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Sunderland look forward following mixed campaign

Those that bet on sports know only too well about Sunderland Football Club痴 struggles during first phase of the season under former manager Steve Bruce.

As time progressed, and as Sunderland continued to underperform, the former Manchester United centre back was rightfully sacked with Martin O誰eill taking the managerial reigns at the Stadium of Light. Once O誰eill took charge of the Black Cats, the Northern Irishman improved his team痴 performances dramatically and guided his side to a final position of 13th.

At one stage, under Martin O誰eill, it looked as if Sunderland were destined to finish in the top half of the table, but after a few lackluster performances in the business end of the season, the team from the North East dropped down the table somewhat. For O誰eill, the 2011-12 Premier League season was a case of trialing and testing his squad to find out which players would be worthy of remaining at the club beyond the end of the term.

In the summer transfer window of 2012 expect to see several arrivals and departures at the Stadium of Light.

The players that are soon to become former players include Ahmed Elmohamady, Asamoah Gyan, Craig Gardner, David Vaughan, Titus Bramble and George McCartney.

The greatest loss for Sunderland will be the money-grabbing Ghanaian Gyan. The talented African striker never quite settled in the North East and was sent out on loan, by his own request, to play a poor standard of football in the Middle East for big bucks.

In the past, the Northern Irishman has been known to acquire proven Premier League players, capable of winning soccer games on these shores, as opposed to securing European footballing talent. It seems quite likely that O誰eill will seek out players from his former club Aston Villa, and from the clubs relegated into the Championship.

Transfer targets could include Richard Dunne from Villa, Steven Fletcher from Wolves, Kevin Davies from Bolton, Michael Owen from Manchester United and Adam Johnson from Manchester City.

Published: Friday 25th May 2012

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