Tony Gillan: All is not perfect at Sunderland - but still perkier than a fortnight ago!

Jermain Defoe
Jermain Defoe
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It is quite shuddering to think of certain players being injured; particularly Jermain Defoe.

Furthermore, Sunderland have some fine centre-backs, but not a long list of them. There’s only one goalkeeper at present too.

In fact, they need more cover in virtually every position. So, again, the transfer window wasn’t quite as we’d hoped.

But when is it ever?

There are always those who confuse realism with congenital negativity; perceiving anyone displaying a shred of optimism or being complimentary, as somehow out of step or away with the fairies.

I often take it upon myself to look for positives. This is a waste of time with certain people who will only ever hurl abuse at Sunderland AFC for whatever they say, do, don’t say or don’t do.

The distinction between constructive criticism and name-calling should not be so hard to make.

We all know what could go wrong; even the sunniest optimist will think about it.

But let’s not lob this football season onto the catafalque just yet. Was Sunderland’s summer business really that bad?

Younes Kaboul was sold surprisingly cheaply. But perhaps the best news is that Lamine Koné remains a Sunderland player.

It would be preferable if he were also to sign a new contract, but there’s no indication that the off-field hoo-hah has affected his game.

There was muttering about the £8m spent on Papy Djilobodji. However, he looks so far to be worth every penny. His cover is Jason Denayer who looked good in Scotland; if that isn’t damning with faint praise.

I will not even pretend to have anything qualified to say on the signing of Didier N’Dong for £13.5m. What I can confirm is that saying “I’ve never heard of him” has never in itself made anyone a bad player.

It’s a perfectly useless observation. Everyone was unknown once.

N’Dong has disciplinary issues; but they can surely be dealt with if Lee Cattermole takes him under his wing.

The right of the pitch looks better with Javier Manquillo and the exciting Adnan Januzaj. Steven Pienaar could be a successful older recruit, like Bolo Zenden or Dwight Yorke.

Admittedly from herein I begin to struggle. Victor Anichebe is not a player whose departure was mourned by followers of West Brom.

But David Moyes should know how to use him. Sunderland were never going to bring in anyone better than Defoe.

So when they have to find someone with experience who is content to only be used as and when required, Anichebe was about as much as could be hoped for; especially after the window had closed.

Victor may only be “better than nothing,” but he’s a long way better and only contracted until the end of the season.

We should also say that his poor goals-per-game ratio is partly attributable to the majority of his appearances being as a sub; and then in midfield.

Finally we have Donald Love and Paddy McNair. To be brutally honest they have done nothing in their nascent Sunderland careers to see their names being sung with appreciative gusto in the stands.

But it would be absurd to dismiss them this early and we hope that whatever Moyes saw in them will soon become more apparent.

Jan Kirchhoff, Niall Quinn, Gavin McCann and Charlie Hurley all had unpromising starts on Wearside too.

All is not perfect, but still perkier than a fortnight ago. Kirchhoff may return soon too.

Indulge yourself in jolliness if you can, while you can. Football has a tendency to make short work of this sort of happy-clappiness.