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Player Of The Last Ten Years Poll, Round One: Phil Bardsley Vs Gary Breen

Honestly, this is the one where hearts sank. However if you look back as we did and try to find 32 really good players from the past ten years you'll find these two on the peripheries. So there is an argument there. We think. Anyway, go ahead and vote, there's a better one tomorrow.

Jamie McDonald

Phil Bardsley

An inclusion that perfectly illustrates a decade of mediocrity, Phil Bardsley, our current longest-serving player (although not for much longer), finds his way into our bracket.

Joining from Manchester United in January 2008, Bardsley featured 11 times as we cemented the previous year's promotion by staying in the top-flight.

In his time at the club, he has outstayed ‘upgrades' such as Pascal Chimbonda and Alan Hutton, whilst also displaying further commitment by filling in at left-back - a position that has hamstrung us for many years. Bardsley is certainly not perfect; his hard-work often compensating for a lack of awareness positionally and when in possession. With his position again under threat, the introduction of fleeting long-range goals to his game saw Bardsley pick up the Player of the Season award in 2010/11 as the club squeezed into a top-half finish.

Whilst the defining memory of Bardsley could well be the image of him blanketed in casino winnings, underneath all those fifty pound notes was a half-decent footballer. (KJ)

Gary Breen

For three seasons at Sunderland Gary Breen was pretty decent. Look, it wasn't his fault that he was thrust into an unfamiliar central midfield role for a while and did abysmally.

Breen arrived for absolutely nothing from West Ham, a stalwart of the Irish international defence he was chased by Inter Milan after a formidable World Cup 2002. He signed for the Hammers however where he fell out of favour with rat-face Roeder and their loss was our gain.

He played his part as captain of the club in lifting us to the Championship... erm... championship in 2004/05 after missing out via the play-offs the season before. We were relegated and Breen released a season after that.

However, Breen can still look back at his time on Wearside with fond memories, as you should too. Since he left only one other player has lifted a trophy for the club as captain, putting him in an elite club.

If you need further convincing, he's at the very least NOT Phil Bardsley. Think of how many times you've cursed our luck, or rather Bardsley's poor displays. Think about that. Then think about Breen holding the Championship trophy aloft. It's not much of a contest is it? (SW)


Be sure to make your vote count and send one of these two through to the next round. Make your voice heard below, because you only have until 11pm (GMT) tonight to get your vote in...

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