I’m back again with another set of daft comparisons. Apologies to anyone who has read through previous incarnations of this series - from The Simpsons to Pokémon, and from Game of Thrones to Christmas films. However, I can’t bring myself to write about actual football, and all of the rage that I felt towards the players on Saturday has already been brilliantly covered by the other lads on the Roker Rapport podcast.
I want a break from reality, so this week I'm ignoring our implosion against Southampton and looking at the similarities between Sunderland players and famous board-games instead.
As winter takes it up a gear and life feels colder than a David Moyes death-stare, you may be forced to spend more time inside. With your families. To help you through such a tricky time, I’ve imagined the following eight Sunderland players as board-games.
Obviously, this is completely absurd, but if you want to get involved with any suggestions, please comment below or let us know on social media. We love to hear from you. Happy gaming!
Jack Rodwell – Snakes and Ladders
Up one week, down the next - consistency has been a huge issue for Jack Rodwell at Sunderland. Two good performances are usually followed by three abhorrent ones.
He finally got to break his humiliating losing-streak curse away to Palace… only to find himself injured with thirty-five minutes to go - Rodwell could be excused for thinking he’s locked in a perpetual game of Snakes and Ladders.
Didier Ndong – Mouse Trap
Ndong runs around the pitch like a man possessed. He covers every blade of grass and has lungs the size of steam-liners - his energy levels are so impressive that when everything clicks, he looks like the best player on the pitch. Much like Mouse Trap, he’s often just missing the end-product. Also like Mouse Trap, this sometimes overshadows the rest of his performance.
However, unlike Mouse Trap, you won’t find parts of Didier Ndong down the back of the sofa (I hope). Oh and he’s not 54 years old like the game – just 22 – so has plenty of time to improve and realise his full potential.
Jordan Pickford – Pandemic
Parachuted in to a disastrous situation and given the impossible task of fixing everything single-handedly, Pickford may not be trying to save the whole of mankind from deadly viruses but he is trying to save Sunderland from relegation. I think we both know which is more important.
Wahbi Khazri – Hungry Hungry Hippos
I mean, come on. Have you seen the latest pictures of him?
Jermain Defoe – Trivial Pursuit
This classic board-game is the only one I could compare with our classy centre-forward. Trivial Pursuit is actually only three years older than our star-man and all round good guy. However, Trivial Pursuit could be 103 and families would still be playing it (and falling out over it). Likewise, Jermain Defoe could be 103 and still banging in the goals on a regular basis.
Lamine Kone – Monopoly
It’s all about the dollar for Lamine - a man who spent most of the summer fluttering his eyelids at Everton so that he would get a new £70,000 per week deal, just six months after signing for the club. He may have an assistant that butters up the fans on social media with #TeamKone but don’t think he wouldn’t throw you under the bus for a hotel on Mayfair. Because he definitely would.
Jan Kirchhoff – Guess Who?
This is for all the fans who have forgotten what Jan Kirchhoff looks like – and you’d be forgiven for doing so, seeing as he’s hardly appeared in a red and white shirt for six months. Let’s track him down via a game of Guess Who…
Is he an absolute giant of a man? Check. But is he actually made of glass? Check. Does he have a piercing gaze and a solid jawline? Check. But does he have only one hamstring? Check.
I think I’ve found him in the Sunderland physio-room.
Lee Cattermole – Risk
When you need someone to roll their sleeves up, command their troops, and be prepared to win at all costs – you need Lee Barry Cattermole. Fun fact: If Cattermole was a Spartan in the movie 300, the movie would have to be called ‘1’.