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The Roker Report Draft: Worst XI Part Six

Eight contestants, twelve draft picks each - who can make the worst team? Today we reveal our last two selections.

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It's squeaky bum time now at Roker Report HQ. The lads have to make their last two picks, and with most of their first choices now gone they have to fill the gaps that are left ahead of tomorrow's finale.

If you missed yesterday's edition, click here.

Without further ado, lets get cracking. James, you're up...

Round Eleven

#81 - @HawayTheJames - Andy Cole

At one time he was one of the most feared strikers in the Premiership and had stacks of medals to prove the point. However, this was not the Andy Cole that arrived in Sunderland in 2007. The Andy Cole that Sunderland got was, to be generous, well past his sell-by date. His positional awareness was shot, his finishing was nowhere near as lethal as he was famed for and his general fitness and readiness to play football were extremely dubious. Another player who came in on the back of his connection to Roy Keane, Cole was essentially a walking paycheck and brought absolutely nothing to Sunderland's attack.

#82 - @SAFCElvis - Bernt Haas

My next selection is a right back, and one of Peter Reid's, erm, lesser quality signings.

Haas was part of a Sunderland side that capitulated away to Ipswich 5-1 and only lasted a season with the Black Cats. He wasn't able to replace Chris Makin and as a result was quickly transfer listed after it soon became apparent that the Premier League was just too much for him at that time.

#83 - @DJRoberts22 - Chris Brown

To complete my strike force I’m going to pick Chris Brown. Famous for his Match of the Day-esque commentary on a memorable viral video many years ago, the academy graduate spent four seasons on Wearside, making 66 appearances, scoring nine – an incredible ratio of a goal every 7.3 games.

After he departed, his scoring skills didn’t improve. The 31-year old has only managed to hit the back of the net 58 times, and at his current club, Blackburn Rovers, he is still yet to register his first goal after featuring in 27 games.


#84 - @GRokerReport - Ian Harte

I've got to admit, my first two choices for this position were Dan Smith and Andrea Dossena, but my comrades are all cheats and have been looking at my sheet of paper. Andy Tomlinson has a game genie or something and if he wins all of this then I'll be taking the moral victory because I know fine well I haven't been copying other people's answers.

Anyhow - left back. Ian Harte was pretty shite, wasn't he? He looked finished by the time he rocked up here in 2007 and it completely baffled me that he was able to continue playing at a decent level until last year. Slow, unfit and just not very good, he lasted about two minutes under Roy Keane, unsurprisingly. He was so bad that Danny Collins was considered a better option at full back, which says it all.

#85 - @CalMackay90 - Calum Davenport

Calum Davenport signed in January 2009 on loan, in a season where Roy Keane had abandoned ship. The subsequent push for survival resembled all the grace, direction and precision of a dying fish desperately flopping around on the floor, relying on luck or other people’s kindness to save it. Davenport contributed massively to this poor and mentally weak team, being part of a defence that conceded sixteen goals in the eight games he played, of which we lost six and won only one.

His one good moment was an assist for Kenwyne Jones away at Portsmouth, where he ran up the right and just past the half way line, bent a lovely cross behind the Portsmouth defenders for Jones to side foot the ball in. Pretty good right? No. We conceded one minute later when Davenport failed to track a run and lost 3-1. His time on Wearside was characterised by defensive errors, clumsiness, weak tackling and an inability to win headers despite being 6’4.

He may have provided one goal for Kenwyne, but he provided many more for the opposition. He wasn’t signed in the summer and in and amongst multiple personal issues, injuries and court cases, he has played non league football nine divisions below the Premier League since 2010.

He completes what you will must admit is a terrifyingly slow, cumbersome, weak, inadequate, desperate and clumsy back three; Cunningham, Anderson and Davenport. Gross.

#86 - @Capt_Fishpaste - Kevin Kilbane

I don't think that Kilbane was THAT bad to be honest, and in terms of talent he's one of the better players in this draft without question.

However, for Sunderland he was awful. He lost the ball every time he got it, or seemed to. Let's also not forget the two-finger salute he gave to fans.

He was a big money signing too, and by the time he retired he had 110 international caps to his name.

#87 - @SAFCSource - Tal Ben Haim

Tal. Ben. Haim.

Signed by Ricky Sbragia on loan from Manchester City, Ben-Haim was just a waste of a signing. He only made five appearances whilst on loan at the club and we only picked up one point in those five games.

Primarily a central defender, the Israeli defender played at right back a couple of times and looked as out of place as you'd expect for an immobile central defender. He was such a nothing signing and player for us that I'd imagine most have forgotten that we signed the useless plank.

#88 - @RoryFallow - Jozy Altidore

"He's Jozy Altidore, you know he's going to score." No he wont.

Jozy came to Sunderland with international caps, a £6 million transfer fee and a lot of expectation. What did he give us back? One league goal. He once missed sitter at home to West Ham when the ball just bounced off his arse from less than six yards out, something that was actually more difficult to do than put the ball in the net.

The theory that goals in the Eredivisie are like 'dog goals' (where by every seven goals in Holland counts for only one in the Premier League) is proved by Altidore given that he scored 39 goals in 67 games for AZ Alkmaar.

Most supporters were desperate from him to succeed, as he seemed like a decent bloke, but he never came close to being a success. MLS is certainly his level and swapping a donkey like Jozy for Jermain Defoe may just be the greatest deal in the history of sport.

The last round.

This has been grueling but it's not over yet, Sadly.

Round Twelve

#89 - @RoryFallow - Sean Thornton

My next pick is Sean Thornton.

Thornton had some decent potential but rather than apply himself on the pitch, he spent most of his time getting pissed in The Glass Spider. When Sunderland were relegated in 2002/03 Thornton scored a beauty in a 2-1 defeat at home to Chelsea and continued so play so well in the game that Gianfranco Zola offered to swap shirts with him.

Fans were hopeful that Thornton would develop into a future Premier League star and those hopes were further ignited when Thornton made a valuable contribution to the promotion campaign of 2004/05. It was here that his career stopped developing though, preferring to try and live a hip hop lifestyle by wandering around Sunderland getting drunk in his gleaming white tracksuit.

As his lifestyle started to catch up with up him started to gain weight, kebabs at 3am every other night will do that to you. As a result, Thornton's career took a nose dive and at the age of 28, the time he should have been at his peak, he was playing for Aberystwyth Town. It's not for football that Thornton will be most remembered, it's for doing a daft Vanilla Ice impression after Sunderland's promotion in 2004/05. That sums him up.

#90 - @SAFCSource - James McFadden

Fat, slow, well past his best, not needed but British and available on a free, so a typical Martin O'Neill signing. No-one really understood why we signed him back then and it worked as well as expected, as he left after his short term contract expired after only three appearances totalling 35 minutes.

#91 - @Capt_Fishpaste - Tony Cullen

Perennial substitute back in the days when you could only name two, all I could ever really remember of Tony Cullen was him literally running round in tiny little circles - and that was whether he had the ball or not.

That was it, head down, circles.

A fine addition to the side and forms a breathtakingly stinky right-hand side partnership with Gareth Hall.

#92 - @CalMackay90 - Martin O'Neill

He was the boyhood SAFC fan, the protegé of Clough who had delivered top six football and a cup final to Aston Villa, with quick wingers and solid defending. I was so excited. Little did we know O’Neill’s time on Wearside would be a depressing collage of nonsense; a team with no pace trying to hit people on the break, a team with poor defenders trying to sit deep and soak up pressure. It was the level of expectation that made the reality of O’Neill such a crushing disappointment. Can you imagine my worst XI team playing people on the counter attack? Nightmare.

Under O’Neill, it didn’t mater how bad we were playing, how much we needed the win or how the opposition set up, we played the same negative football every game. After being sacked, he gave an interview saying there didn’t need to be a plan B in football, because the opposition would have a plan B too and it would just cancel yours out.

NOT IF YOUR PLAN B IS BETTER MARTIN!!!!! By that logic there’d be no need for a plan A either? Wouldn’t the opposition just have one of those too? Idiot. O’Neill stuck doggedly to his system that didn’t work and his players who didn’t suit it. I maintain that, taking everything into account, it was the worst football I’ve ever seen Sunderland play, while there was no hope for change in the remaining games of that season.

O’Neill thought that when given £5.5m to spend on a striker to support or complement Steven Fletcher, the best player to buy was Danny Graham. The same Danny Graham who is a slightly worse version of Steven Fletcher. He also signed Bridge, Kyrgiakos, Mangane, Saha and Cuellar. His signings were woeful and he nearly took us down, claiming all the while that it wasn’t his fault and that his sacking was an irrational conspiracy. A con man, plain and simple.

#93 - @GRokerReport - Paul Lemon

I'll be honest, this pick was a struggle. The majority of the very worst central midfield picks have been taken, and as a result I've been left to pick over the scraps. This led me to a conversation with someone who has been going to games for forty odd years, who tells me Paul Lemon is the single worst Sunderland midfielder he's ever seen.

That's good enough for me. Paul Lemon - yer in.

#94 - @DJRoberts22 - Carsten Fredgaard

Dubbed the ‘Chocolate Fireguard’, Carsten was a bit useless, like his nickname suggests. Signed from Lyngby BK for £1.5million back in 1999, the Danish international went on to make just one appearance in the Premier League and just wasn’t very good.

He even got shipped out to Division One (as it was called back then) twice, representing West Brom and Bolton, gracing both the Hawthorns and the Reebok with his shite. Once he failed in both loan spells, he returned to Denmark, joining FC Copenhagen for 500k. He will go nicely in my attacking left midfield birth, creating very little for my terrible strikers.

#95 - @SAFCElvis - Len Ashurst

Yes, I appreciate we got to a League Cup final in 1985 under his stewardship, but I feel it was despite of this rather than because of. He had one season in charge and relegated us. Enough said.

#96 - HawayTheJames - Oscar Ustari

I'll go with Oscar Ustari as my keeper. Despite apparently being good enough to be capped for Argentina, he wasn't able to earn a place in the side and his only notable contribution was keeping a clean sheet against Kidderminster.

Another one who earns his place by virtue of being a complete disappointment.

That's it - we're done.

Ninety-six - YES, NINETY-SIX - picks, each of them awful in their own right.

We're back tomorrow with our final squads, formations, tactics, and pleas from the writers telling you why their team is the worst of the lot. See you then.

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