The Devil’s Advocate: from Rochdale to Everton, from Kone to keepers

Rob as seen by Jake
Rob as seen by Jake

John McCormick asks: what do you think of the reformatted former Johnstone’s Paint trophy? Did we really need to fork out for a two year contract for a third keeper? Will Victor Anichebe prove to be better than Danny Graham? My answers are “undecided”, “no”, “yes but that means nothing”.

Rob Hutchison has his own opinions. Here he is playing Devil’s Advocate, in which he may take a view directly contrary to your own. You’re welcome to let him know what you think yourself…

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Jan Kirchhoff: an interview missing the one thing we want to hear

Jan Kirchhoff

It reminds us of what we know about the official club site, good and bad. talks to Jan Kirchhoff, a revelation in almost every game after the unfortunate debut at Spurs and the player most of us want to hear is committed to Sunderland.

It’s all very interesting and site’s privileged access to players always makes the effort to check out the content worthwhile. But we don’t go there in the hope of finding much that is groundbreaking. Bless its cotton socks, will not or is not allowed to ask the obvious question.

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Our best defenders: part 2, in praise of John O’Shea

Jake’s take

We started our season at Leicester with a line up that included Seb Coates and Costel Pantsilimon. Substitutes included Adam Matthews, who came on for Billy Jones.

By the time we got to the final game Seb Coates, Costel Pantsilimon and Adam Matthews were no longer at the club. Billy Jones, subbed 12 games previously and subsequently dropped, came on for the final fifteen minutes, replacing DeAndré Yedlin, who hadn’t featured at Leicester.

They weren’t the only changes. Our manager had long gone, as had Danny Graham, Stephen Fletcher, Emanuelle Giaccherini, and Liam Bridcutt, all subs for that first game.  Our new manager had made room for players who could bolster a leaky defence and strengthen a porous midfield.

They were Lamine Kone, Whabi Khazri and Jan Kirchoff.

And the rest is history

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Our best defenders: Part 1, individual comparisons


When I did my analysis of our midfield I said it would probably be one of two posts but there was so much to collect and compare that I decided to split the second part into two.

To begin, I’m using stats from  hosted, and my own sums to look at individual performances.

Who do you think is better – Coates, Kaboul or Koné? How do they compare to John O’Shea?

And would you rather have Billy Jones than DeAndré the Throw-in Slayer?

Read on, and all will be revealed.

Or maybe not.

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Jan Kirchhoff: from short-lived villain to cultured hero – and now recognised

Working well with Catts in support
Jake: ‘great stuff, Jan’

Congratulations Jan Kirchhoff on your player of the month award

At Salut! Sunderland and ESPN, as elsewhere, Jan Kirchhoff came in for some stick after that wretched debut at Spurs. Mitigating circumstances have subsequently emerged and Sam Allardyce has admitted his German signing was not match-fit and should not have been sent on as a sub.

And just look what has happened since. If Big Sam does not deserve to be part of a club facing the grave danger of relegation, nor does Kirchhoff. Monsieur Salut’s view is that we have not seen a better midfielder since Claudio Reyna.

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