Sgwarnog: In the Field

By sgwarnog


You might think stripes are stripes, but the new Bradford City and Sunderland kits show there are two directions: thin and broad.

My humble opinion is that the Sunderland shirt is a mess: thin stripes on the front, plain red on the back. At times it looked like there were three teams on the pitch given the front and reverse view of the Black Cats was so different. 

The City kit, on the other hand, is quite bold and balanced, which unfortunately is more than can be said for the team at the moment.

Despite last season's relegation, Sunderland are still relatively prestigious visitors for a pre-season friendly. Like Bradford they are rebuilding their squad, but the team is still full of Premier League and international experience. That class showed in the first ten minutes as they raced into a 2-0 lead, ruthlessly exploiting a lacklustre City defence.

As I've mentioned before, I do have a bit of a soft spot for Sunderland given I lived there for a while and worked there for nine years. This is also aided by the number of Everton connections in their current squad, including recent additions James Vaughan, and two loanees: Tyias Browning (pictured) and Brendan Galloway. Browning had a good game on the left side of central defence and looks like he'll take the Championship in his stride.

This was my second chance to see  some of Bradford's new additions. Jake Reeves had a good game and looks like he'll be influential in the season ahead. The new left-back, Adam Chicksen, showed some promise going forward but little interest in defending. Along with many of the new/young City players he seemed very easy to shrug off the ball by the generally bulkier Sunderland players. As a back-up number nine, Dominic Poleon (pictured) had some good hold-up play, but we're unlikely to see much of him in that position if Charlie Wyke stays fit. There was a nice cameo from young trialist Jordan Gibson who pulled a goal back in the last minute.

It had been 3-0 to Sunderland at half-time, but City were stronger in the second half and it ended 2-3. Not quite the humiiation that the poor start had suggested.

City's next test in their North-east double header of friendlies will be Newcastle United at home on Wednesday night. I expect we'll see further different combinations of players, as Stuart McCall tries to work out the best starting XI from the new squad.

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