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The Roker Report Draft: Worst XI Part Three

Each contestant has made four picks for their Sunderland worst XI so far - today sees us hit the half way mark. Who is going to get ahead of the pack today and, in turn, give the Roker Report readers nightmares?

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The Roker Report Draft is hotting up - today sees our writers make their fifth and sixth selections.

In order for the competitors to make sure they aren't left high and dry with their most important picks its vital they get those last one or two in today. As we head towards the tail end of the draft we'll likely see people choosing players that perhaps weren't their first choice in that position.

New to this? Make sure you read the rules. Part one of the draft can be read here - make sure you catch up on what has gone on already before reading ahead. Yesterday's edition of the Roker Report Draft saw the likes of Danny Graham, David Corner, Benjani and Andrea Dossena leave the pool. If you missed it, you can read part two here.

James Gutteridge kicks us off again today - who can put themselves above the rest?

Round Five

#33 - @HawayTheJames - Jon Stead

Hmm... my next pick will have to be goalscoring phenomenon, Jon Stead.

With a stellar scoring rate of a goal every 17.5 games - eventually being sold for a loss of £1.1m - Stead was one of the most outrageously awful pieces of business in recent Sunderland history. He'll fit nicely in my forward line.

#34 - @SAFCElvis - Cabral

Today I'm going for the Cape Verde wonder, Cabral.

Cabral occupies the central midfield role in my side. Signed by the infamous Director of Football, Roberto De Fanti, he arrived with promise but became the very definition of 'dead wood' and eventually left by mutual consent.

#35 - @DJRoberts22 - Nyron Nosworthy

I pick Nyron Nosworthy. So, this may be a bit of an unpopular choice at first glance. I love Nyron, let me make that clear, but as a right back, he was nothing short of horrendous.

Brought in on a free transfer from Gillingham as a back-up right full back, he was thrust into top flight football and was largely terrible. He played thirty games in the fifteen-point season and after were relegated.

If he had left, I’m sure most Sunderland fans would not have even cared. Thanks to injuries and Roy Keane, the big man is a Sunderland legend these days, but as a right back - where he’ll be playing in my worst XI - Nos is dire.

#36 - @GRokerReport - Marcos Angeleri

One thing Corner, Nunez and McMenemy most definitely were was ugly, so in order to restore some beauty to my delightfully woeful team I've chosen the sex god himself, Marcos Angeleri, to further boost our ranks and slot in down that right hand side.

We had high hopes for Angeleri, an Argentina international, but it would appear he was signed despite being injured. When we eventually got a chance to see him start a game - in the cup against Notts County - he was comfortably the worst player on a pitch that also hosted Craig Westcarr, who tore his arse out up until Angeleri was spared further embarrassment and brought off after seventy minutes. We never seen him again after that.

Stitch that.

#37 - @CalMackay90 - Kenny Cunningham

Kenny. F**king. Cunningham.

Like most of Niall’s signings, Cunningham just didn’t do it at Sunderland. He was a player that I genuinely couldn’t stand, though this might have been because it coincided with my rebellious mid teenage years where I hated everything.

Anyway - he was slow, old and clearly past it, only being around for his experience which is pretty much why he was  made captain, though this completely and utterly baffled me. He got the run around from average Championship attackers, constantly tried to play offside - seemingly independent of the whole defence - and really was as slow and weak as they come. Injuries meant he didn’t play after October, whereupon we went on a run of distinctly not missing him.

When he did play, he was just a dull and uninspiring player and to me represents the worst that this club has been. Desperately trawling through free agent markets to find low risk, cheap, short term, end of career fodder, who can barely put one leg in front of the other without something going wrong. Then Jonny Evans came along and proved that experience isn’t everything. Cunningham’s injuries are the best thing that could have happened that season, and as a result he takes up a starting berth at the back in my team.

#38 - @Capt_Fishpaste - Alan Stubbs

Speaking of old and useless central defenders, I'm going to continue adding to the spine of my team - and by 'spine' I mean shameless and deliberate self-confessed spinelessness.

Stubbs was supposed to be a solid and experienced addition to the squad that was promoted back to the Premier League in 2005. It should have worked. However, instead of being the experienced and mature calming presence he should have been, he slagged off a team-mate on live TV, blaming him for a goal that was clearly his own fault, and then openly celebrated a last minute winner for Everton against Sunderland.

A gutless, heartless, stain on this football club and all who love it and the precise opposite of what he was brought here to be. He's a perfect addition.

#39 - @SAFCSource - Andy Gray

To finish up the spine of my side I need a top quality knacker up front - someone who guarantees not only no goals but no shots. My pick is Andy Gray.

Mick McCarthy signed Gray for £1.1m from Sheffield United and although he scored on his debut, he was unbelievably bad. He had no talent whatsoever, was slow, couldn't hold the ball up and was just terrible all round.

Weirdly, the club scouted him before we signed him, and then coach Kevin Richardson had this to say about him in a leaked scout report; "He didn't do a thing. Never closed defenders down, had a poor first touch, won one header and had no efforts on goal."

Obviously, being Sunderland we bought the obvious flop for over a million anyway and soon sent him packing to Burnley when he lived up to the scouting report.

#40 - @RoryFallow - Greg Halford

Eight appearances, two red cards and part of defence that was beaten 3-0 away to League 1 Luton Town - that's how terrible Greg Halford was.

When you add in his reported fee of £2.5 million (which apparently could have risen to £3.5 million) and his alleged off the field problems then you have the perfect cocktail for an awful signing.

He'll fit in perfectly with Paul McShane given they played together, and I'm sure he'll get on famously with Sotirios Kyrgiakos. Or not. Either way, they still make up part of a dreadful excuse for a defence.

Oh! Controversial selection from Danny in Nyron Nosworthy - I can't see that going down well, but do you agree with his reasoning?

Onto the next round - the lads are on a roll. It's truly amazing just how much crap we've had over the years, so why stop now?

Round Six

#41 - @RoryFallow - Anthony Le Tallec

To be fair to Le Tallec, he bagged us a few during the dreadful fifteen points season - a whopping four goals!

However, he was just as gutless as Andy Gray and had the finishing ability and strength of Jon Stead. Imagine being John Terry or Rio Ferdinand and seeing Le Tallec, with the build of a twelve year old, lining up against you?

You'd be pulling out a deck chair and smoking a cigar for the whole ninety minutes, occasionally getting up just to suggest challenging him for a header. I'm sure him and Tore Andre Flo will be a truly awful strike force - thank god they never crossed paths.

#42 - @SAFCSource - Brett Angell

As I've picked Andy Gray I need a strike partnership that will compliment each other very well. Both slow, crap in the air, poor first touch, can't score and just generally awful, so Brett Angell seems like the right choice.

Sunderland forked out £600,000 on Angell, which was quite a large fee for us back then, particularly for someone who had been a complete disaster at Everton - despite all of this, we gave them one hundred thousand quid more than they paid for him.

Best described as a lumbering big man with, according to former team-mate Neville Southall, 'a first touch like a tackle', Angell only ever scored once for the club - on Preston's plastic pitch in the Coca Cola Cup - and the fact he scored at all is something of a miracle.

#43 - @Capt_Fishpaste - Shaun Cunnington

Want to know how to spunk away every penny of a remarkable FA Cup run in the early 90s? That's right, go out and give Grimsby Town £650,000 for Shaun Cunnington.

Bearing in mind the club record signing at the time was £900,000 and that had only just been broken, it highlights just how much money was spent bringing "the new David Platt" to Wearside.

Always injured, never good, a senior player from whom much more should have been expected - Cunnington is ideal for my team of hopeless losers.

#44 - @CalMackay90 - Russell Anderson

Ah, Russell Anderson. £1m paid, one Premier League game played. For the mathematicians out there, that’s one million pounds per premier league appearance. In this game, he joined the action as a 62nd minute substitute against Wigan, quickly deciding that the calamitous performance that had us 2-0 down was not sufficiently calamitous enough. He subsequently gave away a penalty with a woefully mistimed tackle just to seal the defeat.

Anderson started his only game for us in the league cup, rupturing his ankle ligaments. He was loaned out to a few lower league clubs over the next two years, never making an impression and ultimately being released from his contract early by us, signing for Derby. History repeated itself there, where he was again mutually released from his contract after a few injuries and not being able to get in their team, moving back to Aberdeen where he originally came from.

Anderson was clearly not good enough for the rigours of Premier League football, demonstrating this by not even being good enough for Championship football.

So to summarise, he cost one million quid, made one premier league substitute appearance in which we lost and he conceded a penalty, he was always injured, was loaned out multiple times in two years because no one would buy him, failed to earn a place in Championship teams and both Sunderland and Derby paid up his contract early just to get rid. Where’s the award for worst team? Shall I just collect it now?

#45 - @GRokerReport - Iain Hesford

I'm truly baffled that forty-four picks before this went by and nobody selected a man that is widely (no pun intended) regarded by some as Sunderland's worst ever goalkeeper.

Though the Zambian-born keeper was part of the side that was promoted from Division three, Hesford was a large (no pun intended again) part of why we were down there in the first place. During a particularly bad spell he was booed by his own fans regularly, and his finest moment came in a game against Leeds United where a free kick taken around the half way line was caught by Hesford, who then somehow managed to collide with the bar, drop the ball which ended up in the back of his net.

He was a truly special, round (intended) and frankly useless talent and deserves his place between the sticks in my side - his long hopeful punts up to Nunez should ensure we never score any goals, whilst his crisp packet hands should come in handy when attempting to stop the shots going in.

#46 - @DJRoberts22 - Christian Bassila

Holding a lead against rivals Middlesbrough with minutes left, Christian Bassila collects the ball in the centre of the pitch and …hoofs it out for a fucking corner. THAT’S how bad this guy was. Signed from Strasbourg, he managed just fourteen appearances in one of the worst Sunderland sides in history. So not only was he a part of that team, he wasn’t even good enough to secure himself as a regular starter in that terrible side. I genuinely look back and laugh at just how bad this guy was.

Cheers Mick McCarthy, for bringing this guy into our lives - it was much appreciated.

#47 - @SAFCElvis - Baki Mercimek

Baki Mercimek. Who? Exactly. A central defender signed with the hope of being the next Jaap Stam he succeeded in being so bad he wasn't even deemed worthy of starting for the first team.

#48 - @HawayTheJames - Cristian Riveros

To conclude proceedings today I'm going to go with Cristian Riveros. A product of Steve Bruce's much heralded South American scouting network, Riveros delivered very little in the mere twelve games he played for Sunderland.

Perhaps not the worst ability-wise, but the disappointing nature of his spell on Wearside after the hype of his arrival justifies his selection.

Some controversial choices today, then.

The Roker Report writers have six picks left - join us again tomorrow as we undergo rounds seven and eight.

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