As we pick through the bones of our season and start to look to next year, the difference in opinions on the state of our current squad are quite surprising, writes Sunderland legend Marco Gabbiadini.
Less than a year after what was then viewed on as a positive recruitment period, we, and more pertinently Martin O’Neill, have learnt a great deal about the squad.
I don’t think many of us will be surprised to hear O’Neill keeping his cards close to his chest and not making negative comments about players that he knows are surplus to requirements.
That policy has cost the club financially over the recent years, with Steve Bruce’s actions in dropping or ignoring players making them undesirable and very difficult to remove from the wage bill.
Some sympathy could be given to Bruce in that tough choices had to be made if progress was to continue, but people like Kilgallon and Da Silva were brutally cast aside.
I expect O’Neill’s approach to be more softly softly, catchy monkey.
Large-scale changes would be difficult and expensive, one would think, and, on the whole, the lads who were the core of the recovery from that dark Autumn have all come out with credit.
* Read Marco’s full column only in this weekend’s Football Echo