Soapbox: Crouch, Cissé, Roy of the Rovers triple swoop. Or not

Image of Georgios Samaras: Sashymashy

Not forgetting Georgios Samaras from Celtic. Transfer deadline? Dead loss. That’s the verdict from Pete Sixsmith‘s Soapbox and who can blame him? Consider the other names in our own hat: Peter Crouch (£10m bid today, says Sky), Roman Pavlyuchenko, Patrick Helmes, David Craig Bellamy, Nicklas Bendtner, the other Cisse, Toy of th Rovers, Tupper of the Track (er, that’s enough – ed). Salut! Sunderland has remained aloof of the manic speculation; it’s either mostly nonsense cooked up by greedy, manipulative agents, hypocritical clubs, restless players and imaginative football hacks – or evidence of Steve Bruce putting out a search party for anyone who has ever played up front …

Time for the annual frenzy known as “the closing of the transfer window”.

Sky Sports News and its presenters should spontaneously combust somewhere around 8pm as news of St Mirren signing a Belarus programme seller tips them over the edge.

It was all hyper enough yesterday with the earth shattering news (if you work for SSN) that Owen Hargreaves is having a medical at Manchester City. Presumably, they (City) will be offering deals to Paul Scholes, Bobby Charlton and Sir Matt Busby before 11pm tonight.

Arsenal are signing anything that moves as Wenger undoes all that careful and methodical planning that he has put in and shows that he is the same as most managers and panics. A Brazilian, a German and a South Korean so far and more to come, maybe Gary Cahill, maybe Mikel Arteta, almost certainly not Nyron Nosworthy.

Harry Redknapp will wake up in the morning with a smile on his face and by midnight will have probably sold his current squad and replaced it with players he has already sold. Welcome back to White Hart Lane, Darren Bent, Teemu Tainio, Pascal Chimbonda and Robbie Keane.

As for Sunderland, we are looking for a striker. It transpires that the one striker we have with any Premier League experience isn’t actually all that good at scoring goals (and may be off anyway of the rumour mill has anything right – ed). He has other qualities but the bulging of the net isn’t one of them.

So, after saying how important it is to get players bedded in as quickly as possible, Steve Bruce has to spend days charging around trying to bring in a player who may or may not gel with the others.

The names mentioned so far are not particularly inspiring. Peter Crouch is not a prolific scorer. Despite possessing a “good touch for a big man” (there, I got it in first), he does not hit the onion bag regularly. He may take some of the pressure of Gyan, may even set up goals for our grumpy Ghanaian, but it is a gamble.

Vist the Salut! Sunderland shop by clicking here …

Georgios Samaras has also been mentioned and I presume that this was a joke. Hardly prolific in a league that appears to be less successful than that of Moldova, Lithuania and the Republic of Ireland, he only scored twice in a season when he was at Manchester City – and that was when Gary Breen was marking him. So that’s a no from me.

£11, postage-free for UK buyers (not dependent on selling Gyan)

The two German based players are unknowns to me. Patrick Helmes has a good record in the Bundesliga with Koln and Leverkusen, although he has not done so well at Wolfsburg. Two factors count against him here;

1) Steve McClaren signed him

2) His nickname is Moppel, which means pug and is used to describe fat kids in Germany

The other one is Papiss Cissé, who looks tasty. A friend who follows German football spoke very highly of him and said that he scored regularly in a Freiburg side that has come through the leagues. He is a Senegalese international and has a good scoring record in Germany. He could well be the man that Quinn and Bruce go for and who may turn our fortunes round. He scores in and out of the box and rattled in 24 goals in 32 games last season. Sounds useful.

Sunderland fans are cautious of last minute forward signings. Flo and Stewart came in late in 2002, and although Marcus did ok in the Championship, the big Norweigan was a 24-carat disaster. Benjani was hopeless, while Gyan also came in late and has not proved to us that he is a £13m player – yet. And then there was Rade Prica!!

Will I be glued to SSN, surfing the net and tuning in to 5 Live’s Transfer Window Special?

Nay, nay, a thousand times nay, as the great Frankie Howerd used to say (come to think of it, he’s a better centre forward than Giorgios Samaras).

I’m off to Castle Howard for the day to soak up a bit of culture, before taking in a Wearside League game between Kirkbymoorside and Hartlepool. The radio will remain off and I shall wait until I get home to see if we have invested wisely or wasted our money yet again.

It’s a big day for Steve Bruce; get it right and the grumbling stops; get it wrong and we are in trouble –and if we are I doubt he will get the opportunity to put it right in January.

Vist the Salut! Sunderland shop by clicking here …

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13 thoughts on “Soapbox: Crouch, Cissé, Roy of the Rovers triple swoop. Or not”

  1. Totally with you on that one CSB but there’s nowt that can be done about the squad now. My concern is that SB seems devoid of any ideas when the starting set up isn’t achieving success. Some of his initial selections, formations and tactics I have found hard to fathom but of much more concern is the reaction when things aren’t going well. They seem unimaginative to say the least and to substitute creative midfielders with untried forwards who all want to play the same way but who are not gelling smacks of desperation.

    I am not jumping on the anti Bruce bandwagon but I would like to see him using the talent we have to better effect otherwise I feel it will be a lack of on field management that will be his downfall rather than the transfer activity. I hope he proves the doubters wrong and gets the season back on track, but I have to admit that I am less confident now than I was before the opening day.

  2. Malcolm,

    Totally agree, but we have had since January 2010 to replace Bent and have not done so , or for that matter replaced Jones either.

    SB admitted we needed front men and we get one on loan who hardly has a prolific scoring record. As a foil for Gyan we will need to see how that works but we are undeniable light up front, a situation that has been with us since 2010 and a manager who has failed to address the fundamental problem (not even going to mention the other team ares that needed dorting).

    This quite frankly is not good enough.

  3. What many football fans (of all clubs) appear to forget is that signing players does not involve a trip to Argos, a perusal of the catalogue and the filling in of a form with a biro of restricted length.

    We criticise the outcome not the effort and are not party to the machinations of the various parties involved, the demands of potential signings, the financial restraints that those who run the club deem necessary.

    The whole business is complicated by aspects of which we are not even aware.

    The window is closed now and we should judge Bruce on what he can do with the squad he has.

  4. What a disaster, Benndter the only incomer, god help us now. What are they thinking, where is the rational to this series of events. Great getting rid of Ferdinand, thanks for your efforts son, but it did not work out.

    Where are the remaining signings!!!!!

    Beggers belief this series of events, another survival season coming right up if the new players do not gel.

    Do not understand at all what we are trying to do.

    Mr quinn please explain?

    Totally confused now!

  5. If I’m understanding where Steve Bruce is coming from I think there’s every chance that, when Gyan is available, Bendtner will be used in a wide midfield position.

  6. Your point (Birflatt Boy) is valid only if Steve Bruce agrees we need 1-2 strikers. If 40000 supporters say we need 1-2 strikers and Steve Bruce says we don’t then I’d believe Steve Bruce because he is the expert that we’ve paid to manage the club. There’s plenty of evidence out there that scoring midfielders is the way to go. Yes forward players are necessary to give the attack a focus but it’s no longer the case that their role is to score all the goals. Have a look at http://www.zonalmarking.net/category/decade/tacticsin2000s/ especially #4, #5, #6, #9. Also http://www.zonalmarking.net/2010/03/05/teams-of-the-decade-5-roma-2007/

  7. Me Bethell. What are you on about sir?

    If you need a striker. in fact two strikers, and have needed them for 8 months. The new season starts and your team scores a single goal in 4 outings, two of which are against sides which were not even in the PL last season, why on earth would you wait until this later to do something about it?

    I bet you sit there in the house with your shoes on frantically watching the time so that you can just get down the shop before closing time, when the wife says you need a pint of milk.

  8. howay geordies: Freudian slip! Similar age group, non?

    Geoff: we simply don’t know, do we? I don’t think anyone, Bruce included, doubts the need. It has been there since January and is the biggest and most valid area of criticism of his managership. I am suspicious of almost everything I see by way of transfer rumours unless there is a good reason (as was the case with Henderson) to believe them.

  9. Cisse sounds good but he will be off to the African Cup as will Gyan. I wonder if th following scenarion migght play out,Sell Gyan to one of th Turkish teams for £10 mill and Anton to QPR for £4 million sign Bellamy and Cisse and Bendtner (or Pav) and sign Machedo on loan

  10. Just as I thought. Bruce can’t win. He buys no strikers and gets criticised. He buys them and it’s either too little too late – or the wrong ones. It does however rather firm up my view that he’s bowing to fan pressure. NOT a good idea.

  11. Pavlyuchenko would be a better buy than Crouch who has had his chance and should be shelved for lack of enthusiasm for the North East. Cisse is another reasonable choice but why oh why so late, why so little forethought, desperation is not a negotiators friend

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