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Ellis Short’s 100+ Sunderland Signings: Part II - You can peer from behind your sofa now...

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Six months on from Ellis Short’s departure, we take on the wondrous task of ranking the 104 signings made during his tenure from worst to best. Enjoy (if you can) number 78 all the way through to 53.

Sunderland v Southampton - Premier League Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

78: Ola Toivonen

If you asked Sunderland fans to name a beautiful blonde Swede, I’m sure we’d rekindle memories of blue-eyed Seb.

Ola was very much the bridesmaid, and never the bride.


77: Donald Love

His Valentine’s Day video for safc.com, where he proclaims “love is everywhere” is legitimately my favourite thing he’s done in Sunderland colours, cos he sure ain’t done much on the pitch has he?


76: Modibo Diakite

I remember being quite excited about this one. Coming from Lazio, that was valid excitement, right?

Played well at Everton on Boxing Day - and was awful every other time he appeared.


75: Valentin Roberge

Pretty much see above.

Everton v Sunderland - Premier League
With Roberge and Diakite in defence, we managed to keep a clean sheet against Everton and Romelu Lukaku. Hahaha.
Photo by Paul Thomas/Getty Images

74: Danny Graham

You have to feel for the Geordie striker being this far down the list. After all, he had a barn-storming game in the PDC derby, and who can forget the scenes when he scored against Everton? He places this low due to the fact he cost £5m and £30k a week in wages, and was largely nothing more than a trier.


73: Christian Riveros

He passes with precision, precision, precision. Another South America gamble from Brucey that didn’t pay off. You sign Antonio Valencia once and...


72: Callum McManaman

Clinging onto the hope he’d replicate the form that won him man of the match in the FA Cup final, the Scouser came with a point to prove but just ended up showing everyone exactly why he was available on a free transfer.


71: Papy Djilobodji

A replacement for Younes Kaboul that cost almost £5m more, you say? Surely he must be good if he played for Chelsea?

Fast forward three years and he’s been sacked by the club, and at his new team Guingamp has just received a six match ban for trying to kick someone’s head off their shoulders. Joke of a footballer.

Southampton v Sunderland - Premier League
A regular sight.
Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images

70: Wayne Bridge

Go on, admit it - you forgot he played for us didn’t you?


69: Will Buckley

Will always be remembered for that assist at St. James. For that Will, you are excused of your general averageness.


68: Adnan Januzaj

As he cut inside and curled a wonder strike past Jordan Pickford in last summer’s World Cup and reminded everyone he existed, Wearside sighed to itself and said in unison “useless b*****d couldn’t do that for us like”. Urgh.


67: Dame N’Doye

Arriving on Wearside with a mustache is worthy of a few places, surely? Whilst he was pretty poor, he played an important role in giving Big Sam another option in our relegation dog-fight.


66: Darron Gibson

He actually started playing well in Coleman’s 5-3-2 last year before tearing his groin, and shortly afterwards our season decided to go completely pear-shaped.

Sadly for Gibbo, he’ll always be remembered for all the wrong reasons.

Everton v Sunderland - Premier League
“I don’t want to be shite”
Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

65: Didier Ndong

Came with a lot of promise and was one of our better players in our season under David Moyes - although that wasn’t very hard. He was quite well liked on Wearside until he decided to stop trying, before not even turning up to training.

Maybe Ellis should have used that money on Yann M’Vila after-all. *anger*


64: Tyias Browning

Forgettable would be the word to describe the Evertonian’s time at the club. Played some good games, some average and some bad, but was mostly unmemorable.


63: Ji Dong Won

If we forget about him ducking headers at Selhurst Park and concentrate solely on the scenes he created on New Years Day 2012, then Ji was a roaring success.

Probably should have accepted that £4m bid from Dortmund though, Paolo...


62: Jonny Williams

I really hope he’s okay. Since Sunderland Till I Die came out, I have a renewed love for little Jonny. He should get those dogs he wanted. You deserve it Jonny.


61: Keiran Westwood

Hardly played, but did a job when he did. Unfortunately for Westwood, he signed when Simon Mignolet was in the form of his life and thus it never really worked out for him here.

Sunderland v Newcastle United - Premier League
Probably a tad unlucky, Keiran Westwood didn’t make much of an impression on Wearside,
Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

60: Billy Jones

A right-back that could challenge Gareth Hall as our worst ever. Not even scoring against the Mags saves the man with a name like a Beano character.

Occasional good runs of form and his level of service elevate him slightly up the list.


59: Ondrej Celustka

I’ll be honest, I don’t remember anything but that Fulham volley that almost went in, that was pretty good - as was him eating pasta in the bath. Well worthy of such a high place in this list.


58: Sulley Muntari

Not bad, but not good. Much more was expected of the Ghanaian international, but aside from last minute scenes at Bolton, the midfielder just sort of passed through Wearside.


57: Santiago Vergini

Frustrating. He’ll always be remembered for a sublime goal at St. Marys - into his own net.

In truth, Santiago wasn’t as bad as myth made him out to be, he just simply wasn’t good enough for the Premier League. He played a great role in our great escape, though, and a few derby wins.

Sunderland v Manchester City - Premier League
Santiago Vergini. Sometimes good, mostly bad.
Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

56: Paulo Da Silva

Far from the worst foreign import the club has seen, the Paraguayan was probably just not very well suited to the hussle and bussle of the Premier League. Performed well enough when called upon.


55: Ahmed Elmohamady

For an entire season, our tactics seemed to be Simon Mignolet launching a ball at Elmo’s head. Secret Egyptian son of Steve Bruce, this fella will always have a career as long as Greggs ambassador Brucey has a job in management.


54: Jason Denayer

Signed as a centre back, he ended up molding more into a defensive midfielder. Another player who just sort of passed through Wearside.


53: Alfred N’Diaye

Our time together was too short, Alfie, but we’ll always remember you fondly my son.