Football Season Guide



Carlos Cuéllar (def), Aston Villa)


Nicklas Bendtner (att), Arsenal - end of loan), Wayne Bridge (def), Manchester City - end of loan), Sotiris Kyrgiakos (def), Wolfsburg - end of loan), Cristian Riveros (mid), Kayserispor), Asamoah Gyan (att), Al-Ain), George McCartney (def), West Ham),

Sunderland are hoping for less tumultuous season then the previous one when they were flirting with relegation in the first half of the season before the arrival of Martin O'Neill sparked a revival before the season ended on a bit of a whimper as the Black Cats failed to win any of their last eight games and scored just once in the last seven. O'Neil now had the chance to really review the squad and push on after a good pre-season but it remains to be seen whether his men can become something more than just mid-table warriors. The lack of quality centre forward is glaring after the departures of Asamoah Gyan and Nicklas Bendtner and the prospects of signing someone to fill their boots is dwindling with just a week of the season left. The only signing so far is Carlos Cuellar who is a solid defender but will not make up for the lack of imagination and quality in midfield. That is reason why the mood is pretty sombre at Wearside ahead of the new campaign. The hopes derives from the fact that O'Neill can make average players perform superbly for long periods thanks to his motivational skills. Moreover, James McLean is expected to become an even better winger after a storming breakthrough season while Fraizer Campbell may finally fulfil his potential now that he is injury-free. Still, Sunderland seem way short of what is required for top-ten finish and may struggle in the lower regions of the table for big stages of the season but relegation is still highly unlikely.


Finishing safely in mid-table is achievable but the lack of depth in the squad is worrisome and they may be sucked into the lower regions