Wolves, Villa, WBA men linked to SAFC. Is anyone good coming, too?

More from the magic camera of Jake's pal, Tony Roffe

We really shouldn’t exaggerate. There are no reports, at least not yet, of exiled Sunderland fans in the West Country making their way to the suicide hotspot of the Clifton Suspension Bridge. Chemists on Wearside have not warned police of disturbing increases in demand for over-the-counter products that can cause death.

And Monsieur Salut has made no attempt to tear out what remains of his hair.

All the same, the news we did not wish to hear was that Martin O’Neill not only admires the footballing abilities of Karl Henry, which could just about be forgiven, but wants to bring him to Sunderland, which could not. Or, indeed, that his sights are set on other characters now playing at Aston Villa, West Brom and Henry’s club, Wolverhampton Wanderers.

This is how I noted the speculation at the Salut! Sunderland Facebook group this morning:

Transfer speculation has started early, the Sunderland Echo saying Steven Fletcher and Karl Henry from Wolves, Keith Andrews from WBA and Villa’s Carlos Cuellar have been mentioned. Fletcher apart, is there anyone here who would improve the squad? What would be the benefit of bringing in Henry unless Catts needed competition for disciplinary points. Thank heavens Graeme Alexander writes in the Echo ”the idea of Sunderland being in for Wolves midfielder Henry, who is still under contract at Molineux, seems bizarre”. Or has he qualities I have missed?

It would be unfair to say that when I typed Karl H—- into Google, this came up: ”Karl Leon Hawley (born 6 December 1981) is an English professional footballer who plays for Crawley Town (On loan from parent club Notts County) …”

But there, I’ve been unfair.

And maybe Karl’s gifts are much greater than I have ever noticed, making it absurd to be so downbeat that we might even think of signing him. But I was sceptical about signing players from relegated clubs last summer and, Seb Larsson’s generally good season apart, reserve the right to be sceptical again.

Seb shows there is the occasional gem to be had, and Fletcher may be it, but I really do not want the club I support to be taking on a midfielder whose main attribute in our colours would be to ensure Lee Cattermole had competition in the disciplinary bad boy table. Is not Karl Henry the sort of player managers are always under pressure to find different ways of defending (eg ”he’s really not that sort of lad”)?

Sorry, but I hope our ambitions and our notion of how football should be played make it highly unlikely that O’Neill has the slightest interest in most of these rumoured targets.



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Monsieur Salut


And I would remind you
of what I have said in the past, that the ”rumour mill” so apparent in end-of-season and close-season reports, which even spread to safc.com, is usually nine parts out of 10 complete nonsense. In any list of 20 players supposedly in MON’s sights will be 15 or so he’s never even thought of, while there will be names absent from the list that he has been trying very hard to acquire.

So who should we be chasing? Which positions absolutely have to be MON’s priorities? And who do we need to move on if we can? We all have our own ideas on each of those questions. I will restrict myself to stipulating what must not, in any circumstances, be allowed to happen: the departure, to any destination, of Stéphane Sessegnon without a) a whacking great fee and b) proper replacement already lined up (ie no repeat of the Darren Bent fiasco).

Monsieur Salut, by Matt
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16 thoughts on “Wolves, Villa, WBA men linked to SAFC. Is anyone good coming, too?”

  1. Lads, Martin O’neil has no idea what a football scout is, so expect premiership players only. Putting a wish list of players you’ve bought on football manager in hope MON has even heard of them is frivolous at best!!

  2. With the end of the season still a month away, it’s a bit soon to crank up the rumour mill. And way too soon to write off O’Neill’s ability to find good players. All the same, maybe he should offer Steve Bruce a talent-scouting job and get him off the dole.

  3. Its going to be a long speculation season if this has already started.But if someone mentions “clearing out the deadwood” I wont be held responsible for my actions…….I ve been reading that phrase since about 1985 and we have yet to get to the botton of that particular wood pile.

    I am more worried about who will leave,Sess in particular.Not totally convinced about Bentdner, but he may put his body on the line a bit more iof he becomes a SAFC player,but I would not hold my breath on that one.

    I do think MON willl have a harder time next season if he does lose key players,getting in adequate replacements is obvioulsy not his strong point, as outside posts have indicated, and it is what I suspected too.

  4. i think the key word is ambition and you’d really question it if any of those came in. Adam johnson and a couple of strikers would be very nice indeed though. Regarding wages i’d like to think our club will be a lot more sensible than villa were, we seem well aware of our turnover which can only be a good thing

  5. Considering that, even, MO’N does not yet know what his transfer budget MAY be I find these stories, somewhat, ludicrous.

    Newspapers, though, have to fill “column inches/centimetres.

    All will be revealed in the fullness of time!

    Until then we can only wait, without (knowledably) being able to see!

  6. Matt Phillips, Matt Jarvis, Marc Albrighton, Moussa Dembele, Gylfi Sigurðsson, Gary Hooper, Martin Olsson, Mohamed Diame ( > Catts + KHenry), Junior Hoilett, Carlos Vela, Adam Johnson (expensive), Christian Eriksen (wishful thinking), Adam Lallana, Peter Odemwingie, Giovani dos Santos, Jonathan de Guzmán, Nilmar (Villarreal CF no money + very low in league), Moussa Sissoko..
    kind of players i would want us to be after.

    • A very impressive list of spellings, particularly the Icelandic “edh”! Maybe not entirely such an impressive list of players, though…

    • Good shout J

      What about these two young full backs; Clyne(Palace) and Bertrand(Chelsea). Up front Barrios as our main striker

  7. Get use to this sunderland fans , he’ll buy loads of dross players , put them on a fortune of a wage , play them out of position , have a fight with them on the training ground , then throw his dummy out of the pram when your board see sense & tell him that he has spent enough.

  8. I cannot belive that we will be interested in Henry or Andrews. Fletcher maybe, if we are going to send Ji or Wickham out on loan.

  9. Don’t get wound up by this? it’s media speculation trying to fill pages. We all love a bit of guesswork surrounding the coming and goings and you will find that we are linked with 100+ players between now and next season.
    If we announce who we are after then it is likely that ‘Arry’ will come sniffing.
    Wait for reliable sources to break news not spurious articles which wil be several a day.
    I reckon Jamie still wishes Villa had MON rather than Mcleish zzzzzz

    :0)

    • Quite agree about the press (I call it press gobs***ery). All Villa fans would prefer MON to AMc. Trouble is MON stamped his pretty little feet because he was told to start managing instead of spending more money and presumably to use the toys he had left unused in the box. I don’t wish SAFC any harm at all, but it’s only a matter of time before the adrenaline runs out, your players hit a brick wall and he who was touched by Clough throws a tantrum. Best England are conned into taking him on and you get some compo.

  10. “Sorry, but I hope our ambitions and our notion of how football should be played make it highly unlikely that O’Neill has the slightest interest in most of these rumoured targets.”

    I remember thinking the same thing when, under O’Neill, Villa were linked with Heskey, Harewood, Zat Knight and Steve Sidwell.

  11. O’ Neill is no master in the transfer market. He’ll put these guys on £80k a week and then stick them either out of position or on the bench for next season.

    Lucky for you, you have a whiles grace as these signings won’t be made until the night before the window closes.

    Ah, a window with MON! Have fun!!

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