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A number of their players will be appearing in the Premier League for the first time, which is a markedly different experience from playing there with the reputation of someone from whom great things are continually expected.
Everything has a wonderful novelty value, from the fabulous stadiums, like the Emirates, where the facilities are better than the five-star hotel you stayed in the night before, to the seemingly insignificant things that put a smile on your face, like the lion with the crown on its head on the sleeve of your shirt and the balls that move all over the place – nobody particularly likes them but they’re new, so who cares? One of the most important things, though, is to remember what got you in the Premier League in the first place. Victories in the Premier League come nothing like as easily as they did the year before but there is enormous satisfaction to be taken from getting results as the underdogs. I actually came to prepare for games with the mind-set that I had no respect for any player from the first whistle until the last, irrespective of their background.
Heurelho Gomes (Watford): Became something of a joke figure at Spurs but resurrecting his career at Watford.
Carl Jenkinson (West Ham United): Often overshadowed by team-mate Aaron Cresswell in opposite full back slot.
Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal): Two goals in a breathless opening 19-minute spell as Arsenal surged 3-0 ahead of Man Utd. Ronald Koeman (Southampton): Sluggish start to the season but got his troops firing on all cylinders again. Jose Mourinho (Chelsea): His empire appears to be crumbling around him and, at the moment, he seems powerless to halt it.
The Secret Footballer columnists go head to head in attempting to predict how the Premier League fixtures will end up. Chelsea’s season has just continued to get worse as they were beaten 2-1 by West Ham United at Upton Park last weekend. During the match, midfielder Nemanja Matic, manager Jose Mourinho and assistant first-team coach Silvino Louro were all sent off. Matic was shown two first-half yellow cards in nine minutes while Mourinho was sent to the stands for speaking to referee Jon Moss in an allegedly abusive manner during the interval. Poor Chelsea defending from a corner saw Mauro Zarate give West Ham the lead after 17 minutes but Gary Cahill equalised on 56 minutes for ten-man Chelsea, also from a corner.
Andy Carroll came off the bench to secure all three points for West Ham as he rose to head home Aaron Cresswell’s cross.
Chelsea were then dumped out of the Capital One Cup by Stoke City on Tuesday night, 5-4 on penalties after a 1-1 draw.
Eden Hazard, last season’s Player of the Year, was the only player to miss in the shoot-out, goalkeeper Jack Butland saving the Belgian’s spot kick to send Stoke through to the quarter-finals. Liverpool picked up their first win of the Jurgen Klopp era with a 1-0 Capital One Cup victory over AFC Bournemouth at Anfield on Wednesday.
A strike from Nathaniel Clyne, his first goal for the club, was enough to put Liverpool into the last eight. In a much-changed starting XI, Roberto Firmino and Joao Carlos Teixeira impressed for Klopp’s side, who were kept in the game by a number of fine saves from back-up goalkeeper Adam Bogdan. Klopp came close to his first win against Southampton on Sunday, where a fantastic second-half header from substitute Christian Benteke looked to have clinched victory.
Yet a needless free-kick given away by stand-in skipper James Milner, and then some poor marking from the resulting set-piece by the midfielder, allowed Sadio Mane to equalise with just four minutes remaining. They followed their 1-0 defeat at Leicester City in the Premier League last weekend with a 5-1 humbling at Manchester City in the Capital One Cup on Wednesday night. In what was an uncharacteristically dull affair versus Palace at the King Power Stadium, a Brede Hangeland error saw Jamie Vardy steal the ball to score the only goal of the game. The defeat was Palace’s fourth in six league games and, with many of their rivals looking to play on the counter-attack just as they do, they will need to find a Plan B if they are to improve.
Palace were very much second best against a strong City side at the Etihad Stadium and were severely punished for being sloppy when in possession. Manchester United joined Palace in being knocked out of the competition when they were defeated by Championship side Middlesbrough, 3-1 on penalties after a 0-0 draw at Old Trafford. With nine changes from Sunday’s dull 0-0 draw with Manchester City, United turned in a poor display despite the arrivals from the bench of Wayne Rooney and Anthony Martial.
Rooney, Ashley Young, another substitute, and Michael Carrick all missed their penalties, with Andreas Pereira the only United player to score from the spot. Despite being in fourth place on goal difference in the league and just two points off the top, there is little doubt that United have disappointed this season. As Rooney looks to rediscover his scoring touch, a rejig of manager Louis van Gaal’s front four could occur tomorrow, with Martial tasked with leading the line. City marched into the last eight of the Capital One Cup with a 5-1 thrashing of Crystal Palace at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday evening. A strong City side dominated from start to finish, with first-half goals from Wilfried Bony and Kevin De Bruyne effectively killing the game before the break.
A Kelechi Iheanacho strike and a penalty from Yaya Toure added to the score before a Damien Delaney consolation goal for Palace in the 89th minute. In the Premier League last weekend, City played out an uneventful 0-0 draw against rivals Manchester United at Old Trafford.
Norwich lost their third league game in a row last weekend with a 1-0 defeat at home to West Bromwich Albion.
The Canaries have earned just two points in five games and sit 16th in the table, just three points away from the relegation zone. In the Capital One Cup on Tuesday night, they were defeated by Everton at Goodison Park after taking the lead in the 51st minute through Sebastien Bassong. After an equaliser 17 minutes later through Leon Osman, the scores were not added to in extra time.
Eventually, Norwich lost 4-3 on penalties, a poor spot kick from Nathan Redmond missing the target to hand Everton a quarter-final place. After Newcastle’s morale boosting 6-2 victory over Norwich City, their first league win of the season, they were brought down to earth with a crushing 3-0 defeat at Sunderland in the Wear-Tyne derby.
Captain Fabricio Coloccini was sent off in the first half for barging over Steven Fletcher, which resulted in a penalty that was slotted home by Sunderland’s Adam Johnson. That Coloccini has since had his red card rescinded by the FA makes it that much harder to take, especially given that Newcastle had dominated the opening period. The Magpies felt their one-man disadvantage during the second half, in which Billy Jones and then Fletcher found the back of the net. Stoke suffered a disappointing 2-0 defeat at home to Watford last weekend, a poor showing in defence from the Potters leading to their downfall at the Britannia Stadium. Watford’s Odion Ighalo has been a handful for defences throughout the campaign and he made Stoke’s defenders look incredibly ordinary during the contest, in which he provided two assists. Despite their poor display in the league, Stoke were more than up for the fight against Chelsea in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday night.
Jon Walters gave the lead to the Potters in the 52nd minute but Loic Remy’s 91st-minute equaliser saw the game go to extra time and a penalty shoot-out. After a fine start to the season, goalkeeper Jack Butland was once again the hero for Stoke as he saved the decisive spot kick from Chelsea’s Eden Hazard to see his side into the last eight. Swansea came from behind to defeat Aston Villa 2-1 at Villa Park last weekend, goals from Gylfi Sigurdsson and Andre Ayew overhauling the opener from Andre’s brother Jordan. A header from Jordan Ayew after 62 minutes saw the home side take the lead before a terrific 25-yard free kick from Sigurdsson drew the Swans level six minutes later. With time expiring, Andre Ayew found the back of the net from a Kyle Naughton cross to secure the win for Swansea after a poor run of only two points from five games.
Swansea are without a win in three home matches and have conceded to Arsenal in all four of their trips to the Liberty Stadium. Despite Arsenal being in rich form in the league, which has seen them pick up six wins in seven matches, they are suddenly facing an injury crisis that threatens to derail their campaign.
Aaron Ramsey had been a fixture on the right-hand side before his injury against Bayern Munich in the Champions League last week. In their 3-0 defeat to Championship side Sheffield Wednesday in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday, first Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and then Theo Walcott picked up injuries in the first half that will see them miss at least the next three games.
Arsenal were lacklustre against Wednesday but were in fine form in the league last weekend. Goals from Olivier Giroud and Laurent Koscielny saw them beat Everton 2-1 and, albeit temporarily, sit on top of the Premier League for the first time since February 2014. Watford picked up a valuable three points against Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium last weekend, goals from Troy Deeney and Almen Abdi securing the win. Odion Ighalo assisted with both strikes and he has now been involved in each of Watford’s past seven goals in the league.
Ighalo gave Stoke’s defence a torrid afternoon and he played a key role in strike partner Troy Deeney recording his first goal of the season after 24 failed attempts at the target.
Head coach Quique Sanchez Flores can be delighted with his side having taken the game to an in-form Stoke side away from home. They welcomed Chelsea to Upton Park and took the lead against the champions after 17 minutes, when Mauro Zarate took advantage of the away side’s failure to clear a corner.
The Hammers were handed a further advantage just before half time, when Chelsea’s Nemanja Matic was dismissed for two yellow cards. Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho and assistant first-team coach Silvino Louro were also dismissed from the bench. Gary Cahill equalised in the second period but Andy Carroll came off the bench for Hammers to meet Aaron Cresswell’s cross and nod in the winner. A goal from Salomon Rondon just after half time saw them defeat Norwich City to record back-to-back 1-0 victories. The Baggies back four of Craig Dawson, Gareth McAuley, Jonny Evans and Chris Brunt were resilient throughout, with Brunt in particular having a fine game. Rondon grabbed the decider after meeting James McClean’s cross and heading past John Ruddy from close range. It was just West Brom’s eighth goal of the season, the joint lowest tally in the league with Watford.

Leicester sit in fifth place in the league and are the third highest scorers, with 20 goals.
And Jamie Vardy scored in his seventh consecutive league game in their 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace last weekend. It was an uncharacteristically quiet affair at the King Power Stadium, where Vardy’s strike after 59 minutes came after a defensive error from Palace’s Brede Hangeland. What was just as pleasing for manager Claudio Ranieri was that his side kept their first clean sheet of the season, for which he has since rewarded his players with a meal at a pizza restaurant. The Foxes were knocked out by Championship side Hull City, 5-4 on penalties after a 1-1 draw after extra time. The Toffees aren’t only in the mix for fourth spot next term, they’ll be aiming even higher. I’m not entirely sure how much control they have over it but I do know that hurting other players is one of the physical manifestations of demonstrating how much they want to win. And in Martinez’s debut season as Everton manager, that winning mentality is still burning deep within the Spaniard, because he has certainly impressed. Players such as Seamus Coleman and Ross Barkley may have been on the radar before Martinez arrived at Goodison but it has been the former Swansea manager’s confidence and trust in them that has allowed each to blossom this term. Added to that, the solidity of regulars such as Sylvain Distin, Tim Howard, Phil Jagielka and Leighton Baines – who, it is widely known, hates playing football, though you’d never know it looking at the way he plays the game. To be fair to David Moyes, he did the same for Everton, but with a different style of football. Anyway, at one end of Goodison Park, I chipped a ball toward the goal as we were jogging towards the tunnel and it clipped the top of the crossbar before hitting a huge fella, who was walking down the stairs, squarely on the cheek. Rather than kicking off, he looked up, clocked me with my hand in the air and stuck two thumbs up over his head while wearing a huge grin.
With decent support like that, a great blend of playing staff and the promise of reinvestment from funds that are brought into the club, Martinez may very well upstage one of England’s most famous clubs as well as the wildest dreams of most on Merseyside.
Lots of players and one or two clubs will be casting enviable glances towards the Martinez revolution and one or two arguably larger clubs may well be looking on with worry.
As well they might because, when Roberto Martinez has you by the balls, he doesn’t like to let go.
They’ve already let one of their top youngsters go on loan to them, not something they do often.
Whatever it is, it proved the perfect pick-me-up for the England Under-21 players after they’d lost their opening Euro finals Group B match 1-0 against Portugal in the Czech Republic. It sets up an intriguing third and final group meeting with Italy in Olomouc tonight (7.45pm), with the mathematics reasonably easy to understand. For Italy, the only country in the finals without a senior international in their squad, they need a win and Sweden to lose to Portugal. Still, after England’s apparently relaxed spell of craziness with the mini golf, perhaps they have unlocked the secret of reaching the last four? John Stones, the Everton defender, is now available, after having to adhere to the strict protocols following concussion in a training accident, but is unlikely to start against Italy.
It might now be advantageous for England to end runners-up in Group B, avoid Germany and play Denmark, the Group A winners, in the semis. And in four Euro finals meetings with Italy since 2000, they’ve lost three games and drawn one. Czech Republic 1 (Krejci 66), Germany 1 (Schulz 55); Denmark 2 (Falk 21, Fischer 47), Serbia 0.
As a Spurs fan and having played against Kaboul, I have to say that I’ve never been overly impressed with him. Yet somehow he did and I attribute that to the fact that Spurs went through a succession of managers while Kaboul was at the club and each came with their own ego that tells them that they will be the manager who can do what’s never been done before and get every single player playing at their maximum. As I say, on the face of it, he would have stood out at that size, being that young and at an inferior league at the time, but the truth is that Spurs should have sold him years ago. Stewart Downing has rejoined hometown club Middlesbrough on a four-year deal, stepping down a division from Premier League side West Ham United. A perfect example that the door is never shut to Boro’s academy kids with chairman Steve Gibson in charge.
The club places a huge amount of stock in its academy and is always happy to welcome back its own successes such as Jonathan Woodgate and Downing.
I know one player who is in constant contact with Gibson, having come through the Boro academy, and when the time is right, he has the chairman’s promise that he will return. This deal is also a sign that Gibson has replaced the previous five-year plan of ?10,000-a-week wages and free transfers with something more akin to what people expect of Boro under Gibson, who in the past have been pretty liberal with the cash. It was always said that, as a small player, you either have to be lightning quick like Lionel Messi, an incredible one-touch passer of the ball like Xavi or always in the right place like Claude Makelele. He is a box-to-box player with an eye for a goal, though his shooting isn’t perhaps the best while digging in around his own box when the time calls for it. Reed reminds me of Clasie but, to my eye, looks better and, at 20 years old, is a real talent. Southampton may play all three together but that makes them a little one-dimensional in the middle.
However Clasie fits in, ?8 million is a good deal and manager Ronald Koeman will know him well and get the best from him. Manchester City have signed Fulham’s highly rated 18-year-old forward Patrick Roberts for an undisclosed fee.
I remember hearing about this boy two years ago from a fellow Fulham graduate who was reluctantly raving about him. Youth-team players are always jealous of each other but, on this occasion, my friend was very complimentary. Sterling pushes the ball and runs after it, Roberts can jink with the ball and move deftly into dangerous areas in the process. Clearly part of City’s drive to sign up the best young English talent to fill their quota, Roberts is a decent player in the mould of another youngster that City signed from Swindon Town a few years back, Alex Henshall.
Newcastle United have bought Anderlecht striker Aleksandar Mitrovic for ?13 million, subject to a work permit. Let’s say that you were an independent observer of football at a big firm that made recommendations to football clubs.
If you were looking at Newcastle – with the amount of problems that the club has had recently and given that young strikers, especially as young as Mitrovic, rarely hit the ground running, particularly if they are from foreign climes – could you recommend that the best player for Newcastle to buy is a 20-year-old Serbian?
I could have seen him at Manchester United and, to an extent, with Liverpool but there are many factors that mean Benteke’s success on Merseyside is by no means guaranteed. I think the fact that Liverpool were for a long time hesitant to pay Benteke’s full minimum-fee release clause means that manager Brendan Rodgers feels anxious, too. I appreciate that the four players behind Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole were exceptional but there was success for Yorke and Cole that came from knowing exactly what Ryan Giggs, Roy Keane, Paul Scholes and David Beckham were going to do when they had the ball. Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is a success because he tries wherever possible to play the same XI. Yet when I look at Liverpool, I have no clue as to which players are going to line up behind Benteke or if he will even have a strike partner. Consider this: tall strikers fail at Liverpool and the reason is that Liverpool consistently produce fewer crosses than most, if not all, of the other Premier League clubs.
When I look at stats like that and then look at Benteke, I don’t see a marriage made in heaven. It is no secret in football circles that there is a drinking culture at Sunderland that extends right through the core of the team. I can vividly remember being in Marbella when one Sunderland player ordered a Nebuchadnezzar of champagne for ?75,000. And last season, after the team had been hammered on the Saturday, a friend sent me a picture of half a dozen Sunderland first-team players all holding up cigarettes and pints of beer in a pub during an all-day session on the Sunday. I heard that on the day the former West Ham United striker left his job as the manager of Swindon Town, his former players went out to celebrate.
Last season, the owner of a huge club told me that he was chatting to somebody at boardroom level at Sunderland who told him that they’d offered Di Canio ?3 million to keep them in the Premier League as well as full settlement of his contract if he was sacked. I am reminded of Phil Brown berating his Hull City players on the pitch at Manchester City. The Sunderland players, the core of that team, clearly have no interest in changing their ways. It would no longer be a holiday camp and, after all, it was only six weeks out of their lives.
England had the talent to put up a better show and that was the ultimate giveaway to an underlying problem between the players and the manager. But the point is that Sunderland simply do not have the players with the quality or commitment to make the odds of that happening any better than the outcome of the toss of a coin.
Very sad to hear of this type of behaviour from a supposedly professional club and professional players. It seems the biggest influance now for buying a player is their attitude and personal life. Phil Brown may have lost his job, however it was a year and a half after that Man City incident.
How come everyone can see the problem re so called Sunderland professional football players drinking excessively? Fans travel to watch this sometimes embarrassing excuse of a game, it’s not cheap to go and support your team and especially when they play away, fans spending their HARD EARNED cash to cheer them on. It’s about time Sunderland players started to make their fans proud, and worked for their wages like anyone else. It is also down to management to ensure this happens instead of listening to them whining about how they were badly to by Paolo. It must really irritate the majority of fans, when they hear stories of players not acting professionally.

On paper Giaacherini is a decent player but he hasn’t proven him self in the premiership yet. O’Sheadecent player, but cost us points this season games we could have got something out of, so Paolo was right. Brown bean injured most of the time he has been at Sunderland so not playing like champions league winner for the past year or so. Adam Johnson recent Premier League winner, he was a bench warmer at Man City so won that by default, he hasn’t turned it on enough in the games he has played at Sunderland, played well against the mags but other than that nothing . Maviras 2nd youngest Champions League player ever, maybe, but what has he done since joining Sunderland, he’s not setting the place a light is he. Before we get carried away, we have had one win under Bally against Peterborough, so lets see where we are at Christmas we have played Liverpool, Man United, the Mags etc.
But before then the players need a reality check, as it is those players who have got achieved 1 point out of a possible 15, lets see if they can start winning games otherwise they will be exposed for what they are overpaid whinging over rated average players with big ego’s and very little talent. If you need proof of the drinking culture have a look at the bottom of the premiership table and see where we are, it’s the so called senior professional players who have got us there! Certainly not a team that should be relegated and could finish mid-table with a decent managerial appointment.
Since then things have changed, materialistically at least, and yet such is my affection for the sentiment behind that line that I constantly find myself applying it to new situations, like the fortunes of Norwich, QPR and Swansea this season.
To the players already plying their trade you are an unknown quantity and this, coupled with the team spirit that newly promoted teams almost always have, provides the Premier League newcomers with their most dangerous weapon. Not long after the season started one of our players missed what at first glance looked like an easy chance but on closer inspection revealed the assistant referee had flagged for offside. Promoted players will often get a 100% wage increase while around the club everything is done on and off the field to encourage you to retain top-flight status. He is riding high on the back of last season’s success along with his players and, if promotion has been on the cards for a while, he may already have targets earmarked to improve the squad. That is not to be confused with kicking people to bits; it is simply a way of thinking that allows me to play with no fear of reputations or bank balances. I’m sure Bob knows the feeling and, come the end of the season, perhaps Norwich, QPR and Swansea will too.
My anonymity let’s me tell you how it is, from inside the game without the shackles of pre-conception or fan bias. Stunning saves to keep out a Steve Cook overhead kick and Glenn Murray penalty at Dean Court.
Nothing better than a winger in full flight, with trickery and pace, but can Saints hang on to him in January window? Got all the T-shirts - TV, radio, PR, papers weekly and daily, glossy mags and now the worldwide web. The rules are simple: three points for the correct scoreline, one point for the correct result. They have now extended their unbeaten league run to seven games, recording five wins in that period. I like opinionated people who tell it like it is and hope you enjoy reading my honest views on the main talking points of the weekend here every Monday. This week, and for the first time, Everton manager Roberto Martinez has sounded a warning to all those chasing a Champions League spot this season.
At that time, the game was just in the first throes of embracing foreign players, albeit in twos and threes rather than the dozens who appear during each transfer window today. He has exploited the loan market shrewdly as well as introducing some exceptionally talented youngsters to the rigours of regular first-team football.
Yet this season, Martinez has Merseyside rocking to a new beat – one of passing and movement as well as the traditional Everton foundations of determination, aggression and spirit. It is a real old-fashioned ground filled with real people who remind me of football in the terms that I understand it best.
He damaged ankle ligaments against Sweden and has been ruled out for the rest of the tournament. But he could yet go on to star for Spurs next season, after a hugely successful loan spell with Championship Brentford last term and, when used, some bright displays for England Under-21s. Especially as Germany finished second in Group A last night after their 1-1 draw with the Czech Republic. The 29-year-old, who has agreed a four-year deal with the Black Cats, has ended his second spell at Spurs. I’m convinced that a rumour that Kaboul was going to Arsenal when the player was still in France hastened Spurs to act ahead of their rivals.
The 30-year-old completed a deal worth ?5.5 million that could rise to ?7 million if Boro are promoted from the Championship. Clasie cost Saints a fee of around ?8.4m and is seen as a direct replacement for the departed Morgan Schneiderlin. He signed for City after impressing for Swindon’s youth team as a 16-year-old full of promise.
Bamford, 21, signed a new three-year contract at Stamford Bridge before making the move across London.
The squad simply aren’t good enough on the pitch and, of even greater concern, they have too many players that do not have enough respect for the game. I’ve witnessed it in full swing as I’ve been in the same places drinking with many of them. It would have been a most inconvenient culture shock for many of them on the day the Italian strode in with his double training sessions and penchant for fining players at the drop of a hat. Maybe he knew that the players had gone over his head and complained to the owners that the Italian was the wrong man for the job. There are examples of this behaviour throughout football, perhaps most notably Fabio Capello’s insistence that the England team needed to knuckle down at tournaments and concentrate fully on the job in hand for the time that they were involved. Reason been as already stated we have a squad of players that with all intense and purposes are good enough to keep us up, if the right appointment is made. It was definitely a case of too much too soon & going to wrong way about it as I sympathise with the players with the heap of public criticism they got in the first few weeks of the season. If they don’t start winning, we won’t be talking about player power, we will be talking about a Fans backlash, so for their sakes I hope the people who asked Ellis Short to sack Paolo Di Canio take a long hard look at themselves in the morror and grow a pair and start doing what they are paid to do and in case they have forgotten what that is its to win football games!!
It’s tragic, as a football fan u think there but for the grace of god goes my football club. Yet these are early days and their biggest strength could turn out to be the one thing that nobody else in the Premier League has: they have nothing to lose.
Suddenly numbered car parking spaces appear at the training ground, flights are used for away games when a coach used to do the job perfectly fine and the staff numbers are swelled by the addition of the best chefs, player liaison officers to call if you need a restaurant booked or the media off your back and, bizarrely, at one of my clubs, a resident priest.
His players were eating their lunch from tin-foil packages delivered in the boot of a car to their training ground (otherwise known as a hut with smashed windows with some playing fields) and washing their own kit. The trick is to strengthen without upsetting the harmony in the changing room, which isn’t always easy if a new signing has joined on higher wages than those who slogged their guts out to win promotion. After a while you begin to notice a change: the handshakes come, they might even start calling you by your nickname.
Whenever I play at any stadium, I like to finish the warm-up by striking a ball into the goal from wherever I am on the pitch. A waiter bought it out on a trolley and it took three of them to pour it every time he wanted to top up his glass. The worrying thing for Sunderland’s owners is that if the team are relegated, which club would want to buy their players, both in terms of taking on a contract of that size and the quality of the player? They repaid him with what was, quite frankly, a collection of hugely sub-standard showings in major competitions, despite the fact that they had qualified for each tournament pretty comfortably. All clubs, look at Arsenal last season, look at Man United this season, all club depend on players effort more then skill when their backs to the wall.
Under O’Neil and Di Canio I think we had two contrasting styles which neither worked for SAFC. Do Canio brought in most of those players so he is responsible if they’re attitudes have already turned bad.
If reports are true that O’Neil only came to the training ground on a Thursday to pick the team…well in my opinion that adds up to madness. We can’t all be Lionel Messi but it is amazing how far determination to succeed can carry a player. How about seeing Sunderland players out on the drink in Night Clubs in Sunderland and Newcastle. While u have ppl who get paid regardless and lose the passion for the game itself it won’t change. However at the end of last season we needed someone with his passion to get us over the finishing line and he done just that, maybe some sort of vocation as a super sub manager could work for him. Its mostly the British ones that don’t act professionally…is it a cultural thing? How about one of our players being arrested for drinking and driving whilst we were being tonked by MK Dons at the Stadium of Light in the most shameful display I have ever had the misfortune to witness. So Mr Short has to think long and hard about his next appointment and find a manager with the proverbial “man manger skills” and get this above average squad playing for each other.
Some fans will question my “above average” quote but for once we signed Lazio,Juve etc players, granted they were struggling to maintain regular places but it’s a better quality than League of Ireland players we head hunted for years.
We have lost 3 managers in 3 years now looking for our 4th, be we still have the drinking culture and we still have the average players who took us to the brink of relegation last year.

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