In the latest edition of Three Questions, I talked with Simon over at Roker Report about Sunderland's summer, their start, and I can't think of anything else beginning with S. Here's what we talked about!
TSF: How is the Paolo Di Canio revolution going? Do players respond to his...rather authoritarian style well?
Roker Report: It's so-so so far. Obviously there's been a huge upheaval in staff, and it seems to be quite hit and miss as to what he perceives to be acceptable in levels of performance. He's rightly criticised some players such as John O'Shea against Crystal Palace for a game-costing, ridiculous error, but then other times it seems a little harsh such as suggesting Cabral wasn't ready for the league after a steady performance against Fulham.
Overall I'm not complaining too much. He's a very passionate guy who wears his heart on his sleeve and calls things how he sees it, whether you agree or not. It's very much his way or the highway for players, so they're going to have to get along with it if they want to continue their careers on Wearside.
TSF: Sunderland brought in a whole pile of new players this summer. Of them all, which do you see as the best acquisitions for Sunderland and why?
RR: I'm quite excited to see Ki tomorrow. I think he'll prove to be an excellent signing from Swansea. We've been missing someone who can play the ball about and has some vision in the middle of the park, and I think he'll be more than able to provide that.
Jozy Altidore has done well enough so far, as has Emanuele Giaccherini. A relatively unheralded signing in Ondrej Celustka has been pretty decent though with some very solid performances at right-back too.
TSF: Most of our American readers would like to know how Jozy Altidore is doing for Sunderland. Is he seen as a future mainstay, or is he another American who goes to England, is anonymous for a while, and then comes back to MLS?
RR: He'll be here for a while yet if he continues how he's started. He reminds me very much of when we had Kenwynne Jones, as he's unplayable when he's in the mood with his pace and power, and like Big Ken his finishing is hit and miss. He's put himself about plenty, and I think he will be at Sunderland, and in Europe for some time yet. Still very young and a bit of a project, but he has all the attributes to form a formidable and exciting partnership with Steven Fletcher.
Thanks to Simon and Roker Report for taking the time to do this!