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      OPPOSITION VIEW - SUNDERLAND Q&A
Ahead of Saturday's game with Sunderland at The Hawthorns, we spoke to Joseph, who amongst other things writes for Sunderland website
Sunderland World. He gives his views on the game, Paolo Di Canio, Stephane Sessegnon and much more. You can also find Joseph on Twitter
at @j_m_tilbury
 
Itís been a disappointing start for Sunderland, certainly not what the fans would have been expecting Iíd imagine?

With the amount of players coming in, it was to be expected that they would take a little while for the team to gel. However, itís disappointing to find ourselves at the bottom of the league, seen as though our first three games were all winnable in my opinion. Some of the performances have been promising, and the results will come soon enough.

Were you happy with the appointment of Paolo Di Canio and do you still believe heís the right man for the job six months on?

At the time I thought it was a risky appointment with his lack of experience. However, I do think heís the right man for the job at the moment. Heís a great motivator and his approaches to fitness and discipline, although controversial, seem to be working out. The players look visibly fitter than last season and that can only be a good thing.

Are you happy with how the clubís transfer dealings went during the summer? One of your sales was Stephane Sessegnon, what can Albion fans expect from him?

I think weíve done reasonably well in the window. The signing of Giaccherini is quite a coup for the club, however the sheer number of players and their lack of Premier League experience is a slight cause for concern. If they adapt and bed in soon enough weíll have a good side.

Sessegnon is probably the most technically gifted player weíve had for a long time, however heís also the most frustrating. On his day, he could get into pretty much every team in the league, but he didnít show up enough last season and it cost us.

Final thoughts on last season?

Last season was just a big disappointment. We didnít take enough points off the teams around us which cost us in the long run. Goals were hard to come by and when Steven Fletcher got injured at the end of the season it really was a struggle. However, the 3-0 win over Newcastle means the season will be remembered more fondly than it should be.

Hero of last season?

Simon Mignolet without a doubt. Consistently brilliant in a poor defence and arguably kept us in the league. Disappointed not to keep hold of him in the summer. Danny Rose also deserves a mention.

Villain of last season?

James McClean failed to hit the highs of the previous season and angered people by refusing to wear a poppy. He never won back the fans after that one, and it wasnít surprising to see him leave.

Most amusing Ďterrace chantí heard last season?

Titus Bramble, he sh*gs who he wants.

Player to watch this season?

Adam Johnson looks a new player under Di Canio. With a World Cup looming, Iíd expect big things from him after a disappointing first season.

Prediction for Sunderlandís season?

Iím not expecting a great deal this season. Currently, weíre a work in progress and Iíd expect us to just escape relegation, if the squad gels soon enough. Iíll say 15th.

Prediction for Albionís season?

I think a safe mid table finish. I donít think youíve effectively replaced Lukaku effectively enough to push for top half, but there are worse teams in the league.

Premier League Champions?

Itís a tough one. The three favourites, Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea havenít had the best of starts, but I donít think the likes of Liverpool, Tottenham and Arsenal have the quality in reserve to sustain a title challenge. Manchester United always come good after Christmas, so Iíll go with them.

Relegated?

Palace, Hull and Cardiff. Itís almost as if Palace got promoted by accident, and lack Premier League quality. Their attacking style of play makes them vulnerable at the back too. I donít think Hull have enough goals in them to survive. I donít think Cardiff have good enough strength in depth to survive, and a few injuries could ruin their season.

Prediction for Saturdayís game?

Both teams need a win to kick start their season, but I donít think either will get it. Iíll go for a 1-1 draw.

 

 

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