Tony Gillan: Could Victor Anichebe be proving us all wrong after powerful display for Sunderland?
The most encouraging aspect of the Bournemouth game, other than the attainment of three desperately needed points, was the man-of-the-match performance of Victor Anichebe.
It was a pleasant shock. Other than the fact that he once successfully sued Newcastle for an horrendous challenge by Kevin Nolan, before Saturday nothing positive had been said on Wearside about Anichebe – and that includes me.
He was picked up by David Moyes because he was without a club. We can assume that he was without a club for a reason.
He appeared woefully out of condition and frankly, looked about as much use as an appendix transplant.
One swallow does not a relegation avoid and there is more to do before Moyes is proved right about him, but on Saturday he apparently had his best game since leaving Everton three years ago.
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He took his goal very well, drew the penalty for the winner and held the ball confidently.
He could not have worked harder and definitely looked fitter.
I suspect that when he removed his shirt at full-time it was to underline that he has clearly worked on his fitness, as well as to impress the lasses.
This column has not been kind about Anichebe, but as with every Sunderland player who has failed to impress this season, we sincerely hope to be proved wrong.
He will never be a prolific goal scorer and has obvious limitations. But at Bournemouth he showed assets too, the most obvious being that he is built like the Queen Alexander Bridge, can retain the ball well and must be a nightmare to mark when he plays to his strengths.
Go on Victor, do it again.
It is worrying that Jermain Defoe is unlikely to play in every single game this season. If and when he is missing, the likelihood that his replacement will be in the same class is remote.
At least with Victor Anichebe Sunderland could possibly have a replacement. Might, may, perhaps, could be, we shall see, if, conceivably.
The use of these words is the closest any Sunderland supporter ever gets to being carried away.