The rest of the football world is talking morons/idiots/bootlickers – otherwise known as diplomacy, Argentinian style. Maybe Carlos Tevez was pulling punches and really dislikes his unsmiling former teammate Gary Neville. Never mind all that; we’ve finally pulled someone through the opened transfer window …
Anyone who has seen Sunderland’s attempts to hold on to leads or, most recently, avoid double figures knows perfectly well our defence needs steel.
We seem to have plenty of centre backs, but no settled pairing (not least because of injuries and wastefully incurred suspensions). The most tactful way of putting our full back problem is that we offer opponents far too much opportunity to exploit both wings.
Matt Kilgallon, signed from Sheffield United, should help solve the first of those issues. He’s a central defender, he’s come to us despite interest from the Mags and he has the ambition – and, we hope, the ability – to make it in the Premier.
Did I read somewhere that he “nearly choked on his pasta” when the call from SAFC came while he was eating out? That suggests he saw our interest as a compliment, and we’re happy to take it as an encouraging sign about the level of commitment we can expect to see from him.
Even more of a decent start to our January transfer dealings would be the addition of the Aston Villa right-back Habib Beye, whose capture would not only give us more confidence at the back but seriously annoy Newcastle fans who rated him highly when he was at St James’ Park.
Salut! Sunderland looks forward to some further pieces of good news on acquisitions – and the avoidance of damaging sales or outward loan deals – before the window closes.
I liked this quote from Steve Bruce about Liverpool’s attempts to lure Kenwyne Jones on the cheap (and, for all we know, without a replacement or two lined up by us):
To unsettle him like they are is totally outrageous, it is like us trying to get Steven Gerrard on loan. What the hell are they thinking of that they can do a loan?
But Steve’s mantra that every player has his price still has the look of an invitation to Rafa to some back with a huge offer to buy Kenwyne. We simply cannot afford to lose him unless further squad strengthening is guaranteed this month.
As long as the club keep that in mind, then with a bit of luck – and a lot more application – maybe we can allow thoughts of an imminent move up the league to replace the new year jitters, whether or not we are also in line for a good cup run.