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Player Of The Last Ten Years Poll, Round One: Danny Rose Vs Asamoah Gyan

The final matchup of the first round sees defender and hero Danny Rose take on a man who captured our heart before breaking it into thousands of pieces. Who provided the most magic though? Who is your winner? Go ahead and vote!

Michael Regan

Danny Rose

With the exception of the 3-0 demolition of Newcastle at St James Park, the 2012/13 season was one to forget for Sunderland fans. It was a season in which the club reached a new level in mind-stultifying mediocrity. Despite that, one man managed to stand up above the rest of his turgid teammates. That man was Simon Mignolet. Unfortunately Simon Mignolet was a goalkeeper and could therefore, generally speaking, only have an impact on a fairly small area of the pitch. Luckily another man, who was allowed to roam further up the pitch, stood up, alongside Mignolet, above the rest of his turgid teammates. That man was Steven Fl Danny Rose.

'Broadway' Danny Rose (a term, named after the Woody Allen film, which I tried many times to get off the ground, to limited success) proved to be a superb addition to the squad following his signing on loan from Tottenham. Sunderland inability to sign a recognised left-back had developed into something of a joke among supporters over previous seasons, but Rose proved to be worth the wait, putting in a series of consistently excellent displays.

Comfortably the club's best defensive player, he also showed just what an attacking threat he can be whenever he was allowed to bomb forward. The best example of this was during the otherwise excruciating 6-1 defeat at Villa Park, where Rose was the architect of Sunderland's equaliser, pushing forward down to left hand side to start, and finish, a wonderful team goal.

It remains to be seen whether Rose will make Wearside his permanent home, and while the potential signings of Peruzzi and Altidore are certainly exciting fans, Danny Rose will still be top of many of their wishlists this summer. (LB)

Asamoah Gyan

I think I will get this out of the way from the start as it's what his Sunderland career is most remembered for. Asamoah Gyan left Sunderland to go and play in the UAE Pro League with Al-Ain. Initially on-loan before signing a permanent deal, Gyan has been spending his peak years playing in front of crowds of around 5,000, in a league that the outside world doesn't care about and even the locals barely care but he did boost his bank balance.

Anyway, with that said, Sunderland bought Gyan from Rennes for a club record fee. He had a slow start to his Sunderland career due to his fitness levels and came off the bench for his first seven games but did find the net on his debut, away to Wigan. Then in late October he was honoured with a Ballon D'Or nomination due to his stellar World Cup performances.

Shortly after that, and a certain game we don't need to talk about, Gyan was finally given a start in a home game against Stoke. That was when we finally saw why Gyan was worth that club record fee, as he scored both goals, including a sweetly struck second in a 2-0 home win and cemented his place in the starting line up. That win was followed by tricky away games at Spurs and Chelsea, places where Sunderland have often struggled, but Gyan was instrumental in both games, scoring the equaliser at Spurs and then combining with Danny Welbeck to devastating effect as they ran Chelsea's defence ragged and we came away with a memorable 3-0 win.

'Baby Jet' never quite hit those heights with us again but still went on to get 10 goals and 5 assists for the season. However, possibly his best performance during his time at Sunderland was actually for his country, when he led the line against England at Wembley and scored a quality last minute goal.

He will never be remembered as a Sunderland great due to his short stay at the club and the circumstances surrounding his departure but make no mistake, when Gyan was fit and on his game we have had few strikers better during our time in the Premier League. (AT)


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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