Team guides. Sunderland.

August 15, 2012

Key player – Stephane Sessegnon – 8m

Sunderland played large parts of last season with Sessegnon as their front man – not in a cool, Spanish national team way – the so-called “false number 9” – playing intricate passing football, tying the opposition defence in knots. No – it was more in a dumb Mackem way – cos they didn’t have any forwards fit enough or good enough to do the job. To be fair to Sessegnon, he performed the role well, scored plenty of points, and is Sunderland’s first name on the team sheet.  

New signing – Carlos Cuellar – 4.5m

Played under O’Neill before, so may rediscover the good form he had under him at Villa. Will probably partner Wes Brown at the heart of the defence, with John O’Shea moving to right back in the early season absence of Phil Bardsley. On paper a good back line. They kept 12 clean sheets last season. They may hope for one or two more this in O’Neill’s first full settled season in charge.

Bargain buy – Fraizer Campbell – 5.5m

Cheap for a reason. Campbell has spent most of the last two years in the treatment room, but came back at the end of last season to good effect. Earnt a call up to an England squad and scored a brilliant goal against Norwich. If his knees don’t implode, he should get a run in the team, or it looks like Sessegnon’s ploughing that lone furrow again.

Avoid – Lee Cattermole – 4.5m

There’ll be similar priced midfielders, probably from one of the newly promoted clubs, who will get you goals and assists, play the game properly, keep their heads down and their mouths shut, stay out of trouble and just be pleased and privileged to be playing Premier League football. Then there’s Lee Cattermole.

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