Let's hope Sterling does not score on Mignolet this time. - Chris Brunskill
We asked a few questions of Simon from Roker Report ahead of Sunday's match against the Wearsiders. Luckily he was kind enough to not ignore us and actually respond.
Before we get started, if you haven't you should check out Roker Report
, SB Nation's own Sunderland
blog. As always, it is important to know thy enemy. They do some really good stuff over there including a podcast that makes us look like the medicore sub par blog that we are happy to be.
AA: What are your thoughts on the DiCanio era? Are you happy it is over? Do you feel he was the savior last year? I assume dry cleaners on Wearside are happy they no longer have to get grass stains out of suit pants.
RR: I don't think that the dry cleaners are too happy. If anything they've just lost a load of work!... The overwhelming feeling among the fanbase seems to be one of bemusement though.
We were all a bit pissed off at the situation with Di Canio, however when it happened it was sort of like "Shit, they actually did it!" and now we don't quite know what to do with ourselves.
Certainly he saved us last season, and delivered an all time great moment with the 3-0 win at Newcastle
, but it soon became apparent that everything was about him and it was turning into a bit of a circus. Overall I'm glad he's gone, but he did us ok for a brief period. AA: He failed to really take off at Liverpool, so we are all very curious to know how Fabio Borini been looking?
RR: Honestly? I don't think you're going to like this but he's looked a bit rubbish so far. Very greedy and shooting from all sorts of angles, many of them either impossible or with better placed players to be making a shot.
He's different to what we already have, but also not quite as good on the evidence we have on him so far.
Sorry so say there isn't much else to report really!
AA: What are your thoughts on the Mignolet deal? Do you feel as though Liverpool swiped him from Sunderland or that it was fair deal? Same for Henderson, do you wish Sunderland had kept him all things (including the money) considered?
RR: Really disappointed to see the pair of them go, but we did get very good money for them, so it's a bit of a double-edged sword. We needed the money, and arguably sold both for what will be their maximum value throughout their careers.
Both were wonderful players for us, absolutely top drawer.
AA: Although Sunderland are at the bottom of the league, are your worried? Do you feel there is enough talent to pull out of there?
RR: Very worried, but the fact that Di Canio has gone means there's at least a chance of turning things around. It didn't seem that way whilst he was here, and he had completely lost the dressing room.
There's certainly enough talent. The likes of Altidore, Giaccherini, Ki, Fletcher, O'Shea, Johnson etc don't suddenly become terrible players. They're perfectly good enough to fit into many a mid-table side, and should be able to drag us up the leagues under a new manager with a bit more nous about them.
AA: Match prediction?
RR: I think Kevin Ball will set us up not to lose, so I'm going with a score draw, 1-1 after we take the lead.