Apologies to Keir Bradwell, who was very prompt in submitting his man-by-man assessment of Sunderland’s performance against Stoke, who dumped us unceremoniously out of the league cup as if last seasons Wembley run never happened. Gremlins got at the site last night and again this morning. They seem now to have retreated, but only a little (image uploading and other functions are still affected). Keir will have some heads scratching at his mark for Jozy but, since the big man scored what one paper called a 20-a-season striker’s goal, we may but guess at how tongue-in-cheek – if at all – his mark out of 10 is …
Sunderland 1 – 2 Stoke (Capital One Cup): Player Ratings
Pantilimon – 2
Very poor keeping for both of their goals. Not at Mannone’s level at all. Could’ve kept a clean sheet with him between the sticks instead.
Vergini – 6
Moved to centre-back following Coates’ substitution and did very well there soon after. Came close with a bullet of a shot on the 70th minute, which just flew over.
O’Shea – 6
Made a few decent challenges and seemed to cope well with Stoke’s attack for the most part.
Coates – 4
Not an atrocious performance, but was at fault for several of Stoke’s chances in the first half, and was being subbed off for van Aanholt at half time.
Jones – 8
Impressed me more and more, the longer the game went on. His runs into the box were genuinely brilliant. Think his second half improvement may’ve been due to him moving back to his right-hand side. Would start him over Vergini at right-back against Swansea.
Gomez – 6
Good in possession, although didn’t have much by the way of attacking threat. Kept us ticking over though and provided a bit of stability in a team that was otherwise just running up and down the pitch constantly.
Bridcutt – 4
Had a fairly poor first half, and seemed to disappear in the second. Not fantastic.
Rodwell – 7
Easily the most influential of all our players (Jozy aside) on the pitch in the first half, although was eclipsed by both of our wingers in the second. Was subbed off for Alvarez with fifteen minutes to go.
Buckley – 7
So fast, a great option to have in our squad. Was extremely unlucky not to score on the hour mark. Improved as the game went on and overall was very impressive, aside from a chance about eight minutes later which he really, really should’ve tucked away.
Altidore – 10
Johnson – 7
Hit a wonderful free kick in the first half, which could well have gone in on another day. Other than that, did well to drift inside and create a lot of chances through the middle.
van Aanholt – 6
Constantly down Stoke’s end providing a bit of width, especially with Johnson’s tendency to drift into the middle. Didn’t get hugely involved but a decent performance nonetheless.
Alvarez – 6
Made a few great runs and showed a lot of skill in the final third. Wasn’t hugely influential otherwise. Promising, though.
Graham – 5
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