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The Roker Report Draft: Worst XI Part Four

We're now past the half way mark, and though the pool of utterly useless ex-Sunderland players is diminishing there are still plenty of knackers to choose from. COMMENCE THE DRAFT!

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The eight squads are now starting to take shape, and really at this stage it's becoming increasingly difficult to decide who has the worst side thus far. The staggeringly large amount of awful players that has been through the door at Sunderland means that there are still more than enough turds to go around, and today the Roker Report writers make their seventh and eighth picks.

If you've somehow missed this feature this week, make sure you read the rules. Part one of the draft can be read here, whilst you can read part two here. Part three, which went live yesterday, is here.

Graeme, Andy, Gav, Rory and Michael are picking players from further back, so the battle for the older vote is almost certainly going to be between those five.

Callum and Danny are selecting from what they know, as opposed to what they've been told - is it the right path to go down? Time will tell.

Starting us off again is James, who seems to be choosing from players that have represented the club in recent years. It's an interesting tactic, as you are more likely to garner the votes of younger fans if you select players they are more familiar with. Are we set to see this trend continue?

Take it away, James.

#49 - @HawayTheJames - Carlos Cuellar

To start off proceedings today, I'll be going with Carlos Cuellar. By the time he arrived at Sunderland he was well past his best and nowhere near the player that had shone for Rangers in European football.

Lacking pace, any ability to read the game and any genuine redeeming factor, it's remarkable that anyone looked at him and thought "Premier League defender, for sure".

#50 - @SAFCElvis - Ian Rodgerson

Ian Rodgerson is my pick for the right wing. Rodgerson was one of Terry Butcher's horrendous transfers - he had the crossing accuracy of an elephant with no feet.

Short, but sweet.

#51 - @DJRoberts22 - Andy Welsh

Oh, Andy Welsh... another player who represented us in the Premier League that makes you shake your head and think, 'how sh*t were we?!'

I’m not just picking him for his footballing inability. His whole physique makes his inclusion into my team a given. He was just above average height and spectacularly skinny for a Premier League player. My lasting memory of him was the red card he received at Anfield – his best moment in a Sunderland shirt was when he walked off the pitch that day. He managed to play twenty-five games for the lads, scoring twice before being shipped off.

#52 - @GRokerReport - Thomas Hauser

We've gotten through fifty-one picks thus far and nobody has opted to select Thomas Hauser yet. In truth, I'm beginning to question my fellow Roker Reporters. Are they purposely trying to let me win here?

Close your peepers and imagine this - Sunderland get a goal kick. Iain Hesford slices it but luckily for him, it falls to the feet of David Corner. He hoofs it forward - and with Milton Nunez in no-mans land, up pops this big lanky German fella, who gets absolutely nowhere near the ball and falls face first in the dirt.

That's Thomas Hauser. A nice guy who still follows Sunderland, but it cannot be overshadowed just how bad he was. Quite frankly, he's the cornerstone of any discussion about Sunderland's worst ever players and I'm just overjoyed that his inclusion has been neglected thus far by my competitors. Welcome aboard, Thomas.

#53 - @CalMackay90 - David Healy

David Healy had an excellent international record that unjustly propelled him higher in his club career, in the expectation that he would replicate this form. But his club record was never great. He spent the majority of his career in the Championship with a passable scoring record for Preston and well below average for Leeds. He had been at Fulham for a season, scoring a few goals but again not many before he was allowed to leave to join Sunderland.

And it was here that he stayed true to his poor club form, looking lethargic whenever he played, which wasn’t very often. He couldn’t get into a team that was extremely goal shy and Kieran Richardson was preferred up front to him towards the end of the season. Yes, Kieran Richardson.

Healy also had the shortest legs I’ve ever seen on a Sunderland player. It looked like he had no knees, because there was no space between his shorts and his socks. When he ran, his stride was so short it looked like he would never make it to the end of the pitch and was always mile away from where he should be. It was as though the entire pitch suddenly became a treadmill when he played and no matter how fast his legs ran, he never really moved.

Add to this that he was weak and only scored one league goal, which was a very late tap in against ten-man Stoke, Healy was a poor addition and was of a very low standard. Healy could do nothing with his back to goal, couldn’t hold it up, wasn’t great at link up play, didn’t fashion chances for himself and never beat anyone to a footrace down the channels. Unless you fed it to him on a plate (while waiting an age for him to actually get to the box) he was never going to score. This makes him ideal for the strikers position in my worst XI, as he won’t be getting many chances created for him, quality assists and attacking football is at a premium and he can't make anything for himself.

There are other strikers with worse records and who cost more, but watching Healy was a genuinely joyless experience and he was so overrated and far out of his depth, he deserves a place in my worst XI.

#54 - @Capt_Fishpaste - Tommy Miller

How can eleven examples of Sunderland dross possibly be made even worse? That's right - make them play with ten. It just so happens to be Tommy Miller's speciality so in his comes into my midfield two to force Shaun Cunnington to do literally all of the work.

Produce a central midfield that is worse than one made up entirely of Shaun Cunnington, lads, I dare you.

#55 - @SAFCSource - Brian Mooney

My left wing spot goes to Irish winger Brian Mooney. Mooney was signed from Preston after previously being their player of the year and starring for the Republic of Ireland at youth level, but never looked like achieving anything at Sunderland (Kevin Kilbane was possibly a real life regen of Mooney).

He was lightweight and injury prone and only made twenty-seven appearances in his time at the club. He was sent out on loan to Burnley at one point but that was equally as disastrous, and at the age of 27 he returned to Ireland where he finished his career.

#56 - @RoryFallow - Bob Bolder

Sadly, Ian Hesford has already been picked, so I couldn't have him flapping at crosses and spilling in shots. I can, however, have the man who was second choice to him. Imagine not getting a game ahead of someone like Hesford, man? How bad does that make Bolder?!

A goalkeeper who was part of our relegation to division three with a daft name, that's what he is.

Whatever my awful defence let past them, it's certainly not going to be stopped by Big Bobby Bolder.

Jesus.... How f**king depressing is it reading some of these names?

Spare us, Rory, just get on with it.

Round eight - commence.... for the love of God...

Round Eight

#57 - @RoryFallow - Martin Woods

Martin Woods was another nightmare of a signing from Mick McCarthy's summer shopping spree of 2005.

Woods was seen as a fairly low risk acquisition, being a free transfer, but the fact that he couldn't break into a Sunderland midfield that bolstered names such as Tommy Miller and Carl Robinson shows just how limited his ability was.

Seven Premier League appearances, only one of which was a start, meant that the only impact Woods made on Wearside was his ill-advised foray into amateur film directing.

#58 - @SAFCSource - Dan Smith

At left back I'll go for the Diaby-slayer himself, Dan Smith. Smith only played four times for Sunderland but managed to get sent off on his debut, against Cheltenham in the League Cup, and earned a life long grudge from Arsene Wenger and Arsenal fans everywhere for knacking Abou Diaby in what turned out to be Smith's final appearance for the club.

#59 - @Capt_Fishpaste - Phil Babb

You know, I'm reaching the point here where I actually feel a little resentful being expected to produce explanations for these picks.

Phil Babb. Phil Babb!! PHIL BABB!!! Come on you guys, seriously. What do you expect here? Me to tease some kind of massive reveal of my reasons and then roll out Phil Babb?! No one would be that stupid, surely...

#60 - @CalMackay90 - Paul Thirlwell

Paul Thirlwell was the first Sunderland player I took an active dislike to. He was the epitome of ugly football, only he didn’t do anything compensate you for it. He wasn’t mobile to put himself about, he wasn’t dynamic, he passed sideways or backwards and killed the pace of every move that went through him.

Amazingly, he played over seventy games for us, most prominently in 2002/03, a season where our midfield was torn open more comprehensively than kids presents on Christmas. He just offered nothing and when he was made captain in 03/04 in the absence of McAteer, I was so depressed and disgusted I vowed never to go to a match again.

I didn’t keep this vow, but to make such a vow showed my disillusionment.

In his league career for Sunderland, no goals, no assists, no spectacular ability to break up play and start attacks and this was in the prime of his career. After being extremely injury prone during 03/04, he became expendable and was released at the end of the season in a quick fall from grace.

#61 - @GRokerReport - Gerry Harrison

My next pick is Gerry Harrison - a man signed by Peter Reid in 1998 who played one half of football in the cup against York City and was blowing out of his arse, largely because he was signed without it being flagged up that he had Hepatitis. Yep.

I'm not going to hold the fact he had Hepatitis against Gerry, but... come on.

#62 - @DJRoberts22 - Ben Clark

I pick Ben Clark. The local lad only made fourteen appearances for the Lads, and just never aspired to the glittering heights expected of him from the management system, lingering in the reserves for the majority of his career on Wearside. He went on to have an okay career for Hartlepool and Gateshead, but for a Premier League side, he’s just isn’t very good, let’s be honest.

#63 - @SAFCElvis - Roly Gregoire

Roly Gregoire.

Despite having a cool name, Gregoire was signed from Halifax town I believe and played like even that was a level beyond his talents. He wasn't with the side long before his contract was swiftly torn up. Say. No. More.

#64 - @HawayTheJames - Titus Bramble

I'll go with Titus Bramble as my second centre back pick.

Quite how he ever managed to find himself in a Sunderland shirt is anyone's guess. A former Mag that was well past his best - who was never anything special even at his peak - Bramble's Sunderland spell was nothing short of an absolute calamity.

Thank the lord that is over for another day - some of those names are enough to send me into a deep depression.

Join us back here tomorrow as we make our ninth and tenth picks.

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