Rarely in recent times has a Sunderland debut been as keenly awaited as that of Asamoah Gyan, who should team up with Darren Bent to cause Wigan all sorts of problems on Saturday. That’s the theory anyway. But if you saw a Daily Star headline suggesting that Steve Bruce “admired” Gyan’s World Cup penalty miss, rest assured that he did nothing of the kind …
Alert readers will have seen that the image (below), sometimes used to illustrate Salut! Sunderland items relating to Darren Bent, is credited to a man who calls himself Addick-tedKevin and can therefore be assumed to support Charlton Athletic.
No surprise, then that Kevin should have paid his artistic tribute to Benty, who scored 31 times in 68 games for the Addicks between 2005 and 2007.
Kevin readily agreed to our use of his image and promptly offered to come up with some more. So we gave him a short shopping list.
Such a list would hardly have been complete without Ahmed Elmohamady, as we must now call him. The Egyptian Beckham had some cracking moments during the 1-0 victory over Manchester City, and these brought him the man-of-the-match award at the official SAFC site. I have a feeling we are going to see Elmo as a very astute acquisition.
And what about Simon Mignolet? In the final stages of the pre-season build-up, it sometimes seemed that everyone was so worried about Craig Gordon’s injury and Marton Fulop’s disillusion that the young Belgian didn’t exist.
In the event, no one else was signed and Mignolet was thrown into the deep end. And he has shrugged off a slightly shaky start against Birmingham to show his potential as a first-class keeper. A couple of saves against Man City were enough to justify Steve Bruce’s confidence in him.
But back to Asamoah Gyan. “STEVE BRUCE’S ADMIRATION FOR GYAN’S WORLD CUP PENALTY MISS,” shrieks the Daily Star website headline. Do not fret: Brucey has not lost his marbles. What he admired was Gyan’s solid response to that blunder. As the Star itself reports, what Bruce actually said was: “I’ve absolutely been impressed with his character. He missed a big penalty against Uruguay but dusted himself down and stuck the second one in the top corner in the shoot-out.”
And, since one favour deserves another, here’s a plug for Kevin, the budding graphic artist and designer. “If you know of anyone looking for football-based art, feel free to send them my way,” he says. You can reach him via this link to his Flickr images.