Keano’s squad: fine wine maturing, or a bit Corked?

Just needed the tiniest of excuses to bring you a few more of Peadar O’Sullivan’s pictures.

Peadar could not make it to Cork City to see the team he follows take on the Lads last night. So what reception would he have given the returning heroes – or, according to view, villains – Roy Keane and Liam Miller?

The Irish soccer website, Eleven-a-Side, carried a great line about the crowd giving Keano a warmly ambiguous welcome.

Check out the site and its chatroom. OK, there is the occasional jibe harking back to burn-everything-English-except-her-coal days.

When I invited readers to let me know their thoughts on Sunderland’s Irish tour, one character, Kenny in Cork, effectively told where to go, adding: “Sickining (sic) to see over 2000 of these queen loving fools wear Sunderland shirts at the cross tonight – clowns.”

Leaving aside his imperfect knowledge of the North East’s relationship with the Royal family, we’d have to acknowledge that the SAFC support has also included a few (fewer just now, you’d suppose) Irish-baiting No Surrender imbeciles. And to be fair, our Kenny was shot down in flames by a majority of the people who posted replies.

Mostly, it’s good crack/craic, and the bits by Shane Breslin, the man who runs the show, are particularly well-written. He’s doubtful, by the way, about our prospects of making much of an impact with the present strike force.

But expect Shane’s site to cover Sunderland’s fortunes quite a bit in the coming season, starting – if we start today – with his own take on Keano’s tussle with Fulham for the signature of the Cork striker Roy O’Donovan.

And turn the page, electronically, for some more of Peadar’s pictures…….

Among our own fans, views differ sharply on the way Keano’s new-look and, it has to be said, changing, squad is taking shape.

Pete Sixsmith’s thoughts from Cork will appear in due course – he was on his way up to Galway when we last exchanged messages. Over at the Blackcats forum, there is the usual high standard of analysis:

NEGATIVE (Neil Chandler)

Pretty awful match. We got better as Cork got tired. Poor
passing, no cohesion, no idea. Hard to single out anyone being any good at
all really. Around the box we were awful – all tippy tappy looking for an
opening and yorke/connolly/john all too close together.

POSITIVE (Mark Sugden)

We look like we’ve got great energy and pace all over the pitch and our movement is far superior than I’ve ever seen it. We’re getting into good areas but not capitalising but hopefully that will come together. Been impressed with Stokes particularly.
Think people need, not necessarily you Neil, to get things into perspective. We’re in pre-season, Keane hopes to get three more faces in. I think the signs are fine.

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