One-word Sunderland ratings: the stars, the flops, the gone or going

Rob: a sharp postscript to the series

Pete Sixsmith rightly and as ever closed the end-of-season reviews with his excellent piece on Friday. But there’s always one straggler and it would be unfair to deny Rob Hutchison a postscript, especially since he concentrates more on individual performances in an extended version of his customary one-word, one-mark ratings after matches he attended or managed to watch …

Rob says: ‘Sadly, I was away on holiday as we travelled the road to safety… a rather late look at the players and their full season ratings . . . I’m sure I’ve missed one or two, and no, let’s not bring Santi home.’ Monsieur Salut says: ‘Harsh on Yedlin. Otherwise, mostly ageed.’

Once again, the full series can be season at

Vito – 7
Finished very strongly when given his chance. What will next season bring for him?

Pants – 6
Patchy this time round from Costel. Something had to give and he was the odd man out, rightly so.

Jordan P – 6
Limited playing time at SAFC but excelled for Preston and England. Best prospect we’ve developed in years. Exciting.

Wes B – 5
At the end of his days. Good servant to the club but it’s time to go.

John O’Shea – 5
Exposed so many times, he’s struggled this term; occasionally played a blinder but the gaffs outweigh the MOTM performances. Back up role for JoS next season.

Kaboul – 7
Liked what I saw in the Donny pre-season friendly and when fit and in his groove he’s been outstanding. If he can stay fit he’ll prove a snip.

Kone – 9
Incredible half season for him, you almost feel he kept us up on his own. Hanging onto him may be the problem. The lad has everything.

Adam Matthews – 1
Wretched at Donny when he came on. I’d love to know the real reasons behind his signing. Thanks Dick, thanks a bunch. Never a PL player in a million years.

Seb Coates – 3
Another bang average Sunderland player. Had the odd day in the sun, but way below what we require.

PVA – 7
Season of two halves for young Patrick, you feel Big Sam has turned him into a real player. Wonder if he’ll be off in the summer?

Yedlin – 5
Shabby start, improved as season progressed. There’s an unfinished player in there, but feel Sam wants more in the RB position than he can offer.

Billy Jones – 4
Very average, typical old skool Sunderland defender. No outstanding attributes; average at everything. No enough for Sam.

Bridcutt – 2
Even our official website doesn’t know his DOB or his position. Gus bottled it by signing his buddies, nowhere near good enough for Sunderland.

Buckley – 2
As above. Hapless specimin.

Jordi Gomez – 3
Only plays one way sadly, and we don’t play his. OK player maybe, but never been good enough for SAFC.

Cattermole – 6
Fewer MOTM performances, but a great end to his season when it really mattered. Where do you fit him him round the Hoff and M’Vila? Important squad player next season.

The Hoff – 8
After his reverse-Varga (1 crap game and then endless heroics) he may be the most skillful member of our squad. Extend his contract, keep him fit, the future’s bright.

M’Vila – 7
Better than we already had, classy player, faded mid season but finished well. Sign him up.

Adam Johnson – 5
Scored at crucial times, sadly in the wrong way on occasions. Let himself and the club down. What a waste.

Ola T – 3
Why ? Just Why ? Heart in the right place but another bang average bod. Great touch at Villa away I recall but that was about it. Cheers mate.

Jermain Lens – 4
The classic “I’m a flash Dutchman get me out of here” player. Signed by Dick and struggled to step up to the plate. Lacks graft and won’t make it under Sam I’m sure. If he played every game like Watford away there’d be no worries.

Khazri – 6
Patchy. Anonymous at times, breathtaking now and again. He needs a good Sam preseason if he’s to deliver on his price tag. My jury is still out on him. Think Norwich away 1st half people.

Larsson – 5
Rarely used, face doesn’t fit with Sam long term. Really like him but it’s time to draw a close and move on for everyone.

Rodwell – 3
We’re still waiting. Will the real Jack Rodwell please stand up.

Fletcher – 3
Shadow of him former self. Unable to fit into any SAFC formation and deliver, didn’t look motivated, glass ankes in full effect of late. That’s why we were (almost) going down.

Fabio Borini – 6
No doubting his passion and energy, relishes the big game, but only delivered now and again. Wonder if Sam will cash in on him ? Not sure if he’s a Sam sort of player.

Jake: 'simply a top man'
Jake: ‘simply a top man’

Defoe – 9
He did keep us up, with those goals continuously delivered across the season. Can’t remember enjoying a striker as much since SKP. A shining example to any pro. Player of the Season.

Watmore – 7

Played his part. Can’t remember the last time a player got the crowd on their feet like clever clogs Dunc. Needs the raw talent honing by Sam and he’ll be a £20m player in the not too distant future. Proud a player like him is one of ours.

N’Doye – 4
Tried & worked, but not good enough for us. He’s the next Danny Graham waiting to happen. Never quite seen a first touch like it since Connor Wickham.

Danny Graham – 3
God loves a trier they say. Delivered absolutely nowt. The latest in a litany of wretched purchases and squandered millions. Monty Brewster would be proud of our work. Thank goodness it’s over.

Dick Advocaat – 3
3 is for this last season only. Joke of a pre-season left us a shambles – never had his heart in it after last season. Knew he’d made a mistake being persuaded to come back within minutes of doing it I’m sure. Had the decency to step aside before it was too late for which he gets my respect.

Sam Allardyce – 9
Bizarre substitutions at times were my only issue. Brought the fans and club together. Knows his onions does Sam. Seems a perfect fit for us. Give him the keys to the kingdom.

6 thoughts on “One-word Sunderland ratings: the stars, the flops, the gone or going”

  1. Got to disagree about N’Doye, even in his preferred position of CF, if we sign him it’s hardly a statement of intent, except possibly of the intent to buy second rate and struggle, again.
    He’s just not good enough. We need to be getting better if we’re to achieve the heights of mid-table mediocrity.
    And they say ambition’s dead!

    • Don’t disagree and hopefully Sam has someone in the pipeline. But my point is, if he is offered a full time deal (which I don’t expect) he can’t be used as anything other than an out and out CF and not with Defoe on the pitch.

  2. We are still struggling with rotten signings by Poyet and Advoocat . Big money , long term contracts given to championship players at best . Its a miracle that we haven’t dropped into that league with the rubbish we’ve signed over the years . Thankfully a couple are loans, but we’ve stuck with the rest . Hopefully we can farm them out to someone who’ll pay half their wages at least . If that sounds harsh , I don’t care , they’re getting a kings ransom every week for virtually nothing .

    • Agreed. Look at the Roberge farce, the Vergini situation and I hate to keep saying this – the Alvarez stalemate.

      I’ve a feeling that eventually the club will end up losing a lot of money in compensation and loss of earnings as I am not confident the authorities will find in our favour.

      Also I wonder (though this time I don’t find the club at fault) has Eboye been paid for the time he was with us?

      I am hoping that this new CEO Martin Bain brings a bit of know how to the table and that together with a manager who determines which players we approach, rather than a third party we will see a firmer foundation to kick start us up the table.

  3. Very much agree about Khazri, Malcolm ,who I feel is an excellent addition to our squad .Borini’s energy and passion are terrific to see and as you say he has been playing out of position

  4. Won’t quibble too much about Rob’s ratings but will make the following points.

    1. Vito – looks more assured back in the starting spot than he did previously. Less error prone and see point 2

    2. I think that calling Pickford back, giving him a new contract and signing Steve Harper as back up to the back up was a master stroke. Why? Because it allowed Sam to get the high earning Pants off the payroll and allowed the club to meet the demands needed to bring in Kone without breaking fair play rules.

    3. M’Vila did go quiet for a while after January but he wasn’t having to impose himself so much as a) Kirchhoff did a lot of the donkey work, b) Yedlin and PvA were much improved defensively so M’Vila wasn’t as visual covering their errors and c) Cattermole was inspired in that formation. The transfer window doesn’t open until July but I really hope that a deal for M’Vila is in place already.

    4. Khazri had a poor first half at Norwich admittedly but his work rate and enthusiasm has been phenominal since he signed. He has helped PvA improve in a way that Graham, Defoe and Fletcher couldn’t playing wide left. Watmore has done some good things but Wabhi has been by far the more influential of the two.

    5. Borini and N’Doye have mostly been played out of position. On the whole Fabio has done really well this time round. Sam found a successful formula and stuck with it but as we saw at Watford, both those players could be more effective in a different set up. I doubt we’ll see N’Doye back but he could be a useful addition to the squad as an out and out CF either as a sub for Defoe or an alternative if JD is injured or rested.

    6. Lens has talent. It would seem to be an attitude problem with him. If he buys into Sam’s philosophy worth keeping. If not – get shot.

    7. The coaching staff. Under SA’s guidence they have got this team as fit as any I have seen. Phenominal work rate and vast improvements in some players notably PvA, Yedlin and Watmore. Also some of the U21s have shown some potential and will hopefully add strength in depth to the squad. Expect Gooch, Robson and Greenwood to get squad numbers and possibly Honeyman too.

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