League Cup 2014 Team
Where Are They Now
Almost five seasons ago Sunderland had a great run to the final of the League Cup and were leading at the break in the final against Man City. We dared to dream, but ultimately lost 3-1, but for that first 45 minutes we truly believed that we could win the game and that hope is what drives the fans on. But who played in that final and more importantly, what are they doing now?
Goalkeeper: Vito Mannone
Ohhhhh Vito Mannone. The Italian stopper gave us a fairly decent performance in the final despite conceding three goals. He spent five seasons with the lads spanning from 2013-2017. He probably won’t ever be classed as a legend but instead a good servant to the club. The 31-year-old is currently playing his football in the USA with Minnesota United. He has played 16 times for the Loons (yes that is their nickname) and at the moment they are set to play the quarter final of the U.S cup against New Mexico United.
Right Back: Phil Bardsley
The Manc spent six years at the SoL and in that period always gave 100% and scored a few crackers. The Scot is currently under contract with Burnley and has been with them since 2017 making 32 appearances. He hasn’t played as often as he’d like at Turf Moor, but he’ll always be remembered fondly by Sunderland fans.
Centre Back: Wes Brown
Signed from Manchester United in 2011, Wes was always popular at the SOL despite his advancing years and injury issues. Brown retired from playing recently after finishing his last season in India with Kerala Blasters where he appeared 14 times for the club scoring one goal. He has his UEFA ‘A’ licence which he obtained from helping with the Blackburn Rovers under 23s which could show us that the defender may be heading into a potential management role sometime soon but for now, he seems to just be enjoying his retirement.
Centre Back: John O’Shea
Partnering Wes Brown was in the final was his former Manchester United team mate John O’Shea. A calm player, John played 226 times for Sunderland before leaving for Reading and having one last season with the Royals. O’Shea is now retired after playing his last season where he featured only nine times. John brought experience to the back line and more importantly he was a leader and organiser on the pitch.
Left back: Marcos Alonso
The Spaniard currently plays his football at Chelsea. In his first season with The Blues Marcos won the Premier League title and also played in the FA Cup final, losing to Arsenal. He’s since won the FA Cup and Europa League with Chelsea. Even though Alonso’s time was with us was brief, you could see that he was a class act and would go on to bigger and better things.
Right Midfield: He who shall not be named
Didn’t really turn out well for this one so we’ll just leave it at that.
Centre Midfield: He who shall also not be named (Ginger One)
Didn’t really go well for this one either. If you disagree then I would search up that tackle by Lee Cattermole and that will surely bring your decision to a close.
Centre Midfield: Ki Sung-Yueng
Ki played a vital role for the lads and actually looked like quite a good fit for the eleven that played with his neat passing game. He scored one of the penalties in the semi-final win against Man United but at the end of the season we passed up in the opportunity to sign him and instead he went back to Swansea. After a couple of years doing nothing in Wales, the South Korean signed for the Scum. He currently still plays his football there where he has done nothing again. Although he does play for “them” I can still look fondly on Ki’s time at Sunderland and especially with the trip to Wembley.
Centre Midfield: Lee Cattermole
Lee enjoyed a 10 year stay with the lads that recently came to an end. In his time at the club he showed a hardworking passionate attitude and was always a leader. Lee is currently a free agent which makes you wonder where he will be playing next season.
Left Midfield: Seb Larsson
The Swede was another loyal player and he was never shy of putting a tackle in and despite not being the quickest, he occasionally played on the wing. A master at deadball situations, his crosses and shots on goal always seemed to cause the opposition trouble. The Swedish international currently plays his football in his native country for Allsvenskan who are currently third in the Swedish Premier League with Seb being the joint highest assister of the season so far with four assists.
Striker: Fabio Borini
Fabio scored a great goal in the final in the first 10 minutes which obviously sent all of us into ecstasy. Now, if someone told you that Borini would end up playing for Italian giants AC Milan, you would laugh at them in their face. Borini was a major success in his first stint at Sunderland, but unfortunately when he came back on a permanent basis, he wasn’t the same player. They say never go back…