#65 - Tom Albrighton - Wahbi Khazri
Wahbi Khazri, another nutter. Recently his name was uttered in hushed tones since it was an outlying debt for him that caused us to sell Maja, and subsequently all our promotion hopes, but aside from that Khazri was class.
Though he was never quite in shape, the mercurial talent was indeed a talent. A total dead ball specialist, Khazri turned corners into de facto free kicks and caused chaos in opposition areas. With skills to boot and oozing talent, Khazri - when he could be bothered - was the best player on the pitch. He also had a habit of scoring some lovely goals, particularly THAT volley against Chelsea. Up the Tunisians.
#66 - Michael Graham - Djibril Cissé
It’s time, I suppose, to look at the attack, and I admit I’m creating more of a functional team than a flair one. Therefore, I need to pace and incision up top to compliment the touch of Bridges, so I happily welcome Sunderland’s number nine.
#67 - Gav - Shaun Elliott
One of Sunderland’s leading appearance makers and my dad’s favourite player - Shaun Elliott comes into the heart of Sunderland’s defence alongside Kevin Ball.
Be honest... would you fancy your chances against them two?
You’d be lucky to get through the game without a few cuts and bruises!
#68 - Rebecca Johnson - Charlie Buchan
This was the point I started going old school, and whilst the rest of the group were scrambling for more recent names, I’ve gone with a couple of old players. Some of these lads have got some of Sunderland’s most remarkable statistics, and Charlie Buchan falls right into that category.
Between 1991-1925, the striker scored 209 goals in 379 appearances. He also made six international appearances for England and would have had more if not for World War One. A formidable goal-scorer, the man also dabbled in a bit of cricket for Durham which automatically puts him in my team.
#69 - Chris Wynn - Bobby Gurney
How was I still in a position after 68 picks to be able to pick the clubs all-time top goalscorer?! At this point I simply don’t care, as I now have a strike force of Brian Clough and Bobby Gurney.
Born in Silksworth, Robert Gurney stayed with the club for twenty-two years stretching out over the war period. His honours would include a League championship from 1936 and an FA Cup winners medal from 1937. Our all-time top scorer with 228 goals was also our 4th most prolific of all time with 0.58 goals per game.
With the second most prolific scorer in Sunderland’s history now joined by the fourth most prolific striker of all-time - can anyone else boast of a better forward line?!
#70 - Matty Crichton - Nedum Onuoha
You may have noticed that the majority of my picks have come from the Bruce era... I will say this was completely unintentional... but we did have Premier League stability then!
The former Manchester City centre-half was only with us for a year, but he did score one of the best goals in our Premier League history against Chelsea.
Onuoha was quick and strong, a real powerhouse, I was personally quite sad we never signed him permanently. A steady Premier League defender for a large part of his career.
#71 - Danny Roberts - Gavin McCann
I really liked Gavin McCann. He’s one of those midfielders who was everything you needed him to be, leaving him to be a tad underrated. For the deep lying role in my midfield, he’s perfect. He’ll act as the defensive midfielder of the two, allowing Reyna to be at his creative best. McCann had an engine on him, was strong in the tackle, his passing was great, and he certainly knew where the goal was. His impressive performances for the Lads even saw national recognition when McCann was given his England debut back in 2001 against Spain. A great addition to my team.
#72 - Chris Camm - Danny Collins
He could’ve played for Brazil. A former Captain, 149 appearances and a very good centre half. He has two Championship winners medals and was voted fans player of the year twice in ‘08 and ‘09.
My first pick at the centre back position and honestly I’m lucky he was still available.
#73 - Chris Camm - Terry Butcher
Panicked, forgot about Wes Brown and Lamine Kone, picked Terry Butcher. Don’t @ me.
#74 - Danny Roberts - Danny Welbeck
Top quality attacking wingers are now rare this far into the draft, but Danny Welbeck is certainly not a make-shift option.
When Welbeck joined the club on loan from Manchester United, eyebrows were raised, especially considering he had a less-than successful period on loan at Preston the season before. Nonetheless, ‘Welbz’ came to the club and looked a different player to the one who was at North End. Memorable moments for Welbeck at the club were his standout performance against Chelsea in that 3-0 win, and an impressive brace against Everton a week later. His form the club was that good, he earned a call up for England.
#75 - Matty Crichton - Bolo Zenden
Alongside Cana in central midfield I have selected a man who possesses 50+ caps for Holland, as well as being an ex-Barcelona, Chelsea and Liverpool player.
Zenden’s legs were gone at Sunderland, but his ability on the ball displayed that he was once a top quality footballer. He brought experience and creativity, as well as propping up with spectacular moments such as his volley against Spurs.
What I would give to see him dance with Asamoah Gyan again...
#76 - Chris Wynn - Billy Hughes
My first entry on the right-hand side of my team perfectly complements Dennis Tueart on the left in the fact it’s his opposite wide man from the 1973 FA Cup winning side - Billy Hughes.
He played for Sunderland between 1966-1977 and made 335 appearances scoring 81 goals. None more important than the never to be forgotten goal in the 5th round FA Cup replay at Roker Park against Manchester City and the winning goal in the semi-final against Arsenal at Hillsborough. If that’s not all he also took the corner that Ian Porterfield scored from in the final to win the cup!
A team of Billy Hughes and Dennis Tueart on the flanks supplying Brian Clough and Bobby Gurney in the middle is a team I’d like to watch!
“He is one of the most exciting players I’ve seen. He loves to go forward. He runs straight at opponents forcing them to commit themselves and can shoot with either foot.”
Don Revie on Billy Hughes
#77 - Rebecca Johnson - George Mulhall
Again, going old school with my choices having forgot about the left-wing. Having a scour through the records, Mulhall is exactly the player you want on you’re the left. Fast-paced and can score goals, he notched up 66 goals in 289 appearances for the lads, making him a domineering force down the left.
In another fun piece of trivia, Mulhall holds the record for the most consecutive appearances for Sunderland with 125.
#78 - Gav - Dick Malone
Another star of that famous 1973 cup winning team - Dick Malone enters the side at right back to complete what looks to be an incredibly tough and formidable back line.
Tricky Dicky spent seven years on Wearside, playing in over 230 games, and was one of the unsung heroes from the side that defeated Leeds United at Wembley. Typical of his day, Dick was a big, physical full back who enjoyed getting stuck into wingers looking to leave him for dead. I think that alongside Bally and Elliott he’s in fantastic company.
#79 - Michael Graham - Barry Venison
He was a player I considered for right back but think the midfield version was also quality. He went on to play for England in central midfield, and is a perfect Allardyce midfield player. Another for the local core too.
#80 - Tom Albrighton - Lamine Kone
A total arsehole by the time he left, but the season where Kone actually cared he was absolutely immense - so lets just remember the good times.
A total rock, dominant in the air, no nonsense on the ground and an absolute beast, Lamine Kone was one of the best defenders we’ve seen in red and white. If it wasn’t for, well whatever the hell it was that turned his head, Kone was a legend in waiting after playing an integral role in keeping Sunderland afloat in yet another great escape.
Seeing him absolutely flatten Yaya Toure will forever be a highlight.