The Right Solutions In The Wrong Areas

There is no doubt that this summer has been simultaneously one of the most interesting and confusing that I can recall for the club. A comprehensive restructure has been enacted, with scouts of international renown brought in to deliver a brave new approach to player recruitment. A huge number of names have been linked with us... [More]

Gardner World

As seems to be customary with all of our squad this summer, Craig Gardner was recently linked with a move away from the club. With the possibility of a return to the midlands to play for West Bromwich Albion touted. It seems as if the press are on a warpath to make Paolo Di Canio’s clear out look more like a car boot sale. [More]

Barclays Asia Trophy - What Have We Learned?

The aftermath of our frolicking in the far east has settled down - so what exactly have we managed to fathom about our new look side? Full backs are key in a 4-4-2, so having some would be preferable. Okay, so Colback looked strong when coming up against a good number of attacking moves. In fact, he possibly looks as strong or even more so as a left back than as a central midfielder – where his short passing wouldn’t fit into our new (or indeed old) ethic. [More]

Brown Back In Town

Although pretty much all incoming transfers are interesting – which has made this a particularly interesting close season, of course – I must say that I haven’t got a clue whether Valentin Roberge or Modibo Diakite are any good at all. I would hope that they are better than the men they replaced (Matt Kilgallon and Titus Bramble), without the baggage, and probably cheaper too... [More]

Stuck In The Middle With Seb

With Charis Mavrias soon expected to join Adam Johnson and David Moberg-Karlsson in Paolo Di Canio's options on the right flank, it is fairly apparent to all of us that Sebastian Larsson is no longer seen as a right midfielder by the manager. His pace is not what it used to be and without that trait, he doesn't really seem to fit into Di Canio's sharp, quick attacking strategy. The manager prefers the idea of having inverted wingers – hence Adam Johnson being seen as a right-sided player with his deadly left foot – and Larsson’s style of play would not be suited to being deployed on either wing as long as this game plan is kept intact. [More]

And I-E-I

Just six months after arriving on Wearside, Alfie N’Diaye is seemingly set to move back to Turkey as Süper Lig’s Eskişehirspor close in on the central midfielder. Paolo Di Canio was spoilt for choice last season in centre midfield, albeit a choice between particularly average performing players. [More]