Captain Not So Fantastic

John O’Shea is a bit of an enigma for me. His pedigree is undeniable with nearly 400 appearances for the most successful side of this generation and no fewer than 10 major domestic and European winners’ medals. So why is it that, at least in my opinion, he just doesn’t cut it as a Sunderland captain? [More]

Decision Must Be Made Soon

Kevin Ball must be wondering why the gods seem to be working so much against him by setting such missions impossible. When he was appointed caretaker manager back in 2006, Sunderland's fate was all but sealed, having accumulated just 10 points from 28 games. In his current predicament, he was given the herculean task of inheriting another demoralised squad again on an interim basis with just one point from the first five matches. [More]

Short-Sighted

It was fascinating to read that in the recent revolt, players reportedly had to go to Sunderland's chief executive Margaret Byrne and director of football Roberto De Fanti to air their grievances. Seems there was little choice. Previously they would have gone to Niall Quinn, when he was chairman or even in his temporary role of international development. Since his sad departure, the whole structure seems to be lacking in what the club is supposed to be about. [More]

Can Gus Suss It?

As speculation regarding Paolo Di Canio’s successor as head coach show no signs of subsiding, one name continues to loiter at the fore of the odds table. Uruguayan maverick Gus Poyet – untested in the Premier League – is a Chelsea legend with something to prove. Furthermore, he possesses a reputation as a cunning tactician and, having played top division football more recently than other leading candidates, would be likely to offer a more effective and popular style of play. [More]

It Is Time To Play Ball

Sunderland as a football club has been shook to the core. The initial rattle started in excitement as Paolo Di Canio replaced Martin O’Neill professing promises of new ideals focused around strict discipline and flowing football. The rattles became more and more vigorous during the Italian’s tenure before descending into a chaotic earthquake after recent revelations. Di Canio sacked, player revolts – we are a laughing stock. [More]

Demise of Di Canio

He rode in on his glittering Roman chariot to exterminate Sunderland's eternal woes, slaying the Mags in the process in true swashbuckling style. The gladiator set forth a revolution at the Academy of Light, showing all the right fervour and passion. Battle lines were drawn but it was always going to be a poisoned chalice. As the harrowing way revolutions go, they tend to devour their own children. Tragically at the end, he became a pathetic and lonely figure, seeking solace from suffering fans. [More]