I saw the Sunderland-Liverpool game and it pains me to say that Sunderland, for all their fighting spirit, lack quality and experience all over the pitch.
In defence, they need someone better than Nosworthy and McShane – those two are awesome fighters but they need at least one player in there who has the experience and discipline that comes with playing for a top side. Maybe a player like Sami Hyypia would do them a lot of good.
Sunderland also need a better central midfielder and I can’t shake the thought that someone like Darren Gibson (on loan) or Darren Fletcher (sold) would do great at Sunderland – they are both fighters and will fit into Sunderland’s style of play perfectly.
Up front, Chopra and Stokes make a good pairing and I think when Edwards comes back from injury and if Richardson stays fit, those two will get plenty of service from the flanks. Stokes needs more experience – he should have rounded Reina instead of shooting first time in Sunderland’s best chance of the first half – but he’s a decent player and should improve over the course of the season.
Craig Gordon has done well – he’s going to have a lot of critics after his high-profile move and I myself have been critical of him in the past couple of weeks but the reality is that he’s been exposed by his defenders and although a couple of the goals he’s conceded should have been stopped, he’s done quite well overall.
Overall – I think Sunderland will struggle this season if Roy Keane does not bring in reinforcements, especially in midfield.
The above has to be kept in context – I expect a team managed by Roy Keane to be at least out of the bottom 6, if not in the top 10. And for that, Sunderland must bring more people in (although they are already far better than a few of the teams playing alongside them).
Comments are welcome.