Roker Report's Sunderland Predictions For 2013

In what is becoming a little bit of a tradition at Roker Report Towers, we're making some wild and wacky predictions for this year at Sunderland. Lets see who can see the future, and who will get things horribly wrong. Feel free to add your own in too.

Simon Walsh - Lee Cattermole Wins England Call Up

Right, so having gone two for two on these in the past, and both coming in the international arena, I think that there's every chance we'll see another one this season. That man I'm tipping before 2013 is out to win it, is Lee Cattermole.

Sure, he's not the national media's cup of tea, but neither is Ryan Shawcross and he already has a nod under Roy Hodgson. As have other talented but unfashionable players such as Leon Osman. Equally so have rubbish players like Jake Livermore.

I like Hodgson, and I think as Cattermole get's stronger and stronger on the pitch for Sunderland he'll be too good for him to ignore, and in a flurry of media attention, Cattermole gets in there does ok in what will probably be his one outing and everyone (read: the rest of the country) kind of does an about face on him.

Michael Graham - All Change This Summer

Martin O'Neill went for quality last summer and given this situation at that time I think he got it just about right. This summer, though, he will have something he did not have six months ago - opportunity.

Matthew Kilgallon, Fraizer Campbell, and Titus Bramble will see their contracts come to an end, as will Louis Saha, and that alone will free up squad space and wages to make changes. In addition to that, others such as Phil Bardsley will be entering their final year and become easier to shift on.

Combined with the first year of the increased TV revenues, it could mean a veritable flurry of transfer activity at the club with O'Neill firmly putting his stamp on the squad.

Dan Williams - Simon Mignolet = Jordan Henderson Part II

I've not been very good at this whole predictions thing so far, and I hope - with fingers firmly crossed - that I'm well off again this time around.

Simon Mignolet has proved time and time again this season that he is a quite wonderful goalkeeper. None of us have any doubts about that anymore, and West Brom aside (everyone has to have an off day) he's been quite superb. Which hasn't gone unnoticed by the likes of Manchester United and Arsenal - apparently.

I invisage a long and drawn out summer for us, our Belgian keeper and a host of potential suitors, not unlike what we went through with the 'will he, won't he?' saga of Jordan Henderson's transfer to Liverpool.

And I suppose that, this being a prediction, I had better say whether I think he'll stay. Urm, no. But again, fingers firmly crossed that I'm wrong.

Chris Weatherspoon - Sunderland Will Break Their Transfer Record

Despite being godawful at Roker Riches this season, I was half-right in my predictions this time last year. We didn't win at Chelsea, nor did we finish ninth last season, but we did get to the FA Cup quarter-final stage and Titus Bramble was acquitted of all charges!

Anyway, with 2013 ahead of us, it's difficult to decide what might happen to the club as a whole, but one thing I'm fairly certain of is that Martin O'Neill will spend big in the summer.

Very big, in fact. Steven Fletcher's fee saw many variations, but the eventual figure of £12m came in just under the current club record fee of £13m that we forked out for Asamoah Gyan back in 2010. I'm betting that this coming summer will see us surpass that fee, perhaps on another striker, though more likely a top quality midfielder, as Martin O'Neill looks to really improve his squad with genuine top class players.

David Boyle - Danny Rose Will Be Ours!

Whilst the touchline badger has been coy on the future of young Danny Rose I simply believe O'Neill will have what it takes to work some magic behind the scenes and convince the lad that his future resides on Wearside. Rose himself has made no secret of how much he has enjoyed his time on Wearside which should work in our favour.

Sunderland didn't exactly have to fight off much competition to take Rose on loan in the summer and while his impressive form won't have gone unnoticed by any stretch of the imagination the faith we showed in Rose should hopefully not go unnoticed by the lad himself.

I might well have my head in the clouds with this one, but what the hell!

Karl Jones - A Top Half Finish

As we turn into the new year, Sunderland are just six points off tenth - and five off the relegation zone - but having weathered that difficult spell, I think Martin O'Neill's mantra of ‘don't stop ‘til you get enough' in terms of points will see us comfortably away from the bottom three. Should O'Neill achieve similar to his first ten games in charge, then that will be achieved, but hopefully a fresh face or two in January will provide Sunderland with fresh impetus to avoid tailing off as the season comes to a close.

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