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The Roker Report Draft: Worst XI Part Two

After yesterday's first and second round picks the Roker Report writers have reconvened in the secret war room at RR HQ to deliver their third and forth round picks - who can make the worst possible team made up of ex-Sunderland players and managers?

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Incase you've been in hiding, or living in a hole, then you should already know what is going on.

If you don't, click here to catch up on the rules and regulations of the draft.

If you missed yesterday's edition of the Roker Report draft, click here to take a look at who was chosen by the contestants with their first and second picks.

Kicking us off today is James Gutteridge, who picked Roy O'Donvan to lead his line and John Oster to shore up his midfield yesterday. Can he further decrease the quality of his side in round three?

Round Three

#17: @HawayTheJames - Mick McCarthy

My third pick of the Roker Report draft is none other than Mick McCarthy. Whilst I have fond memories of the promotion season that preceded it, there is one defining factor in McCarthy's tenure and that is the ignominious fifteen point season. Despite being only a few years out of high school, I will likely be dead before this awesomely crap top-flight points record is beaten by another Sunderland team.

Say what you like about poor spending, poor signings, lack of support, etc, but any man who presides over that disastrous a season deserves to be the gaffer of my side.

#18: @SAFCElvis - Danny Graham

Up front I'm going for Danny Graham. Banging goals in on a fairly regular basis for Swansea, the Geordie striker arrived for a rather hefty fee of five million pounds in 2012. One goal - a lucky deflection off his arse - in thirty-seven Sunderland appearances. Get him in!

#19: @DJRoberts22 - Simon Johnson

My pick is... Simon Johnson. Remember him? Signed on loan from Leeds United by Mick McCarthy, Johnson, an attacking winger/striker, joined the club on an initial one-month deal.

After doing very little if anything during that time, the club extended the deal for an extra month, which left the Englishman, starved at opportunities at Elland Road, calling the move a rejuvenation of his career after signing.

However, it wasn't. Johnson only managed to represent the club five times, four of which were substitution appearances and was largely terrible. From then on, the resurrected career saw him plummet down the leagues, representing both Darlington and Hereford United.

Basically, he's just not very good. Therefore, he can lead my line or play on the wing. I'm undecided so far. A worthy inclusion if I dare say so myself, unlucky fellas *insert sassy dance emoji here*.

#20: @GRokerReport - David Corner

It amazes me that we’ve gotten this far without any one selecting this man.

Shoring up my defence and almost certainly gifting the opposition goals – particular in cup finals – is the single most ginger man to ever represent Sunderland AFC, David Corner.

In only his fifth appearance in a Sunderland shirt Corner lived out the dreams of every mackem supporter when he represented the club in a Wembley final. Early in the second half, with the game tied 0-0, Corner was easily dispossessed by Asa Harford when he perhaps should have knocked the ball out of play, with Harford going through to score the eventual winner. Corner would never live that moment down and even now, with Corner turning 50 this year, it’s a moment which still haunts him and something he receive constant jibes for on a daily basis.

The fact of the matter was that regardless of age, Corner was nowhere near good enough to play in a game of that magnitude and, as shown in the fact he fell down the leagues at a rather rapid rate – playing non-league football within three years of leaving Sunderland – he was god awful.

I dare you all to challenge that selection. In fact, I bet nobody has a better pick in this round.

#21: @CalMackay90 - Wayne Bridge

Finding a left back is going to be difficult after a few selections because we haven’t even had many of them over the last decade, preferring to shoe-horn right backs or midfielders there instead.

So, I'm making my left back pick now, whilst my number one choice is still available. Since I started watching Sunderland, we have had some very good left backs and some average ones, but not many rubbish ones. I don’t want to pick players from before I was born just because everyone else says they were the worst they’d ever seen.

They say in art, you should draw from what you know. Luckily for me, I’ve seen one left back who both in attitude and performances makes this position in the worst XI his own.

Wayne Bridge joined us in January of the 2011-12 season on loan from Manchester City, in the vain hope that he would be the solution to our by now tiresome left back troubles. At thirty years old, Bridge should have been a solid addition to defence. Instead we got a player so far over the hill, he was down the other side and lazily laughing his way to the bank. He switched off for Ameobi’s 147th minute leveller at St. James’ (I may be slightly exaggerating the amount of added time) and generally set about tarnishing what had been a solid career by showing no desire to earn a place in the team and being distinctly unfit.

At the end of the season, he was of course not retained. With Bridge, it was the fact we had expected so much more from a former England international and had been so highly thought of in his career that made him such a bitter and catastrophic failure. He gave no good performances, couldn’t keep his place in a team that had no other recognised left back, while his attitude was clearly disposed to not trying at Sunderland.

Forget about what he was at other clubs, this is about what he was at Sunderland, and for us he was a lazy, overpaid, unfit, disinterested liability who spent four months collecting money while making himself too much of a hazard to play games regularly.

The fact we paid this man, however brief his stint, is a travesty.

#22: @Capt_Fishpaste - Benjani

Now I've got a pair of full backs who will hit long balls harmlessly out of play with comforting regularity, it's time to ensure that, should they fluke a punt into a half decent position, the ball does not, in ANY circumstances, be collected.

Step forward Benjani.

He can't run, can't jump, and has a first touch a bouncy castle would be ashamed of. In fact, he wasn't even sufficiently mobile to get himself to a flight on time despite all the urgency surrounding deadline day - twice.

He's definitely the one for me. I shall isolate him up front and, in doing so, surrender every scrap of attacking capability imaginable.

#23: @SAFCSource - Ricky Sbragia

After selecting Kelvin Davis and Steve Hetzke, I was going to continue building the spine of my side but with Howard Wilkinson and Lawrie McMenemy being selected already, it's time I switched to a manager and who better than someone who didn't even want the job?

Ricky Sbragia stepped in as caretaker manager after Roy Keane left in a huff and, after losing to Manchester United in his first game, then picked up an impressive seven points in three games following a 4-0 win at home to West Brom, a 4-1 win at Hull and a nil-nil draw against Blackburn at the Stadium of Light. This prompted then chairman Niall Quinn to give the dour Scotsman an eighteen month contract. Naturally, now he had been given the job full time, results immediately went south with a 3-0 loss at Goodison Park the very next day.

That pretty much summed up the rest of his spell in charge. Regular defeats, soul destroying football, no ambition, no goals and only saved from relegation on the last day of the season thanks to our kind neighbours conspiring to save us at their own expense. He resigned after the home defeat to Chelsea on the final day of the season, with a win percentage of 23%, which is one of the worst in club history (for reference even Lawrie McMenemy managed 30%).

To sum up: He was dour, the football was dour, the results were dour. Dour.

#24: @RoryFallow - Terry Butcher

We're running out of managers, therefore I'm going to have Terry Butcher in charge of my band of dafties.

The image of Butcher in his blood stained shirt and bandaged head remains iconic as England secured a 0-0 draw against Sweden in a vital World Cup qualifier. His time on Wearside however is not remembered so fondly, with his appointment being the start of Sunderland almost sleep walking back into the third tier.

Butcher became player manager towards the end of the 92/93 season. The Lads just managed to avoid relegation to the newly named Division Two, and with a half decent squad at his disposal a push for the Premier League should have been a realistic option. Michael Gray and Craig Russell were just starting to break through, and there was good experienced pros in the side such a Gary Bennett and Kevin Ball but Butcher was clueless in his management.

A run of six straight defeats saw Butcher's reign come to an end as another drop into the third tier looked a worrying possibility. Butcher once tried to gee up his players ahead of an away game at Newcastle by coming into the dressing room with his head shaven, and told the squad that they were 'marines going into battle', an act which merely led to the squad holding back roars of laughter and making plane noises as they ran around the pitch.

He was an idiot, and his spell set the club back years as Sunderland didn't reach the promise land of the Premier League until 1996. The only side he should be in charge of is the worst Sunderland team of all time.

So, that's round three over then. As we alluded to yesterday it's important that you get in your first and second choice picks as early as possible, and the scramble for managers in round three is proof that one or two have been caught out by some left-field selections yesterday. Things are hotting up - and to kick us back off is Rory Fallow.

Take it away, Rory...

Round Four

#25: @RoryFallow - Tore Andre Flo

The last two players I chose were defenders, so I need some ineptitude leading the line.

Step forward Tore Andre Flo, one of the most expensive flops in our history. Signed for a reported record fee of over eight million pounds from Glasgow Rangers (a time when playing for Rangers was still seen as a big move), the Norwegian international came in with the hope of being our replacement for Niall Quinn.

Fans were excited further when Flo scored on his debut in a 1-1 draw with Manchester United, but highlights after that were limited. Four goals in twenty-nine games, and with a heart the size of Milton Nunez, the initial excitement was quickly quelled. It was slightly baffling that Flo didn't work out better - he had impressed during his time with Chelsea - but the pressure was never that big for him at Stamford Bridge, given he was more of a squad player.

Clearly, going to a Premier League side where he was expected to be the main man was a bridge too far for him. The transfer fee along with his general awfulness makes Flo a shoe in for anyone's worst Sunderland XI.

#26: @SAFCSource - Nicolas Medina

Now I have a manager on board, I will continue building the spine of my team.

My next pick is a £3.5m signing who was brought in hot on the heels of Julio Arca's success, namely Nicolas Medina. Medina was a highly rated Argentinian youth international when he signed for the club but despite being at the club for three years made the grand total of one first team appearance. That wasn't even a spell ruined by injury, he just wasn't involved with the first team and spent all of his spell in the reserves or out on loan at Leganes.

Bizarrely, at the end of his time with Sunderland he won an Olympic gold medal with Argentina and picked up his only senior cap before being shipped off permanently to Real Murcia but he struggled there too and has spent the rest of his career going from club to club in South America without much success.

#27: @Capt_Fishpaste - Mick Buxton

I have full backs who can do nothing but lump long balls out of play, and I've a lone striker less movable than a black hole in a huff. There is a logical step to be taken next.

Allow me to introduce my team's manager - Mick Buxton. Here was a man who thought Brett Angel was worth an awful lot of money (at the time). A flat-capped, whippet-walking dinosaur who openly confessed that his footballing philosophy was "kick it into the corners and chase it".

Save for Peter Reid's intervention, Buxton would have taken Sunderland to the third tier. I'm hopeful he could take my team considerably lower than that.

#28: @CalMackay90 - Ji Dong Won

I am so passionate about this next players place in the worst XI, I had to pick him next. I am risking losing some of my picks in other positions, but in order to be honest and true to my views on the worst players I have seen play for Sunderland, he cannot go in another team. He has to go in mine. Three words that strike terror into everyone, except the opposition. The inept, the useless, the cowardly - Ji Dong Won.

Let’s get straight to it - the man ducked out of the way of a cross and an almost certain goal at Crystal Palace in 2013. It wasn’t even a driven cross. It was a floated cross at perfect height, six yards out and the kind most strikers would dream of. I have never been able to get over it. He actually ducked. You have to be a special kind of awful to do that as a striker.

He turned in terrible, incompetent or anonymous performances, particularly in cup competitions against lower league opposition. He looked weak, slow and couldn’t keep the ball or do anything right, no matter the opposition. And before anyone refers to his Man City goal as an act of redemption - great moment, decent finish, fantastic result, but his run was terribly timed and he was a yard offside, despite him being able to look along the line and being fresh off the bench. Even his best moment wasn't done right. It should never have been allowed and his legacy was unjustly enhanced by one goal from a terrible run and a linesman's error. I’m sorry, that’s the truth.

On top of all this, he was a disappointment and a waste of money, costing £2m and billed as a hot prospect. Bruce even mentioned him in the same sentence as Ji Sung Park. Then we were fined for playing him without the proper paperwork and could have faced a points deduction for doing so. He was just a complete disaster, making him one of the most infuriating and depressing players I've ever seen play in red and white.

No league goals in two years since leaving for Dortmund and now Augsburg. His spell here was not just a fluke or our fault. He really is that bad.

#29: @GRokerReport - Arnau Riera

I’ve really deliberated over my next pick, because there are a whole crux of players I really, really want. That said, in order to thread those through balls to the feet of Milton Nunez you need someone influential in the middle, and for that reason I’ve chosen the man, the myth, the legend – Arnau Riera.

I mean, what the hell was that all about?

I can remember being absolutely buzzing at the time, bragging to all my mag mates that we had signed the Barcelona captain (so what if it was their B team. Minor detail…) but it was clear from the outset that he was just another of Niall Quinn’s ill-informed purchases following our relegation from the Premier League. It was as if Quinny was just signing people without even looking at them first.

All in all, Arnau played just over a half of football for Sunderland. He played the second half of an away defeat at Southend, then in the next game – a cup tie against League Two bottom side Bury – he was sent off after three minutes.

You couldn’t make it up. It was very clear from the offset that Arnau was nowhere near ready to play in English football. Strangely, Southend saw enough in that first game to take him off us on loan but we then spent the next three years trying to give him away to the likes of Falkirk and Blackpool, before he eventually left at the end of his contract in 2009 to play Northern League standard amateur football in Spain.

An outstanding addition to my side, I think you’ll all agree.

#30: @DJRoberts22 - Lewin Nyatanga

With dire left backs somewhat of a rare commodity, amazingly, I'm going to get in there and think out side the box whilst doing it, so my pick is former loanee Lewin Nyatanga.

Capable of playing at centre back and on the left, the Welsh international was signed on loan from Derby County and spent an uninspiring eleven match loan spree with the club. With the chance of signing the lad high, Sunderland unsurprisingly never followed up with it and the full back/centre back went on to do not a lot yo-yoing between League One and the Championship. So, as a left back, he brings a not so good element to my left hand side.


#31: @SAFCElvis - Lilian Laslandes

I'm going for two up front and to compliment Danny Graham in a formidable attacking partnership I've plumped for Lilian Laslandes. Signed during the Reid era for a lofty four million quid, he scored a staggering number of goals during his dismal spell on Wearside. How many I hear you ask? That's right, zero.

#32: @HawayTheJames - Andrea Dossena

I'm astonished that nobody has gone for him so far but in the pantheon of hopeless Sunderland defenders he surely deserves a slot. I give you Andrea Dossena.

The definition of a panic signing, Dossena brought exactly as much to Sunderland as expected - nowt. He couldn't attack, couldn't defend and was vastly outshone by other players playing out of position at left back.

And that's the end of today's picks - all contestants have made sterling selections, I'm sure you'll agree.

The teams are taking shape, but who will prevail above all and create the most horrific, sickening and gut-wrenching Sunderland side to have ever shamed the glorious pages of this website?

Make sure you come back tomorrow for part three, where we'll be revealing our fifth and six round choices.

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