Vital Sunderland Summer Interview: BaldyTheMackem
Q: When did you become a Sunderland fan and why?
I became a Sunderland fan when I was around 7 when I used to ask passers by outside my house on Fulwell rd what the score was. I started going to the game when I was 12 in the 95/6 premiership season. The question of 'why' is silly. Like 'Why do we breath in and out?.
Q: The season just gone, good bad or ugly? What did you think of it?
It was overall a good season. We showed our potential early but a mix of injuries and suspensions derailed it by winter. I'm glad that we now have a strong spine in our team that aren't afraid to put a strong tackle in now. Once our injuries let up we saw a surge of talent on the pitch. I did not like the amount of bookings and sendings off we got. We need to be smarter next season which will mean Cana, Catts and Turner really keeping up with the pace of the match. The emergence of a dazzling youth system has pleased me most of all. I have a feeling Waghorn, Henderson, Colback, Meyler and Noble can be the catalyst to us climbing the league and winning trophies. Much in the same way as the Nevilles, Beckham, Giggs and Scholes were for Man Utd
Q: Best and worst moment of last season?
Best moment: 4-1 win over Bolton that ended our winless run.
Worst moment: Has to be one of our last minute capitulations which plagued our season. The worst for me was the Pompey draw away in February. Last minute equaliser and Meyler and Cattermole getting sent off.
Q: Kenwyne Jones... is he off do you think? If so, what price (realistically) should Sunderland hold out for?
Kenwynne is only 25 and he can do a job that only a handful of players can do in the premier league. He is a defensive centerforward. Yes he is frustrating when we are looking for an instant goal or something magical. But he is an asset in defending a lead and has paired with Bent better than any other partnership we've had since Quinn/Phillips. His ACL injury has slowed him down but was not long ago. He needs another season to mature and regain his pace. I don't think we can let him go this season. I don't think he will leave because no-one who would buy him can afford him right now. Liverpool haven't got the money and Spurs will want him for 10 million or less. We should be looking for no less than 16 million in my view.
Q: What signings (type of player or specific name/s if you wish) would you like to see Sunderland buy this summer?
I am pleased with Bruce's transfer policy of quality over quantity. We should keep the squad size to around 25. We are likely to be rid of 8 player in the summer (Fulop, Bardo, McCartney, Nos, Tainio, Healy, Murphy and O'Donovan). Some first teamers will drop to squad players when improvements arrive and up and coming youth will be able to have their chance. We need two rightbacks and a left back,a No2 keeper, a pacey/goalscoring winger and a forward.
From the rumours heard already i'de be very happy with
Angeleri and Hutton
Q: Where do you stand on Steve Bruce(I don't mean literally, that would be assault) ?
100% behind the manager. He is very honest and seems shrewd in the transfer market. He does have the potential to take us into europe once he has a team that is his own. Hopefully once he has all the correct players and knows them inside out he will stop making curious substitutions and sometimes strange starting line-ups. Every one of his transfers have been a success and has sold our rubbish for a very good price. I just wish DC hadn't got on his bad side, although I think he can deal with disruptive players better than RK and RS ever could.
Q: Your opinion of Quinny and Ellis Short?
Both have clear roles at the club and have made us one of the best run in Europe. Our finances are sound and are incrementally getting better every season. Some minus points for Quinn on the clubs stance on the Central Station incident but I have no doubt he will make it right once justice is done.
Q: Favourite current player and favourite all time player/s
Current: Got to be Bent, but special mention to Gordon who is becoming world class and Jordan Henderson who is a massive talent and strong personality. I think he will be a regular for England by the next world cup.
All time: SuperKev. But again special mentions for Nicky Sumerbee and Niall Quinn.
Q: Do you expect progress next season, difficult to answer before the transfer window closes I know?
I'd expect us to finish 10th with the team we have now. The youngsters Waghorn and Colback are going to be kicking the door down to get into the squad and Henderson will only get better. Riveros looks like a perceptive player with an eye for a defence splitting pass in the mould of Xavi Alonso. With 3 quality signings (say Boselli, Ireland and Taiwo) we could finish 8th at least. This is due to most of the top 8 either going backwards or not improving.
Q: Right, lets lower the tone... which celebrity would you most like to bang and which (male I would think) celeb would you most like to thump!?!
That bird from Glee/Megan Fox/
Bono/Phil Collins/Dermot O'Leary/Robbie Williams/Simon Cowell/Mathew Wright/Stan Collymore