So, older fans of Roker Report may remember these from sorta December time, when we went through every Sunderland player and gave them a grade. A report card if you will. Well, we're back with an overall end of season report card type thing.
If you can't remember the original article, you can find it HERE.
It would be easy, although a lot of work to go through every single player with in depth analysis, but by now you've all made up your minds anyway and the idea is pretty pointless.
So here's part one, some quick thoughts and grades on about half the squad, with the rest coming tomorrow. Oh, and before you jump in, this is for every player who has kicked a ball for SAFC this season. 2 minutes or 20 games, it doesn't matter.
1. Craig Gordon
Craig had a good start to the season, but didn’t really kick on, and was ultimately injured for large parts of the season. A big decision hangs over the future of Gordon now with only another season (I think) left on his contract. I still believe that when fit, he’s the No.1 choice over Mignolet, but if he ended up going, well, it wouldn’t be a huge shock. As for his form this season, just like his appearance record – patchy. Grade C (Half Term B)
2. Phil Bardsley
We commented in the first one of these that he was playing excellent, and he continued it through the season. Largely out of position, he didn’t let it bother him and chipped in with several key goals. I also feel I owe him an apology as in the Half Term Reports I said I wished he would stop shooting! He seems to have rammed that back down my throat, and I wish he’d shoot more to be honest. Player Of The Season? There were not too many candidates. Grade A (Half Term B)
3. Kieran Richardson
Kieran has been placed in a number of positions for us in the season just gone, and despite not playing well in too many of them, I think he’s done enough to carve out a role for himself at the club. He had a fantastic patch in late January/February playing behind Asamoah Gyan, however continued his same poor form at left-back and central midfield. There’s still room for improvement in his game however. Grade C (Half Term D)
4. Michael Turner
Started the season superbly alongside Bramble, however then was majorly injured and never fully recovered. When he did come back he appeared sluggish and off the pace. Was this down to injury alone or a general loss of form, I’ve no idea, but I’d hazard a guess that it lies somewhere between the two. At 100% fitness however, he should be back in the starting line-up come August. Grade C (Half Term C)
5. John Mensah
John is such a frustrating guy. A top notch defender when fit, but as the season curtailed, so did his form for me, especially against Wolves at home, where he was awful, and showed an uncharacteristic lack of class when substituted. Over all, a typical John Mensah season. Moments of brilliance and ridiculousness punctuated with injury. Time to say goodbye. Grade C (Half Term B)
6. Lee Cattermole
I signed off from my review of Catts at the half way point full of praise. I’ve no doubt it would have continued if he could have stayed on the pitch for 2 minutes, but unfortunately injury got the better of him and he sat out most the second half of the season. Such a shame, as he’s a pivotal player for us. At times he seemed a real rock alongside Colback, and I certainly think that’s an exciting partnership for next season. As for Catts over all this season, its another patchy one. Poor start, decent finish. Grade B (Half Term B)
7. Bolo Zenden
It would seem I really stuck my neck out back in December and said this would be Bolo’s last season with us. Score! It would also appear I said he should play more often, he didn’t really until we were on our arses and had nobody else. When he came in, he was awesome, in particular at Bolton & West Ham where he scored. If it is the last we’ve seen of him, we wish him well. However we’d also welcome him back with open arms if he changes his mind. Grade A (Half Term C)
8. Steed Malbranque
I’ve always been a big fan of Steed, and it would appear that Steve Bruce is too judging by the amount of times he’s used him, and in various positions as the season came to a close. Without doubt best wide in midfield as opposed to the middle or up front, but Steed has been very useful when needed. A poor start to the season was definitely improved upon as things progressed. Still can’t hit a cows arse with a banjo mind. Grade C (Half Term D)
9. Fraizer Campbell
Didn’t play much did he? Desperately unlucky with injuries, and it looks like he’ll be out for the entirety of next season too. Would have been really handy if he had come back from injury after the Bent departure as we expected, but it’s not his fault he didn’t. Grade N/A (Half Term N/A)
10. Jordan Henderson
Cracking season for Jordan. A mid-season slump through tiredness, but when you look back at the entire season – He’s had an England debut, is a pivotal player for the large part and one of the first names on the teamsheet. Jordan’s firmly entrenched as a starter in the team, and still, as many people seem to forget, only 20 years old. Grade B (Half Term B)
11. Darren Bent
I’m not prepared to be objective on this one, sorry. I’m sure there’ll not be too many arguments though... Booooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!! Grade F (Half Term C)
11. Sulley Muntari
The incoming number eleven was a major disappointment. I really wanted Sulley to do things at SAFC and stay on to be a regular next season, now I’m not so sure, wages and fees would have to be significantly dropped to make any deal worthwhile. In his nine games I’d say there were maybe three decent performances. Not a good enough return from a player we know can do better having seen him at Inter and Portsmouth. Much like every single one of my school report cards, Sulley’s would read "can do better, isn’t applying himself etc" Grade C (Half Term N/A)
12. Marcos Angeleri
We finally saw a few minutes of Marcos post-Xmas, and it was less than impressive. With his comments about Steve Bruce, and having spent most the time since then in Argentina ‘injured’ it’s clear he’s out the door as soon as anyone makes an offer. Won’t be missed. Grade F (Half Term D)
14. Paulo Da Silva
At time of writing last time it was clear Paulo was going to be off only weeks later. He was as well and didn’t step foot on the pitch for us again. Therefore no change, and the original comments still stand. Grade D (Half Term D)