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Poyet's Sunderland

The transfer market is back in full swing, and on the Sunderland front there’s little else to mention other than the managerial ambiguity of Sam Allardyce and England.

Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

If the lack of players coming in through the revolving door – or even nearing the revolving door for that matter – is being taken as cause for concern, I advise you to think again, especially if recent summers are anything to go by.

Naturally, you’d think I was talking about the Di Fanti/Canio transfer tornado that tore through our finances and footballing integrity. Yet in my eyes that campaign has to settle for second place; soundly beaten by the efforts of Poyet and Congerton.

While Gus clearly got off to a better start than his trans-rational Italian predecessor, it was the Uruguayan’s side which was the most susceptible to self-destruction. At the best of times Poyet’s football wasn’t great – but the fact that his team could even win games was an achievement in itself.

What I’m essentially saying is: that team was awful. God awful. I’ll explain why…

The team assembled by Poyet’s preference for mediocre Brighton first-teamers and Congerton’s staggering misjudgements of players’ worth saw us put together a side flawed from back to front.

Starting at the back, we have Vito Mannone, whose proven to be reliable enough with the exception of an easily-shot confidence. Such confidence came under-fire quite easily when the aged duo of Wes Brown and John O’Shea, a partnership slower than windows XP, found themselves up against anyone with pace.

Should you have wanted more youthful faces at the back, the options were Santiago Vergini or Seb Coates. I don’t think anything more need be said on that.

Moving onto the midfield, there’s seemingly room for optimism when you consider the form Lee Cattermole and Seb Larsson were in during 2014/15. Sadly, our alternatives should either man be missing for whatever reason were Jack Rodwell and Liam Bridcutt. Yikes.

It’s not going to get any better from here on out. Of all the players I’m yet to mention, there are none with sufficient pace or creativity to supply a set of strikers who probably wouldn’t have converted anyway.

PatrickVan Aanholt loves a run at opposition, but that’s one player. A full-back, no less.

Jordi Gomez’s footballing intellect would occasionally come to the foreground with a good through ball, it’s just a shame he moved with the speed of a man twice his age.

Following the failure to secure the services of Fabio Borini – although we’d rather refer to that as a work in progress – the red-and-white faithful would hope that either Connor Wickham perpetuated his form, Steven Fletcher regained his, or Jozy Altidore won more fouls from falling over in penalty boxes. With eleven goals between them, it’s hardly worth mentioning that none of these events transpired.

Such a critical, concise and unfortunately realistic telling of Gustavo Poyet’s attempt at a first full season makes our 3-1 home win against Stoke seem a sensation.

When you truly consider how bad our side really was not too long ago, it makes you wonder how many more 8-0s we could have seen - how many more catastrophes we were lucky to avoid.

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