Recognition for Sunderland’s Spurs reject (and Hull hero)


Real fans, real opinions. Sounds a bit like us, but it’s, which lists 10 success stories from the Premier season so far – “men who’ve done a lot better than anticipated and have an enhanced reputation as a result”. We’re happy to pass the news on with due credit to the site in question …

Guess which club has two players in the list. And guess which position in this unofficial mini-league is awarded to one of those players. Think “striker not as good as my missus, says cuddly ‘Arry” and “defender whose departure broke Hull hearts”.

The top 10 competition for our pair was varied but strong: Jimmy Bullard (Hull); Thomas Vermaelen (Arsenal); Maynor Figueroa (Wigan); Roger Johnson (Birmingham); Alex Song (Arsenal); Richard Dunne (Aston Villa); Ryan Giggs (Manchester United); and Lee Bowyer (Birmingham). has them, in reverse order, at positions ranging from tenth to second.

But in at number nine was Michael Turner, our gangling centre-back who has generally made a sound impression on SAFC fans. The verdict:

We saw last year that Turner was a good, solid Premiership defender as he impressed for Hull. But Sunderland picked up an absolute bargain by getting the big man for just £2.5 million – Turner has put in a number of solid defensive performances and helped Sunderland to a great start to the season. Their form’s dropped a bit but Turner has become a big hit quickly for his new club and has now been noticed across the country.

And who else at number one than Darren Bent? Statistically, said some wag at a Barrow fans’ site before the FA Cup game, one Sunderland in 11 is Bent. He may also have dodgy tastes in music, but his achievements in the day job speak for themselves.

This is what had to say:

We know Bent can score goals, he did it very well for Charlton several years back. His career had stagnated at Tottenham though and nobody expected Bent to prove a particularly good signing for Sunderland, instead thinking he’d prove wasteful once again. Wrong. The clinical Bent is one of the top goalscorers so far this season in the league and already has 13 league goals to his name, proving that the old Bent is back with a bang and ready to defy all expectations. He’s quickly gone from being ridiculed to being a recommendation for England’s World Cup squad.

Thanks to our confreres for their interesting thoughts. Thanks, too, to the players whose contributions to the Sunderland cause brought them this modest but welcome appreciation.

Colin Randall

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