Monsieur Salut writes: Keir Bradwell got it the neck here when plonking a 10/10 on Jozy Altidore after the low-scoring American produced a 20-goals-a-season strike against Stoke City. I detected irony but Keir, busy preparing for his 14th birthday tomorrow, hasn’t let on. Happy birthday, old man. Your ratings will never please everyone but nor would anyone else’s. I liked Alvarez, too. I also thought Cattermole had another good game and that Buckley and Jones showed a fair amount of style. So you got at least some of it right according to my own subjective assessment. Apologies to Swansea supporters; Keir’s brief is to mark our players, not yours …
Sunderland 0 – 0 Swansea: Player Ratings
Keir says: we just keep on producing thrillers, Sunderland. What a time to be alive.
Vito Mannone – 6
Not tested at all, really. Swansea had one shot on target and it was straight at him.
Billy Jones – 7
Excellent! Hasn’t had the best of starts to his Sunderland career, but against both Stoke and Swansea, Jones has impressed. Offers a lot more than Vergini does going forward, but seems just as solid at the back.
Santiago Vergini – 7
Well this was a nice surprise. I was a bit terrified by the thought of Vergini at centre-back after the Liverpool fiasco, but he was great today. It’s going to be difficult for Brown to get back in this team once he’s fit.
John O’Shea – 6
It’s a bit difficult to excel as a defender when there’s hardly anything to defend against.
Patrick van Aanholt – 8
He gets better every game. He even did well defensively today. Think we might have a bit of a bargain on our hands here.
Lee Cattermole – 8
You know the story by now. The heart of this team in so many ways.
Jack Rodwell – 6
A much quieter game after his decent performance at Burnley, but he’s going to take a while to get up to speed. Shall be a fantastic box-to-box midfielder once he’s adjusted to playing regularly again.
Seb Larsson – 7
I used to be one of Larsson’s biggest critics, but I have to say he’s really impressed me recently. Links up our play from defence to attack very well.
Adam Johnson – 6
Did okay, although wasn’t that much of a threat in comparison to Buckley and Alvarez, the latter his replacement after being subbed off in the 66th minute. His place in the side is hugely at risk at the moment with Giaccherini presumably returning from injury some time soon.
Will Buckley – 7
Quick, skilful, with decent delivery. What’s not to like?
Connor Wickham – 5
Really, really wasteful. Should have given us all three points today but again failed to take his chances. Other than his finishing, Wickham did well, but we really need him to start scoring again.
Jordi Gomez – 7
Gomez is quietly very impressive. Made several chances late on in the game after coming on, and a large part of the hugely dominant spell we had in the last ten minutes – along with Alvarez, van Aanholt and Buckley.
Ricky Alvarez – 9
My new favourite player. Brilliantly skilful, not afraid to play the simple pass and was more creative than anyone else on the pitch when he came on. Has to start against Stoke.
Steven Fletcher – 6
Fletcher looked half decent when he had the ball – header aside – but if he put as much effort into the game as he does getting his hair to grow back, he’d be a decent player. Maybe we should offer him so.