LAST weekend saw Sunderland remain dead bottom of the Barclays Premier League after victories from both Fulham and Crystal Palace left the Black Cats five points off safety.
That being said, there are some good things that can be taken from the weekend...
1. Wes Brown and John O’Shea’s partnership
Wes Brown and John O’Shea are finally playing together in central defence. The Sunderland fans have been waiting a long time to see the two former Manchester United defenders combining at the back, following the former’s long spell on the sidelines.
Although their two games back together have both ended in defeat, having them playing regularly in the heart of defence will give Gus Poyet confidence that they can survive the drop this season.
2. West Ham’s run of bad form
While Fulham and Crystal Palace won their games this weekend, West Ham slumped to another defeat and look set for a long season fighting relegation. Their lack of firepower and ageing squad will give Sunderland fans hope that they will drop down even further and replace the Black Cats at the bottom.
Sam Allardyce will surely bring in another striker in January, but until that time, the Hammers may struggle this month. Sunderland’s next game is away at Upton Park and Poyet will fancy his chances of taking all three points against a dejected West Ham side.
3. Jozy Altidore and Steven Fletcher playing together
Poyet opted for two up front against Spurs last weekend and the combination of Steven Fletcher and Jozy Altidore caused the Tottenham defence some problems. Altidore’s more withdrawn role did congest the midfield slightly, but together, the two have the ability to fire Sunderland back up the league.
Fletcher is a proven goalscorer in the top flight, while American international Altidore has shown glimpses of his potential.
If the two can develop a successful partnership, then their spearheaded attack may prove vital in Sunderland’s survival.
This article was written by FTBpro’s Richard Bell
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