Sixer Says (before disappearing): Wes Brown and what the retained list overlooks

salut new

Pete Sixsmith is about to vanish beneath a tall pile of exam papers to mark. It’s a wretched job but has to be done and helps towards season ticket purchases for SAFC and Durham County Cricket Club. Before he pulled on his history teaching/examiner’s hat, he took a look at Sunderland retained list (*see in full below) and read between the lines, always advisable since these lists are a formality and rarely tell anything approaching the real story …

In the Good Old Days, clubs would issue their retained lists and supporters would know who was staying and who was going. Contracts were seen as private agreements between the individual and the club.

Occasionally, a manager would drop a bombshell and a popular player would be told that his time was up at Roker Park/St James’/Ayresome and he would be free to look for another club. Or a rival manager would come in and take a player, contract or not, if the board decided to sell him.

That was how we got Brian Clough from Middlesbrough in 1961. He was signed in July for the princely sum of £55,000, an absolute fortune then. He was regarded as a nuisance at Ayresome Park – he always struck me as a typically chippy Teessider – and they couldn’t wait to get him out of the door. He took to Sunderland like a duck to water and worshipped at the altar of Alan Brown.

But I digress. The retained list. Have we issued one? If so, who is on it and who is off it?

Wednesday morning’s Northern Echo was a busy one. There was the aftermath of the Carver/Stone sacking – so much for their job for life; it lasted for a shorter time than the one we gave to Ricky Sbragia.

There was a report on Durham’s excellent win over Somerset and Yorkshire’s tidy one over Middlesex. Darlington had signed another player from Darren Williams’s Whitby Town and there were less interesting pieces on Boro and Pools.

And there was an exclusive by Paul Fraser that gave me food for thought as I scooped up my porridge and slurped my tea. The piece said Wes Brown and Anthony Reveillere were to be offered a year’s extension to their contracts and that they were expected to sign sooner rather than later [in fact, the Sunderland Echo now reports that Monsieur Reveillere’s contract will not be renewed whereas Brown is expected stay for another year; see Sixer’s comment below – Ed].

Fraser concentrated on Brown, saying “Advocaat thinks that he is a valuable and respected member of the squad” and that “his experience is seen as integral to the squad Advocaat wants for next”. The praise for Reveillere was not quite as fulsome, saying only that “negotiations are at an advanced stage”.

Jake remembers Wes in one of those wins vs Man City
Jake remembers Wes in one of those wins vs Man City

However, the Black Cats’ list, using the PL site as a source, suggests that both have been released – which they have, up to a point. Their contracts run until the end of this month, which gives club and player a couple of weeks to sort their futures out for 2015-16. It may be that both are offered and sign a new deal for the year or they may, in Wes’s case, decide that appearing on reality TV is preferable to trying to create a watertight defence at the Stadium of Light.

So technically both have been released yet both could well return if the head coach wishes them to. I assume both Brown and the club expected him to retire this summer, hence no advanced talks regarding a contract extension, while Reveillere was only here on a short term deal.

With a combined age of 70, (a number that M Salut is quickly approaching) [steady on, I’m younger than Mick Jagger and, come to that, Dick Advocaat! – Ed] neither are in the first flush of youth.

When fit, Brown has never shirked his responsibilities and, when he came into the team at the end of the season, was as solid as a rock. Reveillere dropped out when Advocaat arrived after playing well in the middle of the season. He also appears to enjoy being at the club – although I am sure that his salary may have a little bit to do with that.

Pete: getting on but still younger than others around here
Pete: getting on but still younger than others around here

Looking at the list, there are some interesting names. El-Hadj Ba and Chavrias Mavrias are on the retained list, in what I assume are the final year of their contracts. It would be a surprise if they returned to the North East and another year’s loan at wherever looks likely.

Valentin Roberge is another name that appears. He seems a really nice guy who can play football in a pleasant and thoughtful way – which rules him out of the physical hurly-burly of the Premier League. He spent last year at Reims, playing 11 games and not really setting the Vesle on fire (I had to look that one up. It is described as a fourth level river – so presumably something like the Browney or the Skerne).

Then there are players in the final year of their contracts whose future needs to be settled ASAP. Both Steven Fletcher and Danny Graham fall into that category and I suspect that many Sunderland fans would not be weeping and wailing and renting their garments if both were to leave for pastures anew before August 8.

Adam Johnson is in the same boat, but his circumstances are ever so slightly different.

Once Dick gets in situ at the Stadium, we can hope to see some new players arrive, but with every other club in the league hoping to strengthen, what can we look forward to? I have little idea about some of the names mentioned – defender Kim Young-Gwon, currently playing in China, Joselu of Hannover and Franco di Santo, who has played in the Premier League for Blackburn and Wigan (and who scored the goal that did for Steve Bruce – so not all bad, then) and who has done well at Werder Bremen.

There will be others and it is to be hoped that we have a much stronger squad in August. Hopefully, we will be able to see some of them at Bishop Auckland on July 9 and at Doncaster Rovers 20 days later.

I am now disappearing for three weeks as there are 303 GCSE History papers festering next to my desk. Enjoy June mes amis.

******The retained list as registered with the Premier League:

Contract Players

Agnew Liam John
Ba El Hadji
Beadling Thomas
Bridcutt Liam Robert
Buckley William Edward
Casey Dan Patrick
Cattermole Lee Barry
Defoe Jermain Colin
Fletcher Steven Kenneth
Giaccherini Emanuele
Gomez Garcia-Penche Jordi
Gooch Lynden Jack
Graham Daniel Anthony William
Greenwood Rees
Honeyman George Christopher
Johnson Adam
Jones Billy
Karlsson David Moberg
Larsson Sebastian Bengt Ulf
Lawson Carl (Offer)
Mandron Mikael
Mannone Vito
Mavrias Charalampos
O’Shea John Francis
Pantilimon Costel Fane
Pickford Jordan Lee
Pybus Daniel Joseph
Roberge Valentin
Robson Ethan
Robson Thomas
Rodwell Jack
Smith Martin
Stryjek Maksymilian
Talbot James
Van Aanholt Patrick John Miguel
Watmore Duncan Ian
Wickham Connor Neil Ralph


Blinco Jordan William (Offer Contract)
Ganiyu Avis
Graham Kieran
Hume Denver Jay
Ledger Michael (Offer Contract)
Lowrie David James
McEvoy Dylan James (Extended)
Molyneux Luke
Nelson Andrew George Robert
Poame Jean-Yves
Purvis Greg Anthony
Robson Joshua Paul
Wright Daniel

Free transfers

Brown Wesley Michael
Burke Peter
Cartwright Andrew
Dixon Joel Stephen
McNamee Thomas Gerard
Reveillere Anthony

7 thoughts on “Sixer Says (before disappearing): Wes Brown and what the retained list overlooks”

  1. Fair enough that we keep one hugely experienced defender in Wes Brown for the reasons mentioned above . What we’ve got to get away from though is the perception that SAFC is a jolly up for the semi retired . That sadly means that Anthony Reveillere leaves with our thanks for a job well done and a nice few quid in he’s pocket . Youth must be served and it plain to see that an aging defence has been one of our failings for the last few seasons as both Brown and O’Shea both succumbed to the creaks and lapses of concentration that affect us all as we get older. I trust when this season is over O’Shea will be moved into the Brown position of back up and mentor because if we’re still relying on the pair of them together expect another of our blueprint seasons of struggle .

  2. Reveillere looked frighteningly off the pace when he made a cameo appearance in the Leicester home game. I can’t see any point in keeping squad players of that age. How’s a kid from the youth team (old expression I know) supposed to get a chance these days if we have a load of has-beens as backup ?

  3. Brown as 4th or 5th choice, playing when we are short and, hopefully, staying fit would not be a problem. In my opinion, the bulk of his mistakes have come when playing a number of games in a row and struggling for fitness. Also, let’s get him involved in coaching, particularly the kids so we don’t see more of the likes of Louis Lang that look really promising and then are released.
    As for Reveillere, really disappointed to see him go. I actually think he may have been the key signing of last season, as he hit the ground running and was really solid at a time when we had no other options. He is a better defender than Jones (compare the 2 games v Crystal Palace) and there will be days when a better defender is needed. If we sign a quality full back as a replacement then great but I think it is a mistake to let him go.

  4. I don’t see a problem in keeping Brown for another year.To me its suggest that we will be bringing in a couple of younger centre backs…Coates and Van Djik maybe? A season with Brown and O’Shea as mentors would be a sensible move

  5. “Franco di Santo, who has played in the Premier League for Blackburn and Wigan” …

    …would be one more recruit from clubs that were relegated.

    So my question is: Was he playing for them when they went down? If so should we be pursuing him?

    Although I thought Craig Gardner was value for money and Seb has been a star, I remain generally unimpressed with the calibre of the relegation escapees we’ve signed in recent years. I’m one of those who won’t be shedding tears if Fletcher runs his contract down.

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