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Sunderland 0-0 Swansea City: Player Ratings

The Black Cats played well but couldn't score in today's game at the Stadium of Light. Here's what we made of the individual performances.

Nigel Roddis

Vito Mannone - 6

Wasn't ever troubled in his goal.

Billy Jones - 7

Felt that Jones offered a great deal when he was moved to right back against Stoke, and he continued that bright start on his league debut. His runs caused Swansea a lot of bother down the right hand side, and did well defensively against the threat of Nathan Dyer.

Santiago Vergini - 8

Made his first start of the season at centre half and was superb. Dealt with every Swansea ball into the box, made a number of key interceptions, and was always looking to start a Sunderland move. Wes Brown may have a hard time getting his place back in the team when he returns from injury.

John O'Shea - 7

Swansea didn't create a single chance of note, and O'Shea was instrumental in that.

Patrick Van Aanholt - 8

Looking better with every game. The two full back's look like they're going to be key for Sunderland, and it's no coincidence that our most promising performances of the season came with both Van Aanholt and Jones playing for the first time, or that our best outlet was down the wings, with the two on the overlap.

Lee Cattermole - 9

The greatest footballer of all time.

Jack Rodwell - 5

Completely anonymous. Don't want to be too critical, as Rodwell was always one we had to be patient with, but he's yet to really impose himself on a game, and it was no surprise that he was the first man taken off. He's shown occasional glimpses that he could be a very good box-to-box midfielder, and we've lacked a ball-carrier in midfield over the past couple of season, but Rodwell hasn't shown enough quality yet.

Seb Larsson - 7

Larsson is one who's often criticised by fans, noted as 'the weak link' in midfield. It's a view I've always found a little harsh, and I personally thought Larsson was very good today. Delivered a series of excellent set pieces in the first half, and created our best chance of the match when he crossed for Connor Wickham.

Adam Johnson - 6

Looked decent in the first half, producing a couple of good crossfield balls and troubling Fabianski with a shot from a tight angle, but didn't do a lot in the second forty five.

Will Buckley - 8

Another excellent display from Buckley. He's tricky, always looks to take defenders on, and is the sort of player that 'gets bums off seats'.

Connor Wickham - 6

Step aside Adam Johnson, someone else has taken your 'most frustrating player ever' crown. Wickham's overall contribution was good today. He held the ball up well, won a lot of fouls, but the one great chance he had, he blew. His decision making is still a problem, and on a day where elsewhere on the pitch we were very good, it proved once again to be up front where we're let down.

Jordi Gomez - 7

Bringing Gomez on proved to be another positive substitution from Gus Poyet. I've been critical of Gomez so far, finding him sluggish on the ball, and passive in the game, but he made a difference when coming on today. Made a few key passes in the final third.

Ricky Alvarez - 7

After struggling against Spurs, Alvarez came off the bench today, and looked more like the player we were hoping for. Drifted around the final third, took players on, and showed that he has some final product with his delivery for Fletcher's chance. Everything he did appeared effortless, and he was probably the best player on the pitch while he was on. Let's hope for more of the same.

Steven Fletcher - 6

The donut scoffing, bald Scotsman looked as sharp as he's been all season after coming on. Probably should have done better with his chance, but actually got himself in good positions and won his headers, which is something we haven't see in a while. Keeping feeding him Krispy Kremes and he might actually get a goal.

The Lee Cattermole Award For Man of the Match: Lee Cattermole

I love Lee Cattermole. I love everything about him. I love him when he times a tackle to perfection.  I love him when he plays a sumptuous crossfield pass to the wings. I love him when he drives forward from midfield with the ball, or when he just seems to motivate the team to do something, and I'll probably love him even more the next time he gets sent off for two daft yellow cards in quick succession. He did all of these things today (except for that last one; but even if he did do that, I'd still give him Man of the Match, and if I'm being honest, probably because of it), and did them very, very well.

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