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THERE were certainly mixed reactions about the sale of Stern John to Sunderland last week.


I, for one, was slightly unsure at the time if it was a good deal but, on reflection, I would take the money and utilise it wherever possible.

Stern is a player who thrived on confidence.

When he was lacking it he could look very ordinary but you have to admit that when he was in the right mood, some of his touches and goals were superb.

In this day and age, however, you need consistency - players whose form can be more or less guaranteed, and that didn't always happen with Stern.

He would sometimes give it up as a lost cause and that doesn't go down well with punters who expect maximum effort at all times in terms of winning the ball or chasing down opposition players.

The one thing about the deal that struck me was Roy Keane's remark that he bought Stern to play up front to add a physical presence!

Surely he must have been thinking of Dele Adebola.

And that takes me back to the '80s when AC Milan bought Luther Blissett under the impression they were signing John Barnes.

They soon realised what an error they made because, although Luther wasn't a bad player, he certainly wasn't in Barnes's class.

A case of mistaken identity is how I view it but who can argue with Roy Keane - a good decision I say.