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Who`s to blame? The players

Who`s to blame? The players

Nearly 24 hours since the derby shocker and it`s time for the blame game. Just who should carry the can for our first loss on Wearside since 1980?

The players

Lets face it - they were the ones on the pitch and they underperformed. Let`s look at the contribution of each:

Shay Given - Made a smart stop from Cisse to keep the scores at 1-1 and made some timely interventions. Blameless. Even had to put up with one of the Unwashed trying to give it large after the second goal.

Habib Beye - One of his worst performances in a black and white shirt. Offered nothing in attack and wasn`t helped by the lack of legs on Geremi.

Steven Taylor - A usual Platoon-style handball could have cost us dearly, especially with Richardson`s ability with free-kicks. Dealt with Cisse / Jones better than his partner in crime.

Fabriccio Coloccini - Struggled so much in the air with the wind and the physical nature of Sunderland`s attackers. Really needed a strong display but he was inept.

Sebastian Bassong - Definitely targeted by the mackems as a weak link and they definitely got a lot of joy down his side, including the first goal. Answers the question over why Keegan was so desperate to get a specialist left back in.

Geremi - Ignore the fact he provided the free kick cross for Shola`s goal, his overall contribution was just so rank. Hit the wall, first man and anything but our players on the rest, didn`t aid Beye and looked like he needed three or four touches before doing anything. We took £12m for Milner and god do we miss his enterprise down that side. A main culprit in the debacle.

Nicky Butt - Brave, but shouldn`t have been playing. Gave away the free kick they scored from, failed to track his runner for the first and looked legless. Needed a painkilling injection as well. Another culprit but was a more the victim of our lack of options in the squad.

Danny Guthrie - Looked like he was sh*tting it in the tunnel before hand and got himself needlessly booked early on which gave the mackem`s midfield a massive advantage. Like Scott Parker before him he seems to offer nothing but turning around in circles.

Damien Duff - Just plain sh*te. Offered nothing in attack at all and couldn`t beat his man or the first man. Could N`Zogbia, a veteran of a number of derby matches, done any worse? I don`t think so.

Obafemi Martins - Greedy with the ball and failed to spot opportunities when they came. Wasn`t aided by absolutely nothing in terms of service provided.

Shola Ameobi - Scored, and gave Chimbonda a torrid time, but missed an even easier 1 on 1. Definitely outshone the majority of his teammates though.

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Writer:Ross Molyneux
Date:Sunday October 26 2008
Time: 11:56AM

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