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New Signings at Sunderland Position Black Cats to Push for Europa League Spot

Photo by dkodigital

Sunderland have raided Manchester United and have welcomed both Wes Brown and John O’Shea to Steve Bruce’s squad.  Both players were deemed non-essential to the future of United, and Ferguson decided to unload them. In addition to those two signings, Sunderland now have accumulated David Vaughan, Connor Wickham, Ahmed Elmohamady, Craig Gardner, Ji Dong-won, Kieran Westwood and Sebastian Larsson this summer.

This is a good bit of business from Steve Bruce, considering that John Mensah will be returning to Lyon this season.  Sunderland will feature a new look to their squad this coming season.  The Black Cats have wisely invested the Jordan Henderson and Darren Bent money.

And Bruce may not be done raiding Manchester United just yet.  Darron Gibson could still make a move to the Stadium of Light before this summer is over.  At this rate, look for Sunderland to push for a Europa League spot.

That may be wishful thinking but anything is possible at this point in the summer.  If anything, Bruce and his squad could make a run in either the F.A. Cup or League Cup.  Sunderland have invested the money to increase their chances of success this season and for that they should be applauded.

In regards to their most recent signing, Wes Brown only made seven appearances in the Premier League last season for Manchester United.  The 31-year old former English international is certainly on the downside of his playing career, but that doesn’t mean that he still cannot provide assistance to a club like Sunderland.

John O’Shea, meanwhile, is the Premier League equivalent of a utility player in baseball.  He made twenty league appearances for Ferguson last season, mostly at right back.  O’Shea is able to play a number of positions effectively, including right back, centre back, defensive midfielder, and left back.  The 30-year old Irish international is delighted to be moving to Sunderland:

“Once I’d heard reports about the club and the people here, the ambitions and what the manager was all about, it was the only place I was going to come to.”

It is not yet clear what Sunderland had to pay for O’Shea, but the Irishman has signed a four-year deal to play for the Black Cats.  According to reports, United accepted an offer of around £1 million for Brown.  Brown also agreed to a four-year deal with Sunderland.

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  1. Oliver

    July 10, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    I’m surprised Steve Bruce is still manager. Ever since he took over and spent bundles Sunderland have not got the return you would expect. I expected him to be fired after last season’s poor run-in. Europa League is far fetched for Sunderland unless they bring in a new maanger.

  2. dominjon

    July 9, 2011 at 8:19 pm

    Sunderland started well last season then collapsed alarmingly and almost got themselves relegated. I think this is more about squad depth to stop that happening again and if they do well, then great, but mainly it is to mean even a run of injuries shouldn’t push them into a relegation scrap.

  3. Soccer Football

    July 8, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    Yeah, they’ve been spending steadily on average players for seasons now. It’ll be interesting how these players fare away from the comfort of Manchester United where they’re surrounded by world class players. They should use Phil Neville as an example, then they might do OK.

  4. Fernando

    July 8, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    Steve Bruce is not a good manager. His track record has shown that he’s very capable of spending money and most of the time it’s not used wisely. Aside from achieving promotion, his track record is one of mediocrity.

    Darren Bent can score 30 goals this year and Sunderland will still not be better then they were the year before. I fail to see how signing Man United rejects should inspire optimism in the heart of Sunderland fans when Steve Bruce will somehow find a way to once again be mid-table.

    • Justin

      July 28, 2011 at 2:57 am

      Dear fernando, I fail to see how Darren Bent scoring 30 or even 500 goals this season would help Sunderland considering he moved to Aston Villa in January. And Sunderland where only 2 points of 5th for a few weeks last season, if it weren’t for the lack of depth in our squad we could have finished with a spot in the europe league quite comfortably. I believe Steve is adding experience and depth to the squad which is exactly what it needs. Good work Mr. Bruce let’s have a cracker of a season

  5. Frank

    July 8, 2011 at 10:48 am

    Sunderland always bring in new players every season. It has always been like this since Steve Bruce has been manager. Expectations are raised only for the club to falter. I’m not sure that Bruce is the right manager for Sunderland. The club has spent a lot of money during his tenure without any silverware or a spot in Europe. I don’t think this season will be any different.

  6. BD

    July 8, 2011 at 10:38 am

    Good pickups. I hope they go far in FA or get that Europa spot (Champions is a pipe dream). They shouldn’t get Gibson though, dude is garbage…..

  7. trickybrkn

    July 8, 2011 at 10:30 am

    Have to agree, squad players won’t push for 5th in the PL. Connor Wickham might be a good player in a few years… David Vaughan & Craig Gardner define squad player. Ji Dong-won is young… and will have to adapt to the English game from the K League, and would have done better moving first to PSV.
    Larsson is one of those players that will show flashes of greatness, then disappear for games on end. as for the Man U cast offs. come on. Europe, your haven a laugh. Sounds a lot like a team that could struggle to stay up.

    • Jon Sharp

      July 8, 2011 at 11:27 am

      Not sure I would put Craig Gardner in the definition of “squad player”. He was Blues top scorer last season scoring 10 from midfield. Calling him the new Frank Lampard requires a leap of faith, but if he continues his form from last season he will be more than a squad player.

  8. Clampdown

    July 8, 2011 at 10:14 am

    They’re going to need more than a bunch of squad players to push for a Europa spot. Gardner, Larsson, O’Shea, Brown? These guys are the definition of mediocrity.

  9. DavidYB

    July 8, 2011 at 9:56 am

    Not sure about this.

    Sunderland seem to be totally revamping their squad every season, a process which does nothing for team chemistry.

  10. gossipexpress

    July 8, 2011 at 9:25 am

    will be missing him very much…

  11. Mekias

    July 8, 2011 at 8:33 am

    It’s probably too early to say they might push for Europa. They’ve picked up some good pieces but still have to put them together into a cohesive unit. I don’t think the talent alone of these players is enough to say top 6, especially when teams like Liverpool, Tottenham, and Arsenal might also be fighting for Europa.

    The rest of the Premier League is basically fighting for 7th spot. Maybe that will be a Europa spot next year, maybe not.

  12. Rob McCluskey

    July 8, 2011 at 5:33 am

    Am I the only person who thinks the Wes Brown is a bit silly? Four years for a player who is almost 32 and isn’t exactly in the same mold as a Scholes or a Zanetti…

    • mark larter

      August 23, 2011 at 9:39 am

      kinda rite there but at least hes bever than u hhhhhhhhaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

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