Welcome to FM Base
Want access to our Standard Logo Megapack and P20 kit packs? You know what to do!

Sunderland Team Guide

Ed Syers

Seb Larsson, na na na na
Aug 11, 2009
Sunderland Team Guide - Patch 11.3.0

Club Information
Sunderland Association Football Club

Formed: 1879
Chairman Status: Loves the club
Legends: Bobby Kerr, Bob Stokoe, Jim Montgomery, Len Shackleton,
Ian Porterfield, Garry Rowell, Charley Hurley, Niall Quinn
Icons: Kevin Phillips, Kevin Ball, Vic Halom
Favoured Personnel: Lee Cattermole, Steed Malbranque,
Jordan Henderson, John Mensah
Rivals: Newcastle United, Middlesbrough, Leeds United
Captain: Lee Cattermole
Vice Captain: Bolo Zenden

Sunderland are a team based in the North-East of England, playing in the Barclays Premier League. The club are one of the most successful teams in the country, with only five teams winning more domestic league titles. However, the vast majority of Sunderland's success came in the early 1900's, with four of their league victories coming over 100 years ago. Sunderland won their first FA Cup in 1937 beating Preston 3-1, and hold the record of the most years spent in the league without relegation, having been relegated for the first time in 1958. Sunderland have a long-standing rivalry with neighbouring club Newcastle United, with whom they have contested the Tyne-Wear derby since 1898.
Start of season expectations
Mid-table finish - £12.5m / £825k p/w
Top half finish - £16.25m / £925k p/w
Continental qualification - £17.5m / £950k p/w
Title challenge - £18.75m / £975k p/w
Winner - £20m / £1m p/w

View attachment 142526

With the club already spending £738k p/w on wages, selecting 'Mid-table finish' will leave you with about £80k p/w left to spent on transfers, which in my opinion, is not enough. You might not necessarily need to offer all of this money to new players, but I like to be safe, just in case you find yourself having to lower your transfer budget to sign players. 'Top half finish' is definitely the best option, giving you a generous amount of spending money, and a squad that should be more than capable of breaking into the top ten.
Meet your staff
With Sunderland, you inherit a fairly strong set of staff, although there are some changes that could be made in order to get the best out of the players.

View attachment 142525

The best:

Eric Black (Assistant Manager)
Assign to: Tactics [4 star]
Keith Bertschin (Coach)
Assign to: Shooting [4 star]
Nigel Spink (Gk Coach)
Assign to: GK - Shot Stopping [4.5 star]

The average:

Steve Clemence (Coach)
Assign to: Ball Control [3.5 star]
Will Royal (Fitness Coach)
Assign to: Aerobic [3.5 star]

The bad:

Mark Prudhoe (Gk Coach)
Assign to: GK - Handling [3 star]
Scott Ainsley (Fitness Coach)
Assign to: Strength [3 star]
Mike Clegg (Fitness Coach)
Assign to: Fitness (any) [3 star]

I tend to be quite picky in the coaching department, accepting no less than three-and-a-half stars when it comes to assigning each coach a training category. For this reason, I would get rid of Prudhoe, Ainsley and Clegg straight away. This, of course, leaves the categories Strength, GK-Handling, Defending and Attacking without coaches, so we'll need to sign some more up. Here are a few I suggest:

Tosh Farrell (Unattached)
Wages - £675 p/w
Category - Attacking

Paul Hilton (West Ham)
Wages - £1,100 p/w
Category - Defending

Billy Stewart (Unattached)
Wages - £800 p/w
Category - Handling

Paul Winsper - (Unattached)
Wages - £800 p/w
Category - Strength

Bear in mind, different games can sometimes generate slightly different attributes to the lesser known players and staff, which affects the five star ratings in the coaching categories. Because there are no 'First Team Coaches' at the club, the 'Youth Coaches' don't need to be up to the highest standard, and the ones you've got now should do just fine. If you do look to offload any of them, make sure it's Elliott Dickman. Ged McNamee offers good support for Ball Control and Shooting, while Kevin Ball is a very good coach all-round.

Physios and Scouts

David Binningsley and Dave Galley are two very good physios, so there's no need to strengthen here. Peter Brand, however, is average at best and it wouldn't be a bad idea to terminate his contract and save yourself £800 a week on wages.

The scouting department is quite poor, with only two scouts of any real quality. Humphrey Rudge, Ty Gooden, Ian Atkins and Stan Ternent should be offloaded immediately in my opinion, though it's up to you whether you want to keep Bernard Paintin, who has average attributes all round. Some good scouts on the market are:

David Hamilton (Unattached)
Wages - £800 p/w

Jack Chapman (Unattached)
Wages - £700 p/w

Don Mackay (Unattached)
Wages - £600 p/w

Laurent Viaud (Unattached)
Wages - £6000 p/w

Barry Roberts (Oxford United)
Wages - £350 p/w

Hamilton and Chapman, despite having excellent Judging CA/PA attributes, lack quality in Adaptability and Determination. Mackay and Roberts are more all-round, and Viaud's wage demands are a bit too high for a scout, in my opinion.
The Players

View attachment 142528

Craig Gordon
Simon Mingolet
Trevor Carson

Craig Gordon is not only the best Goalkeeper here, but is also considered one of the best players at the club. He does, however, have a broken arm which could keep him out for up to three months, meaning you're relying on Simon Mignolet for the start of the season. Mignolet has good stats and is very promising, so he should offer good cover for Craig Gordon. Trevor Carson is pretty poor and nowhere near Premier League quality, and although he could be used as a reserve and provide backup for Gordon and Mignolet, it's probably better just to sell him.


Titus Bramble
Michael Turner
John Mensah
Anton Ferdinand
Nedum Onuoha

Sunderland have three strong, experienced defenders in Bramble, Turner and Mensah, so there's no need to spend heavily on this position. Other than these three, however, there is lack of quality. Anton Ferdinand could do a decent job, although he isn't really the standard required to make a push for Europe and I would expect that once your team improves he would be straight out the door. I would keep him as backup none-the-less, although he is transfer listed from the start and could easily be sold for around £4m. Onuoha also provides good backup, but should be nothing more than that, as he is still considerably worse that the other players mentioned. It's also worth noting that John Mensah is very injury prone.


Phil Bardsley
Nedum Onuoha
Marcos Angeleri
Ahmed Elmohamady

Despite not playing much in real life, Marcos Angeleri is the best right-back at the club, and by quite some distance in my opinion. Phil Bardsley is solid, and can also play at left-back, offering good backup if Angeleri gets injured. Onuoha has relatively poor ratings as a right-back, so only use him as backup and let him go back to Man City when his loan deal expires. You could play Elmohamady here as well, but again, his stats for a right back aren't great.


Keiron Richardson
Phil Bardsley

A position that needs to be strongly improved if the club are to push for a top half place. Sunderland don't actually possess a natural left full-back, and rely solely on the versatility of Richardson and Bardsley. Phil Bardsley is the better of the two, but when signing players, this position has to be the priority.


Sulley Muntari
Lee Cattermole
Cristian Riveros
Jordan Henderson
Jack Colback
David Meyler

Arguably the strongest position in the squad, so no need to splash the cash here. Jack Colback is easily the worst midfielder in the first-team, but, like David Meyler, given the right support he could turn into a decent little player. Sulley Muntari and Lee Cattermole are the rocks in the midfield and the team should be more or less built around these two. Cristian Riveros is one of the better midfielders, although he plays a similar role to Muntari and Cattermole. Henderson has bags of potential, and really should find a place in your starting line up.

Attacking Midfielders / Wingers:

Steed Malbranque
Stephane Sessegnon
Ahmed Elmohamady
Boudewjin Zenden

Sessegnon is the stand out player here, and is easily one of the best players at the club. Zenden is good backup, and still has the attributes to compete for a few more seasons, and his experience is vital considering this is the youngest squad in the league. I consider Malbranque to be more of an impact sub more than anything else, due to the fact that his fitness and pace is declining rapidly. His versatility and experience is, like Zenden, absolutely vital, and he should definitely be kept. Elmohamady is more of a wing back, but can easily do a job from right-wing should your formation require one.


Asamoah Gyan
Danny Welbeck
Fraizer Campbell

Gyan and Welbeck are without doubt the best two forwards at the club, and Fraizer Campbell offers a strong backup plan and his pace means he can be deadly coming off the bench late in the game. There is, however, a severe lack of strength in depth. If, like in real life, you are struck by one or two injuries, you could find yourself playing Ryan Noble and Jordan Cook up front - something you want to avoid. A bit more strength here would come in handy if you're thinking about signing anyone.
Signings & Sellings
I would take a look at these players to fill the gaps:

Taye Taiwo - Olympique Marseille - £3m
Giovanni Pasquale - Udinese - £1.6m
Maynor Figueroa - Wigan - £10m
Gretar Steinsson - Bolton - £2m
Charles N'Zogbia - Wigan - £11m
Ricky van Wolfwinkel - FC Utrecht - £5m
Hugo Rodallega - Wigan - £11m
Jo - Manchester City - £4.4m
Christian Benitez - Santos Laguna - £2.6m

You should probably consider letting these players go:

Trevor Carson
Anton Ferdinand
Jack Colback
Nyron Nosworthy
George McCartney
Matt Kilgallon
Although it's never used in real life, the players that Sunderland have will best suit a narrow 4-1-2-1-2 formation. Stephane Sessegnon should be playing behind the front two, with maximum creative freedom. Try to avoid long balls forward, as the squad possess very few players with an aerial threat, and more often than not you'll lose possession that way. Sulley Muntari will work best as a deep lying playmaker, with the ability to break down opposition attacks and allows the team to rebuild from the back. I doubt there are many players in FM who are suited to the 'Ball-winning midfielder' role than Lee Cattermole, due to his high aggression and work rate.
View attachment 142529
Last edited:


Staff member
Jan 2, 2009
You've just decided who my last long term save will be with! :)

Great guide.


Mar 7, 2011
Great guide. Inspired me to start a Sunderland save :D but i really dont feel Anton Ferdinand is worth keeping even for the first season as 50k for a back up is toooo much.
Last edited:


Jan 10, 2011
Great guide. Inspired me to start a Sunderland save :D but i really dont feel Anton Ferdinand is worth keeping even for the first season as 50k for a back is toooo much.
I got rid of him as well, only for 2mil, can't win em' all I guess..

Anyway great guide Ed! :)



Dec 21, 2010
wow Sunderland do look good, and quite a bit of money to spend

Sessegnon and Muntari

What do you think about Javier Garrido/Ridgewell for left back?

Ed Syers

Seb Larsson, na na na na
Aug 11, 2009
wow Sunderland do look good, and quite a bit of money to spend

Sessegnon and Muntari

What do you think about Javier Garrido/Ridgewell for left back?
Both would be good signings, problem is Garrido doesn't seem too keen on leaving Lazio. My preference is Taye Taiwo at Marseille.


Dec 21, 2010
Not a sunderland supporter but a great guide mate :)

Ohhh and I might, just might start a save as them despite being a Newcastle fan, but Newcastle do have a lot of money to spend. Ohh decisions :)
Last edited: