So you should know what we’re all about now with this feature, we’re getting quick predictions on the forthcoming season from both media and former players alike.
Now though it’s the turn of some former Sunderland players to give us their views on the season ahead. We’ve popped open the Roker Rolodex (see what I did there?) and now we can bring you some opinions and predictions from Dickie Ord, Nicky Summerbee, Marcus Stewart & Mart Poom.
Without further ado, here’s what the lads had to say...
Most SAFC fans are looking for a comfortable top ten finish this year, what chance do you give Sunderland of doing that?
Dickie Ord: Nothing is ever comfortable at SAFC! However, with the new signings on board I feel very confident that if they gel together early doors that a top ten finish is more than achievable.
Nicky Summerbee: With the new signing Steve Bruce has brought in there’s a good mix of youth and experience, there’s no reason why they can’t be pushing for 6th spot. Definitely finish in the top half.
Marcus Stewart: A very small chance, with all the new players, they need to gel to even give them a chance of finishing in the top half.
Mart Poom: I believe it is realistic target.
SAFC’s Player Of The Season 2011/12 will be...
Dickie Ord: I think Phil Bardsley is very much a favourite of the fans following last season’s improvement and think he will be the man again.
Nicky Summerbee: Player of the season will be Lee Cattermole.
Marcus Stewart: John O’Shea. His experience and know-how will be vital this season.
With SAFC being very active in the transfer market over the summer, which of those signed will have the biggest impact?
Dickie Ord: John O’Shea His experience and calming influence will help the team.
Nicky Summerbee: I think a pleasant surprise would be the Korean lad, Ji-Dong Won. He’s supposed to be something special, so I think he could be a nice surprise for everyone.
Marcus Stewart: I'd like to think an attacking player would make an impact, and it will be interesting to see how Ji Dong-Won does.
And of course, which of the new boys is most likely to be considered (fairly or unfairly) a ‘flop’ at the end of the season?
Dickie Ord: I think Wes Brown was a gamble due to his recent injury problems. However I hope I am wrong because when fit he is a quality player.
Nicky Summerbee: That’s a hard one - you don’t wish anyone to have a bad season, so I’ll just say I hope it’s none of them. When I came to Sunderland and at other clubs I’d been at I looked scruffy and like I didn’t do a lot of work. It’s easy to jump on people’s backs, but eventually people could see what I could do – cross a ball. Give everyone time to bed in and give them a chance.
Marcus Stewart: If Connor Wickham doesn't do well this season it will be unfair to label him a flop. The fans need to be patient with him as he is a young lad and will mature with age, so give him a few seasons. I hope Steve doesn't rely on him to much over the season and eases him into it, however I think he will play a lot more than he should do.
Mart Poom: I think young Connor Wickham will find it much harder to score in the Premier League, but he is one for the future.
Will Steve Bruce still be in charge of Sunderland at the end of the season?
Dickie Ord: YES!
Nicky Summerbee: Yes.
Marcus Stewart: No.
Mart Poom: Yes.
The Derby on August the 20th is rapidly approaching – What’s the score going to be?
Dickie Ord: Sunderland to win 5-0. Newcastle are in turmoil!
Nicky Summerbee: 2-0 to Sunderland, definitely.
Marcus Stewart: 2-1 to Sunderland.
Mart Poom: 2-1 to the Black Cats of course!
Will SAFC finish the North East’s top dogs once again?
Dickie Ord: YES! Newcastle looks to have big problems.
Nicky Summerbee: Yes, definitely.
Marcus Stewart: Yes, but it will be close.
Mart Poom: Yes.
Finally, one last ‘out there’ prediction for Sunderland...
Dickie Ord: Joey Barton to sign for Sunderland.
Nicky Summerbee: Sunderland to finish 6th, why not eh?
Marcus Stewart: They will be in the top five at some point in the first ten games, but will finish in the bottom half of the table.
Mart Poom: Sunderland AFC are so successful and playing so attractive football that Alan Shearer is seen more times at the Stadium of Light than at St James Park.
Huge thanks to all the lads for taking time out from their schedules to answer our questions. Very much appreciated by us here at Roker Report.