Let’s face it. We’re already missing Premier League football. The Euros will be fun and will give our players a much deserved rest after their latest great escape. But 13 August can’t come soon enough.
I’m bored and International Friendlies are not going to improve my mood, particularly if that game against Turkey is anything to go by. Perhaps the most tell-tale sign of my ennui is the fact I’ve started thinking about Sunderland players in Westeros. Specifically, which Game of Thrones character our players most resemble. Yes, I really am that sad. No, I’m not sorry.
If you haven’t caught up on the show yet then (a) where have you been the past few years? and (b) be afraid, cringe-worthy puns and spoilers are coming. Get ready to meet your new team of wildlings, waifs, and white-walkers.
Lamine Kone – Thormund Giantsbane
I was tempted to compare Kone to Khal Drogo as they both look like they go to the gym roughly three times a day. However, Kone wouldn’t let a scratch like that kill him. Remember, we are talking about a man who made Yaya Toure look like he was made out of marshmallows and match-sticks. No, the only man who can match Kone’s status as man-mountain, warrior, and hero is Thormund Giantsbane, leader of the Wildlings. Men like these don’t even need words; so deafening is the volume of their actions. Provided these actions consist of slaying white-walkers and breaking the net with over-the-shoulder volleys, I’m down with that.
Lee Cattermole – Jon Snow
Courage that knows no bounds. A brooding enigma. The face that would launch a thousand ships. If you think I’m talking about Jon Snow (or even Helen of Troy) you are mistaken my friend. I was talking about Lee Barry Cattermole. Catts was born in the wrong century. He would feel much more at home on an ancient battlefield, burying an axe into someone’s face (to paraphrase, horribly, Dwight’s description of Marv in Sin City). Cattermole, like Jon Snow, is a leader of men and an example to us all. I would follow both men into battle. And I wouldn’t put it past Cattermole to conquer death either.
Jan Kirchoff – The Night King (King Of The White-Walkers)
Because no matter what is going on around him, he will still be the coolest person on the pitch.
Billy Jones – Theon Greyjoy
Oh Billy Jones. Sweet Billy Jones. God loves a trier. But he hates a below average right-back.
The similarities are there for all to see. Both have committed heinous crimes. Billy Jones’s crimes are against the art of defending. Reek’s crimes are against those poor orphaned farm children. Both lost part of their identity when they lost part of their anatomy. For Billy it was his luscious, flowing locks. For Theon, it was something else entirely. Ultimately, both are not cut out for the level that is required of them.
Duncan Watmore – Bran Stark
Both are young men who have shown a lot of promise and have the potential to change the face of their surroundings over the next decade. If only we could combine Bran’s ability to manipulate time with Watmore’s working legs. Never mind your three-eyed raven, that’s a winger I would pay to see.
John O’Shea – Tywin Lannister
Ok, so he’s not dead but John O’Shea does not play an active a role at our club as he once did. He’s likely to take even more of a supporting role next year too. However, his legacy and his influence in the dressing-room live on. Needless to say, he will be an important member of our squad next season behind closed doors. Like Tywin, John O’Shea is a man whose track record screams "I can get the job done". Am I comparing five Premier League titles, one FA Cup, three Football League Cups, and a UEFA Champions League winner’s medal to seizing the iron throne for your family? I suppose I am. And I would do it again too.
Yann M’Vila And Petyr Baelish
Both M'Vila and Littlefinger have made professions out of "pulling the strings". Both are composers of sorts: orchestrating their team-mates and making the opposition dance to their tune. It is high praise indeed to compare M’Vila to the man who choreographed the initial race to the iron throne. I just pray that we can convince our very own Wearside Littlefinger to return to the Stadium of Light next season. We would sorely miss his midfield scheming if not.
Wahbi Khazri – Melisandre
Both are capable of moments of magic. Both have the ability to think on their feet. Both can pull something out of the fire when it is most needed (literally in Melisandre’s case). You can keep your spirit daemons and resurrections – when someone came up with that famous maxim, "necessity is the mother of invention", I’m sure they had Khazri’s goal against Chelsea in mind. The only concern I have is that he too is wearing a choker necklace. Let’s hope his performances in red and white don’t sag to the same extent that Melisandre’s body did.
Jermain Defoe And Daenerys Targaryen
Simple: both are absolute babes and have been on fire for the past year.