Now that the excitement is over – and with thanks to Jake for pulling together the images you now see in the banner – Pete Sixsmith takes a quick look at our transfer dealings.
Welcome to Wayne Bridge and Sotirios Kyrgiakos, who join the club from Manchester City and Wolfsburg respectively. Neither will give us much up front, but both should strengthen our impressive defence.
Neither has played much this season, with the Greek central defender having played seven times in the Bundesliga for Wolfsburg and Bridge turning out once for City and that in a Carling Cup tie.
There are some people questioning why we have signed two 30+ defenders on short term contracts when we may well have needed a striker in the lengthy absence of Nicholas Bendtner.
The answer to that is that when decent players are available, you sign them. Bridge is a good full back, good enough to play for two of the better sides in England and to represent his country 36 times. Clearly Mancini did not fancy him and has ignored him all season, but good players don’t become bad ones overnight.
We have not had a “proper” left back since George McCartney turned his back on Sunderland. The likes of Collins and Richardson have been stopgaps who have struggled with basic full back qualities. Bruce was pilloried for not bringing one in and now O’Neill has, let us hopeful, solved this particular problem.
It also gives O’Neill an option in midfield, where the absence of Vaughan will have a negative effect. Richardson could move into midfield and support whoever is playing up front, with any luck giving us a wee bit more of a presence.
As for the hairy Greek, he is a cert to play at Stoke on Saturday, where we will be subject to our usual aerial bombardment. He wasn’t rated at Liverpool, but he looks big and strong and will give us cover in the prolonged absence of Brown and Bramble.
I did think that Kevin Davies would have been a Sunderland player before 11.00pm but it appears not to be. Bolton looked as if they were going to sign Marvin Sordell from Watford, but that doesn’t appear to have happened. Had it done, it is very likely that Davies would have been ours.
We are light up front. Wickham had a poor game on Sunday while many of us remain to be convinced by Ji. That leaves Fraizer Campbell, back after a very long lay off, to play there with Sess. Fraizer did well on Sunday but can he show that pace and enthusiasm every game? Looks like we shall soon find out.
Some observations on the latest round of games; Manchester City sent back 900 tickets to Everton – I can’t imagine us doing that in the unlikely event of us being top of the league. Wolves defended as badly as any side I have seen this season and Mick may well be on his way – Steve Bruce to replace him? And Ashley Cole sent off – ha.ha.