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Player Of The Last Ten Years Poll, Round Two: Mart Poom Vs Dean Whitehead

Goalscoring goalkeeper Mart Poom takes on former captain and midfielder-come-defender Dean Whitehead for your vote to head through into the next round of our competition.

Clive Brunskill

Mart Poom

During the first round, my argument for Mart Poom rested almost entirely on the wonderful goal he scored in stoppage time during that game at Derby. I now realise that if the Estonian stopper is to carry on into the next round, I will need to rely on more than just one moment, and instead convince you good readers why this man was so good for Sunderland.

Luckily Poom, or The Poominator as he liked to be called (such a perfectly harmless nickname that I imagine it would take quite a twisted, cynical gentlemen to take exception to it), was an excellent goalkeeper. Despite having a pretty shaky center half pairing of Gary Breen and Phil Babb, Poom exerted such control over his box that Sunderland finished the season 3rd with one of the better defensive records in the league, and reached the FA Cup semi final. It's hard to imagine the club achieving this without the saves and excellent performances of their solid goalkeeper.

Poom had such quality between the sticks that he has cult hero status at not one, but two clubs, and the fact that he managed to achieved this position at Sunderland, despite his injury problems, is testament to his ability. The same can't be said of Dean Whitehead who, while very hard-working, was a severely limited footballer. Also, he looks far too much like the evil bastard out of children's TV show Lazytown to deserve to go through to the next round. For that, and many more important reasons, you should vote POOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM. (LB)

Dean Whitehead

Dean Whiteheeeed, to address him as the lads from Blyth who sit behind me at the stadium do, is a more significant player in Sunderland's history than Mart Poom is. He just is. I was at Pride Park when Poom scored that header, frantically running back into the stands after witnessing the goal on the concourse T.V as I made my way out the ground sulking. I think people expect the players to replay the goal on the field when they do that, it's a strange instinctive action.

Anyway, I digress. Poom was a good, solid keeper but was barely here in the grand scheme of things. Whitehead captained Sunderland to the Championship title and played at Premier League level regularly in the Black Cat's midfield either side of this achievement. We've established he won't win this (or will he?) but if ever the phrase 'unsung hero' was justified, it's in this case. As mentioned in the previous round, it's no mean feat to survive the initial revolution that Quinn and Keane brought to The Stadium of Light, especially considering how much Keane wanted to disassociate his side with that awful 15 point one. In fact, it was Keane who made Dean captain. High praise indeed.

Any player who spends five years at a club, the majority in the top flight, and sells for a profit deserves recognition. More than Mart Poom. I bet Luke has referred to him as The Poominator or something. It would immature to suggest taking exception to this could be viewed in any way cynical or miserable, and he should lose solely for that. And if he hasn't, well just use your common sense and basic logic. Deano to progress. (SG)


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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