Sunderland taking the United route to success
Sunderland are a strange team in the English Premier League. Their fans obviously adore them but no other set of fans can get too bothered about them. They are too good to be relegated (although if they take their eye off the ball they could be in trouble) and they aren’t good enough to get into the European placings (although a good run of form at the right time could make all the difference). Sunderland are just one of the many teams in the league that seem to take up position in the middle of the table and don’t offend anyone. On their day, they can trouble any team in the league but on other occasions, they can lose disgracefully to anyone.
Westwood is a far better bet than Craig Gordon
However, there needs to be a chance of attitude at the Stadium of Light and the big money sale of Henderson to Liverpool may just bring about a change of dynamics to the club. They have drafted in Irish keeper Kieron Westwood as the new number. Westwood will be a massive improvement on the permanently injured and very much over-rated Craig Gordon. His performances will give the team a sturdier base to build from. Manager Steve Bruce will know fine well how great teams build from the back and this is why he seems intent on plundering his old team Manchester United for centre backs and defensive cover.
Wes Brown will be a strong signing
Wes Brown has signed for the club and brings a wealth of experience and is easily good enough to strengthen Sunderland. Brown has been a good player for United but his problem is that he hasn’t quite matched the levels of players like Ferdinand, Vidic or Neville. This is hardly an insult for a defender and there have been times when Brown has looked as composed and as qualified as these players. It just didn’t happen often enough and at a club like United, that just isn’t good enough. Wes Brown, if he can stay fit, will be an absolute star for Sunderland though.
The United contingent at the Stadium of Light may also be extended as John O’Shea was reportedly having a medical in Sunderland on Thursday morning. Again, O’Shea’s biggest problem is the fact that he wasn’t at the level of United’s top defenders but as a versatile squad player, he has been fantastic for United throughout his career. The Irish defender will no doubt be hoping to play consistently week in and week out if his signing goes through but you may just see Sunderland become a tougher team this season, which could see them push into European contention.