Transfer windows open out onto a heap of speculation, some of it fuelled by wily agents, some of it appearing to be evidence of – shall we say – the imaginative powers of football reporters. In one window, during Roy Keane’s time, only half a dozen or so of the scores of names in the Sunderland AFC official website’s “rumour mill”, culled from media reports, were remotely in the club’s sights, and several actual targets had not been mentioned at all. What, then, is the truth this time round? …
First, the papers said Steve Bruce was ready to sell Kenwyne Jones.
Then he appeared to heap scorn on the claims. Now, on one interpretation iof his latest remarks, he’s practically launched a public auction.
Salut! Sunderland, resisting some dissident opinion, is pro-Kenwyne.
He seems to us, that is Pete Sixsmith and me, to give Sunderland menace and power up front, height and presence at the back. He doesn’t score enough goals but, in the right strike partnership, will grab enough for himself and make more for his sidekick. We’d love that assessment to equal a Bent + Jones front pairing but – as Tom Lynn points out in a comment below – that would require infinitely better support from midfield than has been provided so far this season. Bent’s vital goals have come despite the quality of service, not because of it.
If he goes, as we have also said, it must be on the strict understanding that we have as good or better coming into a squad that is thin on proven striking talent.
So over to Steve: “One game he looks like a £40m player and another day you think, ‘Come on’.”
This prompted an impertinent TalkSport presenter to invite answers from listeners as to which day Steve might have had in mind.
But it does look as if Steve is at least open to prospect of losing Kenwyne, “mind-blowing” though he says the fee would have to be and though, in fairness, he was in essence repeating something Roy Keane had also said about the player’s value.
That makes two managers out of the last three at Sunderland to rate him albeit only at times, among the best in the world. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the second of those bosses, Steve Bruce, proved to be the man who was able to turn all that potential into, well, mind-blowing performances week after week? For Sunderland.
* Thanks to A Love Supreme for permission to use the image.