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The Roker Report Draft: Worst XI Part Five

We're nearing the end of our worst Sunderland team draft, but our eight contestants still have four picks each to make - who can make the worst team? Hide behind your settees, because today we reveal rounds nine and ten.

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We've got another sixteen names for you today that upon reading them out loud will make you violently vomit.

Am I sick for enjoying this? It's actually giving me pleasure thinking back about the state of some of the gentlemen that have been selected thus far. I feel all dirty, but I love it.

Anyways.... kicking us off again today is James.

Round Nine

#65 - @HawayTheJames - Will Buckley

On the wing I'll go for Will Buckley, a man who played roughly fifty good minutes for Sunderland and then we realised he was out of his depth rather quickly.

Buckley was one of Gus Poyet's signings from his former club Brighton, and he failed to make the step up to top level football. There is no doubting that he's fast, but his end product is atrocious, and often was guilty of just running mindlessly far too often.

#66 - @SAFCElvis - Tommy Lynch

At left back I'm going for Tommy Lynch.

Signed by Denis Smith, Lynch cost a hefty £20,000 when he was purchased from League of Ireland side Limerick. In fairness to him, he may have actually been a midfielder, but he was shoe-horned in as a full back and struggled massively.

#67 - @DJRoberts22 - Neil Collins

My final centre-back pick will be Neill Collins - a pick that should delight Twitter user Paul McDonald, who has been biting his nails waiting for the inclusion of this man all week.

Neil was signed by Mick McCarthy for basically nothing from Dumbarton in Scotland, and never really did anything of any real note. In fact, in his three seasons at the club, he only made eighteen appearances and was quickly sold once Roy Keane arrived. He’s went on to have a rather mediocre career in the Football League, most notably at Sheffield United.

A worthy pick, if I dare say so myself.

#68 - @GRokerReport - Rade Prica

I'm going with a 4-3-3 formation, so as a result I need to add to my forward line. Milton Nunez and Thomas Hauser are two completely different strikers, so alongside them I think I need someone who just doesn't get involved in what is going on at all. That's why I'm going for arguably Roy Keane's worst signing as Sunderland manager, Rade Prica.

Yes. The man who scored on his debut and had us all thinking we might have signed a hidden gem, only to have an absolute disaster away at Liverpool where he was subbed on, played utterly awful and then was taken off himself not long after.

Prica was monumentally shite, couldn't get near the likes of Chopra and Daryl Murphy in the starting lineup and was eventually shipped off to Norway rather sheepishly.

Sunderland have had some very bad forwards in the last twenty years or so, but how many come close to Prica? I'd suggest very few. He was the bastion of shite.

#69 - @CalMackay90 - Anton Ferdinand

Anton Ferdinand played a few games in midfield as Steve Bruce desperately tried to find a place for him to play that wouldn’t make his failings and casual use of the ball so costly. Ferdinand couldn’t dislodge Michael Turner (which should set alarm bells ringing), but even before that under Roy Keane, Ferdinand demonstrated a worrying lack of the composure required for the last line of defence.

I’ve selected him in midfield because I will admit that at centre back there any many, many far worse choices than Anton. But in midfield, his lack of composure, his positional sense, his timing and ability on the ball were completely shown up in every way imaginable. He failed to add any kind of bite, tenacity or defensive ability to the midfield, which is surely what he should have been doing. The game completely passed him by and whenever he did get the ball, he launched it forward aimlessly.

Ferdinand also cost eight million quid, and whichever way you swing it, this was a spectacular waste of money. If you spend that amount on a central defender, the expectation is that you are signing a quality player who will be the rock of your back line. Instead Ferdinand went through his Sunderland career in and out of the team in all sorts of positions. He also fell out with Steve Bruce and was dropped by Roy Keane before he’d even played for giving an unauthorised interview days after he signed for the club.

#70 - @Capt_Fishpaste - Paul Stewart

My strikers are going to get no crosses and I'm not sure that what I have even constitutes a central midfield. All they will get is a very occasional fluky punt up the line that stays in play.

Therefore, the last thing I want is someone who can actually run. Paul Stewart fits the bill perfectly.

He also carries on my policy of senior players who had no excuse to not be better. He was a full England international and had played for Man City, Spurs and Liverpool. Scary stuff.

#71 - @SAFCSource - Jan Eriksson

Signed for around £250,000 from Swedish club Helsingborg in the spring of 1997, the experienced centre back joined Sunderland with thirty-five caps for Sweden to his name - what could possibly go wrong?

Well, pretty much everything. He only ever made one appearance for the lads, as he started in a back three away to Aston Villa. He got booked and steered a soft Savo Milosevic shot past Lionel Perez for Villa's winner.

Jan stayed at the club until 1998, without getting near to the first team, before heading to the MLS and, soon afterwards, retirement.

#72 - @RoryFallow - El Hadji Diouf

I'm not selecting Diouf for his footballing ability, it's because of his appalling attitude that he makes my worst ever Sunderland XI. In a team of shit players, you need disruptive influences to turn crap players into an even worse team and Diouf is perfect for that because that's exactly what he did during his time on Wearside. He threatened to stab Anton Ferdinand - do I need to see any more?

He didn't do much on the pitch either - he put in a decent performance in the 2-1 win at home to Newcastle, which is the only stand out memory of his time on Wearside.

He signed for a big fee, claimed decent wages and all he did was threaten his team mates with violence. I'm sure he'll set fire to team morale as soon as he bursts through the door.

No rest for the wicked - let's keep the ball rolling. Rory, your up again...

Round Ten

#73 - @RoryFallow - Pascal Chimbonda

Right off the back of that Diouf pick, I'm taking Chimbonda for a similarly shocking level of character.

He once ignored a fan who asked him for an autograph ahead of an away game to Spurs, which led to bollocking from Roy Keane who dropped from the squad. How did Pascal respond? He just laughed at him.

Another excellent Chimbonda story is when he went up to Niall Quinn, dropped his wage slip in front of him and simply said "too light gaffer, too light."

I'd love to see how Paul McShane, who will be alongside him in my teams back four, would react to that. Just like Diouf, he was peddled half way through the season, leaving a burning dressing room behind him.

His most memorable moment on the pitch was getting fondled in the wall when Kieran Richardson had a freekick disallowed away at Fulham, so little was his contribution.

#74 - @SAFCSource - Chris Byrne

This feisty midfielder actually had plenty of talent and it looked as if a player we had signed from non-league Macclesfield might actually be a gem, having starred on his debut against Manchester City.

Alas, he was a mentalist.

From harbouring a murder suspect in his hotel room before an away game, to being arrested before kick off in a League Cup tie against Bury, to losing his mind when Chris Makin pulled a chair from under him (per Kevin Phillips' autobiography) - all of which despite the fact he was only at Sunderland for a matter of months - Byrne was crackers.

He was soon packed off to Stockport, but his career never amounted to much and he has been in the news since for being wanted for burglaries and being shot in the leg in a 'gangland-style shooting'.

#75 - @Capt_Fishpaste - Ben Alnwick

I'm deviating slightly from my policy of no kids here, mainly due to the fact that I'm picking a goalkeeper so late and many of my preferred picks have been taken.

But, good lord, Alnwick was rubbish aside from three games right at the start. Disgraced the club off the pitch too with his part in 'Stevie-gate' and did nothing after leaving to suggest he had any real talent.

Plus, the pièce de résistance in all this... he is a goalkeeper who was dropped for Kelvin Davis. That is to say Kelvin Davis was preferred to him. Case closed.

#76 - @CalMackay90 - Thomas Butler

Thomas Butler was meant to be quite good when he was young and was even dubbed the Irish Joe Cole. His most consistent playing stint for Sunderland was in 03/04, where he played on the left wing. During this spell, he didn’t do much and offered nothing going forward. He was’t particularly quick or tricky and never got himself into dangerous positions where he could provide or score a goal. Butler then disappeared, before it was announced he had left the club in secretive circumstances.

Butler broke this silence, claiming that he had gone to see a specialist in Ireland about an injury and the club had coerced him into resigning for breach of contract. The club insisted that Butler had told the club fallen out of love with football and could no longer care about the games in which he played, so the club accepted his resignation. Butler asked to return, then took the case to tribunal when Sunderland refused, reaching an out of court settlement before insulting Sunderland fans, claiming they ‘came down on you’ if the team hadn’t scored in the first ten minutes. Sounds like sour grapes, particularly since he was so keen to return to such a club.

Butler looked like a player disinterested and out of love with the game. Butler found his true level in Scotland and League One, but never lived up to his reputation as a youngster with his performances for us a particular damp and heartless squib. No assists and no goals in 35 appearances. Not so much the Irish Joe Cole.

#77 - @GRokerReport - Steve Berry

When you google the name 'Steve Berry' the first thing you get is 'STEVE BERRY, THE WORST PLAYER TO HAVE EVER WORN THE RED AND WHITE OF SUNDERLAND'.

I've asked a number of people if they agree, and they all do. Berry was bloody terrible. He'll sit nicely alongside David Corner.

#78 - @DJRoberts22 - Ryan Noble

I can’t believe this guy hasn’t been picked yet. My first real striking pick has to be ‘Hell On’.

Prolific at youth level, Ryan Noble never made the step up. In fact, he could never make that step up in any of clubs he’s represented. He’s an odd entity really, he obviously has talent, but can never seem to showcase it – be it temperament or lack of effort, which is a shame. One Google search and Wikipedia review and you can see he was quickly pegged as not good enough by the footballing world. On top of that, his recent tour of the local non-league scene paints a vivid picture, and it’s not a pretty one.

He was also recently spotted as a pizza delivery driver… says it all really.

#79 - @SAFCElvis - Ian Sampson

Signed by Denis Smith and came from a non-league side.

In fairness non-league was his level. Two words - oh dear.

#80 - @HawayTheJames - Graham Kavanagh

My last pick today is Graham Kavanagh.

Kavanagh was yet another player who signed for Sunderland when past his best. Despite costing a mere £500,000, Kavanagh was a completely daft signing. By the time he arrived on Wearside he was both carrying lingering injuries and was decidedly injury prone. For a midfielder whose career was built around being a dominant and tenacious presence in midfield, his lack of fitness and inability to last ninety minutes at the required pace for a central midfielder should really have been a sign that he was not the man Sunderland needed.

After playing only fourteen games he was out the door and the phrase good riddance just about sums it up.

Another truly minging bunch of men picked today. We're back tomorrow for the final two picks - make sure you join us.

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