New striker needed: anyone listening?

Want a bit of beating about the bush? Mincing of words? Then this is not the place for you today. Jeremy Robson, having stuck up for Steve Bruce the other day, wants his reward and Sunderland’s: a signing to cheer us all up. Do Steve Bruce’s comments that Niall is hoping to land a big name (Gyan and Carlton Cole have been mentioned) mean his prayers will be answered? …

Only a few days to go and the transfer window then closes.

Sunderland’s lack of fire power is such that the team hasn’t won a game in which Darren Bent has failed to score since the beginning of last season tells its own tale; and it’s a sorry one.

Bruce’s critics have pointed to the sale of Kenwyne Jones and the failure to bring in a replacement. I would argue that Kenwyne Jones was never the answer to our goal scoring problems and the statement above should be sufficient evidence of that.

With the window approaching fast there seems to be no progress at bringing in a goal scorer of any quality let alone one that can guarantee the 9-12 goals per season that is so desperately needed.

There are rumours about Asamoah Gyan, but nothing concrete. Any hopes of landing Peter Crouch which were faint before have evaporated in the wake of his midweek hat trick in Europe.

The consensus based on last season and at the start of this campaign, is that Campbell hasn’t got what it takes. For Welbeck, see Campbell. Martyn Waghorn has been pushed down the pecking order with the arrival of Welbeck, and yet arguably has the most promise of any of the forward options beyond Darren Bent. Ryan Noble seems to have disappeared from contention for reasons which are unknown.

The next few days are going to be critical in Steve Bruce’s tenure as manager and also in terms of how we will fare this season. The portents currently are not good. A great deal may also be deduced in terms of the real ambitions of Messrs Quinn and Short as incoming transfer fees have outweighed spending.

The squad has had some good additions but it is patently not good enough. If I can see that then surely chairman, owner and manager must also see it. The next few days will make or break the season. It’s as simple as that.

20 thoughts on “New striker needed: anyone listening?”

  1. Good call Bill. I hope we sign N’zog – he is what we are lacking in midfield. Rarely do we score from set pieces outside the box and he can do that. If we sign Gyan and N’zog we’re in great shape.

  2. Not sarcasm, Martin, no, not a bit. I meant what I said about what’s involved with being a Mackem. You have to be able to push your dreams that little bit farther and harder. And I do have faith in Bruce and Quinn — it’s just stretched a bit right now and I’m a little alarmed that maybe we won’t sign anyone in the next few days. I really think we need to. (And in answer to Colin’s question about how good Zog is, well, the guy’s proved he can score goals. I’m thinking unhappily back to that game we lost 4-1 to the Mags.)
    I’ll take your bet if you insist, cos I think we’ll finish closer to 10th. But if you just want to make it a “gentleman’s bet,” I’m good with that, too. Either way, it’s one I’d be happy to lose.

  3. Martin. I agree with just about everything you say there and the point about what goes on behind the scenes is particularly well made. I think my article is born of frustration more than anything else that he didn’t have somebody lined up to replace Jones as soon as he left the car park.

    There is of course no way that I would want to see us return to the days of Cowie and Murray, I do wonder some times what happened to Barry Batey though. Remember him?

  4. I’ll stick with my pre season forecast of Bardsley and Ferdinand (has he got a squad number yet?) as our potent strike force when DB is not about. :-))

    Otherwise it’s fingers crossed.

  5. I’m not sure if your above comments contain an element of sarcasm Bill, so I’ll tell you what. Lets have $100 on it. I say 7th or higher. I’ve been a Sunderland fan since I was wearing a terylene nappy with one of those rubber things that looked like a shower cap. Hence – I know all too well why pessimism rules the roost. But after the Birmingham game I saw signs of genuine quality and I even said to the Mrs, and I quote “blimey love, we are looking the nuts this season”. Despite her Canadian roots, she’s strangely perceptive when it comes to SAFC – she replied – “that’s what you said last year and you still punched 14 holes in the wall during the winter”. But this season I have a good feeling. There you go Bill – there’s your chance to win 100 bucks online. Most would say it’s a safe bet!

    Jeremy. Your comments about Niall are correct. For sure, there’s no defending his appointment of Sbragia – that was a strange and naiive one. He makes mistakes and he’s the first to admit he’s not infallible. Remember his flirtation with management?? Maybe he should have had someone to replace Kenwyn, but we don’t know what goes on behind the scenes. We don’t know how many deals have collapsed, and we don’t know how much Mr Short intervenes when it comes to potential signings. He’s the one with the loot. Sometimes you have to gamble, and for me, letting Jones go was a good decision. Campbell was being selected ahead of him for the most part anyway. In management you have to be tough with those who are only prepared to try their best some of the time. It sounded like Jones had plenty of chances. Anyway – the point is this. If anyone is going to lead us to success and bring the good times back it’s Niall. He’s still on a learning curve, but he’s a fine human being, and his intentions if not always wise, are always for thebest. He’s the real deal. A genuine fella with oodles of integrity. Imagine if he had the money of our next opponents to play with. The very thought makes me dribble (although I have just eaten a lemon).

    Maybe it’s right to publicly debate his shortcomings, but would you bring back Bob Murray or Tom Cowie!!! Let’s back the big guy. He’s the creme de la creme. Peace!

  6. Just been talking to George Herd at the Sunderland Ryhope CA v Tow Law game. He said that Nicky Sharkey was available for Sunday if required.
    Failing that, Gyan would do for me.

  7. “Zog on the Tyne” coming to Wearside? I wonder what Sunderland could offer him that Birmingham couldn’t, other than proximity to the Metro Centre. He’d certainly be a welcome (as in, grab him with both hands!) addition, though I’d rather see Asamoah Gyan in red-and-white. I’d even let him take penalties!
    A 7th-place finish, Martin? I’m all for having faith and I’m even more in favour of blind optimism. That’s part and parcel of being a Mackem.

  8. Quinn is a good bloke, sure enough, but he’s not beyond reproach when circumstances justify.

    Interestingly SSN is just reporting that Birmingham’s proposed deal for N’Zogbia has fallen through, as the player can’t agree personal terms. Maybe there’s more to this?

  9. I hadn’t seen the story either Salut. Someone posted the link on blackcats shortly after I mailed it to you.

    The headline might appear harsh in light of that, but at the end of the day it’s Quinn’s responsibility to get whatever that deal is over the line before the window closes. Whatever the cost is which is involved it will be chump change to the cost of getting relegated. Quinn played Russian roulette with PL status when he put Sbragia in charge, so let’s not engage in blind acts of faith. He got away with it that time because of the incompetence of others and not because he showed shrewd judgement at that time. Some people have short memories.

  10. Out on a boat for much of the day – tough work but someone has to do it on behalf of Salut! Sunderland – I didn’t see the stories about Bruce saying NQ was negotiating for a class striker until after I;d posted Jeremy’s piece. So the headline may be harsh – ie someone IS listening. But it also proves the point made here many times: Kenwyne’s sale should have been tied in some way to the knowledge that we had some adequate replacement not just vaguely in our minds but already trying out the red and white shirt for the next morning’s press call.

  11. I’m certainly not jumping on the “why did we see Kenwyne bandwagon” as you put it. I’ve been as big a critic of Jones as you’ll find, but there’s no point in selling a player that can get 8 goals a season to replace him with someone less proflific or not at all. We are not a bad side at all, just incredibly over reliant on goals from a single player. If he gets injured then we are well and truly stuffed.

  12. Oh ye of little faith!!

    Our football in the opening game against Brum was some of the best I have seen in years, despite conceding the gut wrenching two goals late on. We were quick and lively, and even with ten men we made them look ordinary. Take heart from that all you doubters.

    Kenwyn was a one in six games man, and that ain’t good enough. He didn’t have the mettle to produce more than once every so often and that’s why he’s had to settle for Stoke. It’s so predictable for folks to jump on the “Why did we sell Kenwyn” bandwaggon after a disappointing start to the season.

    Although I concede that signing a recognised striker is imperative, listen up . . . The arrival of a new striker will be announced in the next 2 days. Gyan is my guess and if so, he will be a splendid signing! There’s no way we will be in a relegation fight this season, and we will finish in 7th spot. Mark my words young oaves – and for Pete’s sake – have faith in Steve Bruce and Niall Quinn.

  13. If no additions are made to what we have up front then it’s going to be a long and cold winter. Does he think that the January window is going to produce bargains? He’s crackers if he does!

    The other part of this story suggests that there is a player in discussions. I certainly hope so!

  14. The BBC website is quoting Quinn as saying there are no major acquisitions in the immediate future because there are no value-for-money deals to be had: “We took the position on Kenwyne and felt it was the right thing for the club. I can’t see that being reciprocated in the prices being bandied about. I will not put this club at risk just to keep fans happy who don’t understand, but should look at what happened to Portsmouth.”
    It could be a long, bleak stretch for a lot of unhappy fans until the next transfer window opens.

  15. According to reports a long term target is in Quinn’s sights. Carlton Cole? Robbie Keane is available?

    David Trezeguet apparently is on the move. Could it be him?

    Let’s hope that it isn’t Heskey!

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