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Roker Report Draft: Creating Sunderland’s worst-ever starting XI (Rounds 11 & 12) - Final picks!

Our contestants make their final draft picks as they complete their squads comprised of the worst players to ever turn out in a Sunderland shirt - have we missed anyone out that deserves a mention?

A Love Supreme

61 Gav - Christian Bassila

Right at the heart of one of the worst teams to ever grace the Premier League was hapless Frenchman Christian Bassila - how could I not include someone from that side?

Physically, Bassila should have been an asset. He was big and looked physically strong - sadly, he didn’t have even a fraction of the ability needed, and was completely out of his depth playing in the toughest league in the world.

He was often injured and in the end, only managed 13 top flight appearances.

My midfield pairing of Bassila and Dobson will frighten absolutely nobody... well, except maybe the pigeons in Mowbray Park.

Sunderland v West Bromwich Albion Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

62 Malc - Terry Butcher

Terry was a bit like a lot of recent players, in that he came to Sunderland in 1992 (aged 34) as a player close to the end of his playing career, but not quite wanting to hang up his boots yet. He played 38 times for us in what ended up being his penultimate playing club, but in his case he moved into a player/manager role when Malcolm Crosby was fired in early 1993.

He may be surprised to find himself on this list, as he managed to save us from relegation out of the old “Division 1” by one spot in the table, however he did that more by luck than judgement based on my memory of that period. We only stayed up as all teams below us lost the last game of the season, just like we did. You think we are crap now? You should have seen us at Notts County that last game of the season.

He managed to lose 22 of the 43 games he led the team for, and he drew a further 8, winning only 13 and leaving us at the bottom of the league when he was sacked, on a day when Bob Murray also resigned as chairman of the board. With a win rate scraping just above 30% he was dismissed after only 10 months in the hot seat. He did carry on in management, doing quite well in Scotland, which surprised me - at SAFC the players on the pitch were something close to chaos at best when he was in charge.

Great player in his day, and an England legend, but among SAFC managers he is certainly one of the worst.

Soccer - Barclays League Division One - Notts County v Sunderland - Meadow Lane Photo by Graham Chadwick/EMPICS via Getty Images

63 Matty - David Moberg-Karlsson

Another who looked a baller brilliant in the Asia Trophy, but failed to make a single Premier League appearance despite costing Sunderland nearly £2m.

My team seems to be filled by failed Di Fanti signings and Moberg-Karlsson was another who came having been linked with top clubs, but he was out of his depth in English football and spent most of his time with our reserves.

Sunderland sold him only a year into his contract back to Scandinavia, which clearly displayed that they had zero confidence in his development.

However, the Swedish winger now plays for Sparta Prague and caused havoc against Celtic in the Europa League this season. Perhaps there is a player there, but certainly not at the elite level which was the original motive behind recruiting him.

Soccer - Capital One Cup - Second Round - Sunderland v MK Dons - Stadium of Light Photo by Richard Sellers - PA Images via Getty Images

64 Jack - Robbie Elliott

You’re always dubious of a former Newcastle player, but you should be even more worried of a Niall Quinn signing.

Elliott was acquired during Quinny’s ill fated spell as manager and let’s face it, he was absolute guff.

Slow and ponderous, offering nothing like the previous lefts backs of McCartney, Arca or Gray, and truthfully, I can barely remember one of his seven appearances.

I’m not sure how he convinced Leeds to take a punt on him following his stint with us, nor how he again managed seven appearances.

Soccer - Coca-Cola Football League Championship - Sunderland v West Bromwich Albion - Stadium of Light Photo by Mike Egerton - PA Images via Getty Images

65 Martin - Anthony Le Tallec

Another who strolled around not giving a toss. Yes, he was in a bad side, and yes he didn’t get the service, but there are levels of application that are mandatory for any player representing any team – if they are missing it’s immediately evident to any football fan. And Le Tallec didn’t offer anything in that regard. He knew he was never here for the long term, and boy did it show.

Sunderland v Fulham Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

66 Phil - Kaz Sterling

An underrated bad signing since his arrival was overshadowed by Will Grigg's ill-fated move from Wigan, the words you would use to describe Kaz Sterling are headless chicken.

Touted by Jack Ross and head of recruitment Tony Coton as an able replacement for Josh Maja, Sterling was simply not good enough for senior football.

The fact that he's since had a failed loan spell at Greenock Morton shows now ridiculous signing this guy to replace League One's best striker was.

Sunderland v Coventry City - Sky Bet League One Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

67 Phil - Will Buckley

Just like Gus Poyet, I'm getting the former Brighton band back together by putting Will Buckley in my side along with Liam Bridcutt.

Buckley actually started brightly with a couple of decent substitute performances after his arrival in the summer of 2014, but by the time of his highlight as a Sunderland player - the mistouch which assisted Ad*m J*hns*n's late winner at St. James' Park - he had already shown why he hadn't been given a chance in the top flight before.

Like Bridcutt, Buckley could probably have been a decent squad option for a year or two if Poyet has remained, but he was barely seen after the Uruguayan tactician's departure and he ended a very forgetful spell at Sunderland with three loans to the Championship.

Sunderland v Manchester City - Premier League Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

68 Martin - Mark Lynch

New right back. From Man United. Played in the champions league. Got to be good, right? Wrong. Mark Lynch is probably the worst technical football player I’ve ever have the misfortune to see play for Sunderland. Think McFadzean was bad? He had nothing on this fella. Positionally he was all over the place. He couldn’t pass the ball. He couldn’t tackle. He couldn’t do anything. Thankfully Mick Mac saw the error of his ways and got rid. And, as Sunderland do, we repeated the mistake with Donald Love a decade or so later. An abysmal player – if I was making my selections based on their order of non footballing ability, Lynch would have been right up there - but I saved him till later on as I didn’t think anyone else would nab him!

Soccer - Coca-Cola Football League Championship - Millwall v Sunderland Photo by Tony Marshall - PA Images via Getty Images

69 Jack - Jerome Sinclair

The only entrant of mine from our League One run.

Naturally, these have been some of the worst players to wear the red and white stripes due to our dismal position however this fella stands out to me for some reason.

Playing in the best squad we’ve had at this level, he managed one goal that your Nana could have knocked in, but was otherwise completely uninspiring and offered equally as little.

Not really a shock that he has been perennially loaned out by Watford until now as his contract has expired.

At least we didn’t pay £4M for him.

Sunderland v Charlton Athletic - Sky Bet League One Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

70 Matty - Charis Mavrias

Ok, now this is really turning into Di Fanti FC...

Similarly to Moberg-Karlsson, Charis Mavrias cost the club a few million, was meant to have bags of potential, but he struggled to make first-team appearances and was sold for a loss.

The Greek winger made a cameo of appearances under Paolo Di Canio, but struggled for minutes afterwards and was restricted to the odd cup match. He ended up becoming an expensive reserve player who had a minimal first-team impact.

A four-year contract of wasted wages, a wasted transfer fee and an example of why Sunderland’s debt kept pilling and piling - why did we recruit this player?

Sunderland AFC v Leicester City FC- Barclays U21 League Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

71 Malc - Phil Babb

Another bloke who came to Sunderland in his early to mid thirties and ran his clock down on our payslips.

Phil played 48 times for us (26 in the Prem, 22 in the next tier down), and though he helped us to a Championship playoff place, he was part of the team that went down from the top flight the previous season.

The club banged on about signing a real quality player in the build up to him being revealed, and we got Phil. Talk about getting your hopes dashed.

Aye, was decent at Liverpool, but by the time we got him, he wasn’t. That sums it all up really. Another very appropriate “I’ll play for them before I hang up my boots” player for my back line.

Sunderland v West Bromwich Albion Photo by Gary M.Prior/Getty Images

72 Gav - Jon Stead

I cannot believe that I get to make the final pick, and this man is still up for grabs.

Who remembers the “I saw Jon Stead score a goal” t-shirts?

Says it all really.

My forward three of Nunez, Stead and Angell is comfortably the worst of all the squads that have been put together in this year’s draft... comfortably.

Sunderland v Everton Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images


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