Sunderland have endured more than their fair share of ups and downs since the turn of the millennium.
After spending much of the nineties between the top two tiers of English football, the Wearsiders enjoyed a sustained period of success in the 00s as they established themselves as a regular fixture in the Premier League.
But for every up there’s a down as the club suffered relegation to the Championship in 2017, before facing another blow by dropping into League One the following season.
While the Black Cats are looking to get themselves back to where they belong, it’s a good chance to reflect on some of the high profile names that have played at the Stadium Of Light.
There’s been plenty of top players at the club during those 20 years, and in a new series we take a look at the best Sunderland XI to turn out since the turn of the Millennium.
This edition features the right-backs as we look at the FOUR contenders to make it into our side.
A regular feature in the Sunderland side between 2002 and 2008.
The Liverpool-born full-back perhaps wasn’t the most naturally gifted player to grace the red and white shirt but he certainly played a key role for the Black Cats over that six-year period.
Most notably, Wright was a regular in the promotion-winning side of the 2004-05 season.
A cult hero in the North East.
The London-born defender was renowned for his no-nonsense displays, and while that would bring a few errors he was certainly a household name during his seven years at the Stadium Of Light.
Nosworthy was eventually sold to Watford after a string of loan spells away from the club.
Probably the most successful right-back of the Millennium.
A graduate of the Manchester United academy system, Bardsley spent six years at the Stadium Of Light during the most successful period of the club’s recent history.
His leadership skills were key to the Black Cats’ success before agreeing to join Stoke City in 2014.
One of Sunderland’s most successful loan signings of recent seasons.
Vergini spent 18 months on loan at the Stadium Of Light before completing a permanent switch, however in truth it was his temporary stay that was perhaps more succesful.
Unfortunately for the full-back, he’ll probably be remembered most for his stunning own goal in the 8-0 defeat to Southampton.
But who would you pick for our best Sunderland XI of the Millennium? Have your say!