Premier League Preview Number 11: Sunderland

09 August 2009


Biggest Ins: Paulo Da Silva is a very good center back and will be a key piece to Sunderland’s defense. Fraizer Campbell and Darren Bent will add to what was a very incompetent attack. Lorik Cana is a much better player than Dean Whitehead and comes from the League Un runner ups.

Biggest Outs: Dean Whitehead was a key cog in the Sunderland midfield. Michael Chopra and Greg Halford also left, but they were surplus requirements.

Easiest Month: September. Sunderland host Hull City and Wolves with a trip to Burnley sandwiched in-between. This is realistically a nine point month.

Toughest Month: October. It’s the only month Sunderland play big four teams back to back. It starts at Old Trafford before Liverpool comes to town. Sunderland then head off to Birmingham, ending the month hosting West Ham United. At best it’s a six point month; at worse it is a four point month.

Five Questions About Sunderland This Season
1) Is Fraizer Campbell or Darren Bent the answer up top? Last season Sunderland only scored thirty-five times in the league. Fraizer Campbell and Darren Bent last season at Tottenham only scored thirteen times. Sadly Darren Bent’s 12 would have been tops on this team.
2) How much time does it take Paulo Da Silva to adjust to the Premier League? The FMF is just as physical a league, if not more physical as the Premier League is. If he comes in and quickly adjusts, the partnership of Anton Ferdinand and Da Silva should be very formidable.
3) Who is the answer on the left side of the park? Thirteen different players either played in left midfield or at left back last season. Stability is needed there badly because I still feel it is still a bit of a liability.
4) Who partners Lorik Cana in the midfield? If I had to guess, Kieran Richardson will get that nod; however, Teemu Tainio is just as good a player as Richardson.
5) Can Steve Bruce’s tactical set up to football keep them from leaking the goals they did last season? While they only gave up 54 goals, they still finished the season sixteenth. We know what we are going to get with Steve Bruce. A tight set up at the back. Four midfielders who will have to go box to box, looking to spring counter attacks. If the players buy into Bruce’s philosophy, the goals allowed will drop considerably.

My Ultimate Reality: This is the type of job that typifies Steve Bruce’s managerial career. However, this maybe the most talent Steve Bruce has had walking into a club. Paulo Da Silva and Lorik Cana are signings of the highest order. The forwards however are still a major concern. Expect plenty of games that end in either 1-0, 0-0 or 0-1. I expect Sunderland to be this season’s draw specialists, but grind out enough wins to finish in the top spot of the lower half of the table.


LS August 14, 2009 at 10:46 AM  

Their biggest in of the summer was Steve Bruce ! I'm more and more convinced that this guy could take the reins from Ferguson whenever he retires from Manchester United.

I'm interested to see what the Kenwyne Jones/Darren Bent partnership will yield. I think the big price tag going into Tottenham really hurt Bent. Despite being third-choice most of the time, he still led their squad in goals.

I suspect it will be Cana and Cattermole in central midfield. Cattermole is a rising star...Boro will silly to let him go.

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Johnathan Starling, the self proclaimed 'most brutally honest man on the net, dishes out his own unique brand of opinions, and analysis on the Premier League, Bundesliga, and all things US Soccer.

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