Feel free to correct me if I am taking this the wrong way, but it almost sounds as if Sunderland boss Gus Poyet decided today's Capital One Cup final was the perfect time to send Jozy Altidore a message by dropping the striker.
"I want us to move on in the right way and I will demand it. But it is easy for me to say: ‘put this behind you and move on' and another thing for it to actually happen. We will see how each one of them is individually. How will Jozy Altidore react to not being in the squad, for example? I don't know. I will find out. It's tough for him, it's tough for everyone - defeat. I hate losing, hate it, but we have to show the right response."
If my interpretation of these comments is accurate following their 3-1 loss to Manchester City (in which replacement starter Fabio Borini saw exactly 18 non-defensive touches after gifted a 10th minute chance that he finished expertly to give the underdogs the opener), then I have great quibble with Mr. Poyet.
Not only am I still trying to figure out how anyone could fault the terminally ignored Sunderland striker for last week's humbling at Arsenal, but he (and apparently no one else from this perpetually bumbling squad) gets benched right now? Just in the nick of time for a cup final he greatly helped them get to?
Because if he has no knock to speak of and has not run afoul of team rules or some such thing, there is only way to describe this move:
- Greg Seltzer