a good chance, putting it just over the corner from a free-kick. I would have loved for him to have converted as we need him to convert more set pieces into goals but overall he played well.

An honorable mention also goes to Aji Alese, who looked good in his return to the backline. With him and Cirkin back in December and beyond, we should be better defensively.

Sunderland v Cardiff City - Sky Bet Championship

Well played Embo
Photo by Michael Driver/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Anything else to mention?

The cameraman…or rather, the lack of one.

The club asking anyone to pay for that broadcast was a disgrace, and all those who wanted the game to be canceled were justified in that opinion based solely on the quality of service that emerged on Friday afternoon. I’ve heard rumors that refunds are on the way, and that’s the least the club should do.

If you’re planning to stream a friendly SAFC, bring a guy in proper gear and do a decent job, for God’s sake! It didn’t take one more thing to make us look ridiculous, especially after all the clumsy things to get to this point.

A lesson for the future: If you pull some guy off the sunken bar with his iPhone 14 pro max and ask him to sit on the scaffolding for a couple of hours, you get what you pay for. This guy will obviously be trying to watch the World Cup games on his other gadget while balancing his lukewarm £20 a pint on the scaffolding tables, blatantly forgetting to film the action between sips.

The crappy visuals, horrible action tracking, and lack of audio were annoying to everyone who tried to watch them, but now it’s behind us.

Let’s focus on getting ready for Millwall, train hard this week and keep going until Santa comes and beyond.

Birmingham City v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship

Well played again Amad.
Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images

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