Friday, 14 September 2012

Sunderland to push for top half finish.

Sunderland’s transfer activity really picked up as the window went on, and the additions of Steven Fletcher and Adam Johnson were brilliant. Martin O’Neill also added experience in the form of Carlos Cuellar and Louis Saha, both of whom were out of contract with their previous clubs.

Johnson will get more first-team action with his new club
O’Neill came in last year and turned Sunderland’s season around. Under Steve Bruce it appeared the Black Cats would be in a fight against survival; however the former Aston Villa manager made an immediate impact, as the club won seven out of the first 10 games under O’Neill to propel them from 17th to 8th! A poor end to the season saw Sunderland fail to win any of their last seven League games and eventually finished 13th, but things looked a hell of a light brighter then they did at the start of December.

In Fletcher’s first game for his new club, he scored two goals, both superbly taken, and having scored goals for a struggling Wolves side last year, I expect Fletcher to at least get double figures, and maybe even get close to the 24 League goals a certain Darren Bent scored for Sunderland in the 2009-10 campaign. Johnson, their other key signing is also another one who should have a good year given a run in the side, something he never get close to at Manchester City.

Defensively Sunderland have a number of injury prone players; however in the form of John O’Shea and Wes Brown, both of whom fall into that injury prone bracket, they have two quality defenders with Champions League experience. The addition of Cuellar from Aston Villa is one that has slipped under the radar, as his versatility and solid defensive work will ensure he plays regularly for Sunderland this year.

Key player: Stephane Sessegnon – The Benin international is technically superb and should feature off Fletcher in a good looking forward line for Sunderland. His creativity shone through even during the disappointing periods of the Black Cats season, and if he can improve his goal tally then Sunderland should have a good year.

Sessegnon is a class act!

Prediction: 12thBefore the additions of Fletcher and Johnson I did worry for Sunderland as I wasn’t sure where the goals would come from, and to be fair they’ve only scored twice so far this year, and both were from the man Fletcher! But with these two excellent additions they’ll be fine and Martin O’Neill will probably get them close to a top half finish!

View from a fan – Glenn Kidger @glenn_safc

What would be a brilliant year?
A great season would be finishing in the top eight as well as seeing Fletcher top the goal scoring charts.

What would be a nightmare season?
A nightmare year would be seeing our best players injured and losing against the scum Newcastle!

How would you rate your transfer window?
I am very happy with what Martin O’Neill has done this window, some quality transfers have been added and good money has been spent!

Do you have the right man in charge?
O’Neill is definitely the right man for the job! He plays mind games with the opposition and catches them on the attack.

Is Steven Fletcher worth the £12million Sunderland paid?
Fletcher is certainly worth the money! He’ll prove himself, and started brilliant with the double against Swansea.

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