For the second in our new series of supporters’ recollections of specific Sunderland AFC shirts, Keir Bradwell pauses in his preparations for a trip to Swansea tonight to look back on one that promised so much but proved as invisible as the intended wearer.
‘I went to sign Cabral at 2am in a restaurant and I was not leaving until I got his signature,’ said Roberto de Fanti, our hapless director of football at the time, of one many players foisted on Paolo Di Canio. ‘Then 48 hours later he had offers from two clubs in the Bundesliga. If we had waited longer we would probably not have Cabral.’ Sounds now like a spectacularly missed opportunity to miss an opportunity … …
John McCormick writes:
Keir Bradwell needed to take a break but now he’s back. And not only is he back, he’s bigger and better. With the help of Opta and the FourFourTwo StatsZone app he’s produced a nice analysis of the game last weekend and has some suggestions to offer
We probably need a psychiatrist to decipher Keir Bradwell‘s comment on Connor Wickham. Otherwise his marks go pretty much as you’d expect, with plaudits all round and special mention for an “all right goal”. Newcastle’s star man? Monsieur Salut! is tempted to say Tim Krul for his spontaneous act of sportsmanship, patting Defoe on the back in the tunnel at half time for a super strike, and managing to annoy Jamie ‘you can’t do that in any game, especially a derby’ Carragher in the process. Let’s more Spirit of Krul, less Snarl of Carragher ….
Monsieur Salut writes: whatever is to blame – school work, family obligations, a games console – Keir Bradwell has been quiet of late. Remember: he’s the one who does the Sunderland ratings at greater length than Rob Hutchison. Well, he’s back to entertain or irritate, according to taste; I feel he is hard on Fletcher, from whom there were indeed some good touches and one superb non-touch, the feint that set up a promising attacking move, and on O’Shea, though his penalty box wrestling worries me endlessly. The Hammers’ top man? Their midfield had the edge but Sakho, a threat long before he scored, gets my vote …
Pantilimon – 7
Couldn’t do anything for the goal and made plenty big saves throughout the game.
Reveillere – 3
Painfully slow and very sloppy. Is he Dossena in disguise?
Vergini – 5
Did pretty well once he came on. I’m putting him in here rather than later on as a sub since he played the vast majority of the game. Deserves to start against the mags, though, after the shambolic performance from the rest of the defence.
O’Shea – 2
Woeful. Weak, doesn’t jump for headers and beaten for pace every time by their striker. Have to get shot of him in the summer. More error prone than Brown nowadays, who should partner Vergini in the centre of defence for the rest of the season. Appalling recent form.
PvA – 2
Might as well put me in defence, he was that bad. Awful defending throughout the 90 minutes, and mind-blowingly wasteful from good attacking positions. Complete liability.
* See also: The Chapman Report: ‘disappointing finale but at least no one ‘walked’ through this game: https://safc.blog/2015/03/the-chapman-report-from-west-ham-disappointing-finale-but-no-one-walked/
Larsson – 6
Decent. Needs to put the ball in the quadrant on corners.
Rodwell – 6
Very athletic, which is refreshing to see. Pressed well, but didn’t have that much of an impact on the game.
Gomez – 5
Incredible performance! (by Jordi Gomez standards)
Fletcher – 5
The little flicks are gone! Still not very effective though and subbed off for Graham late on.
Wickham – 7
Very, very strong. Best Wickham performance in a while and the best man in blue on the pitch tonight.
Defoe – 2
It’s a lot less time consuming to think of a list of things that Defoe consistently does well, but I have to write something for every Sunderland player on the pitch. So let’s think about all the things he’s not very good at instead – his first touch is abysmal, he’s quite possibly the most selfish player I’ve seen play for the lads, he can’t shoot, he can’t pass, he can’t stay onside, he can’t dribble, he can’t challenge in the air, he doesn’t track back and his work rate is appalling… I despair. Would honestly rather have Jozy in the team; at least he gave it a go.
Johnson – 4
It must be rather difficult being booed with every touch. Even so, had no impact on the game at all.
Brown – 5
Had no time to impress, but I hope he’s not injured for the derby.
If you thought Rob Hutchison was harsh with his one-word verdicts and low player ratings after the shambles of last night, prepare to reconsider. Rob was positively benign compared with Keir Bradwell, who cannot bring himself to award higher than an average of 3/10 for the starting 11.
Keir uses that infamous defeat at Norwich City last season as the benchmark for Sunderland awfulness. I am sure we can all come up with other contenders (including a few from this season, Southampton (a), Fulham (h) among them).
Apologies to all for pulling these two items together, a necessity given constraints on time between the two games, at Swansea on Saturday and at home to QPR tomorrow. Agree or disagree with Keir Bradwell’s man-by-man ratings from the 1-1 draw at the Liberty Stadium and then have a stab at the scoreline in tomorrow’s crucial game…
John McCormick writes: In the 1960s, when most of the Salut team had just graduated from short pants, about 80,000 people a year got 5 or more O levels, an achievement which was guaranteed to impress not only Grandma but also employers. Now almost 80,000 people are awarded First Class Honours every year. By the time young Keir Bradwell reaches graduation age he’ll likely need a couple of PhDs to get a job, so it’s no surprise he occasionally needs to prioritise commitments.
However, he hasn’t forgotten us. He sent his Burnley ratings a couple of days ago with a message that it might be worthwhile holding them until after Fulham and doing a double post. I originally decided to jump the gun but now I’m able to give you his ratings for both games:
We are running a little to stand still here. But in an effort to catch up, here is a quick posting of Keir Bradwell‘s man-by-man SAFC ratings. Rob Hutchison‘s one-worders, and his more measured account of the game, will follow when we can get to them. Who would have been the Spurs man of the match: Danny Rose maybe. Monsieur Salut would have given the BBC Radio Newcastle commentator Nick Barnes eight out of 10 just for nearly referring to a Sunderland striker called Daniel Defoe – author of both Robinson Crusoe and The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders …
Almost too late to be publishable, Keir Bradwell comes up with his man-by-man SAFC assessment of the New Year’s Day defeat at the Etihad. His intention was to combine that game and the Leeds FA Cup tie in a double header. But he was not at the cup match and there were no streams or TV coverage, hence what he terms ‘some phenomenally late ratings for Manchester City 3 – 2 Sunderland’ …
John McCormick writes: It being almost half-term and Keir providing numbers, I thought I’d sum things up in a succinct headline, like the ones I used to get some forty years ago. Maybe M Salut will change it but, for me, it says all we need to know. For a little more detail and individual reports I leave you in the capable hands of Keir Bradwell:
Sunderland 1 – 3 Hull: Player Ratings
Costel Pantilimon – 6
Had little chance with any of the goals, really. But even so, at nowhere near his best yesterday.
Santiago Vergini – 3
Had a fairly decent shot on goal but was otherwise completely ineffectual. At fault for Hull’s second, being beaten in the air by James Chester, which gave them the lead. Becoming increasingly inconsistent.
Sebastian Coates – 3
Had a shocker all round. Nowhere to be seen for their third.
John O’Shea – 5
Not bad, but we conceded three at home to Hull. Not good, either.
Billy Jones – 5
In fairness, he was stuck out at left-back, a position he’s never looked very comfortable in, and he looked pretty decent defensively. Didn’t offer anywhere near enough in attack, though.
Adam Johnson – 7
Seems to be making a habit of coming into form over the winter months. Sensational last January. Two in two now is a promising sign for the future.
Seb Larsson – 6
Beginning to really rate Seb, even if he wasn’t at his best today. His work rate is fantastic, and he’s a lot more consistent than certain other members of this squad.
Lee Cattermole – 5
Invisible, sadly. Hasn’t been in particularly good form of late after a stellar start to the season.
Jordi Gomez – 4
Caught in possession constantly, and often at fault for our sluggishness going forward.
Ricky Alvarez – 4
Have a bit of patience with Alvarez, I think. Rubbish at Hull but has been a good option from the bench previously. Needs a bit more time to settle into a starting position.
Steven Fletcher – 6
Okay. It’s impossible to score goals when you have nothing being created for you to finish. Struggled as a result of the rest of the team, rather than a lack of effort.
Jozy Altidore (Sub) – 4
Not very good. Still my favourite player.
Emanuele Giaccherini (Sub) – 5
Nice to have him back. Hopefully he finally gets a run in the side now he’s fit.
Will Buckley (Sub) – 5
Didn’t have much time to make an impact.
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