From The Durham Times: The Twit Needs To Do His Talking On The Pitch

Richard Heathcote - Getty Images

If you haven't been around for the last year or so then you won't be aware that we provide our views on Sunderland each and every Friday to top local paper The Durham Times.

You can buy the paper itself every week for a low-low price from any newsagents worth a damn, or your local supermarket - packet full of quality articles on the local area, plus of course our opinions. You can also give it a read online at www.durhamtimes.com or follow the sports section on Twitter @DTSport

Now though we bring you our views, and there's only been one story that's dominated the week, so we've given our view on it. If indeed any of it seems out of date - and a fair portion of it was written prior to Liverpool yesterday - then you should have just bough the thing when it came out.

You'll correct that error next week we trust. Now here's our musings...

International breaks tend to be a dull one for Sunderland.

Little-to-no England involvement scored another check mark as Adam Johnson withdrew from the squad through injury.

Stephane Sessegnon's Benin tend to get beat and he usually plays terribly (trust me, I've watched), although thankfully this weekend's game was postponed due to troubles in Egypt.

And on a whole Sweden games and Ireland games tend to be dull. Certainly the case this week for both sides on the pitch, but James McClean managed to cause a bit of a ruckus off it.

For those Sunderland fans who've been living under a rock for a week, James McClean took to his favourite media - Twitter - to announce his displeasure at being an unused substitute in Ireland's 2-1 win over Kazakhstan last weekend.

A Tweet in which he seemed to forget it goes out to everyone in the world and a series of expletives showed his full intent - the lad was not happy at all with being left out.

Can we sympathise with him? Absolutely, McClean is a very fine player and likely to be a key component for Ireland over the next decade or so. With Damien Duff now retired from international duty you'd have thought the wing position was his for the taking but as Simon Cox and Jonathan Walters both failed to have any impact on the position, you can certainly understand McClean's frustration.

However, it still doesn't make it right.

There's absolutely no need to say what he said. It's the sort of thing you just stick to in private and certainly never out loud. I'm sure we've all said something derogatory about our bosses from time to time, but we didn't stand up and shout it in the middle of the office - which is akin to what McClean did.

You could give him a ‘boys will be boys' talking to if this was the first time, but sadly it isn't the first time that he's got himself in a spot of bother on the social networking site. I'm sure we remember him deleting his account following arguments with Northern Irish fans for choosing the Republic, and more recently making a bad taste joke that would have been expected if he was Frankie Boyle, but not a youngster's icon.

Of course that incident lead to him deleting his account again. Perhaps the third time's a charm as he came back and acted like a relatively normal footballer/person on there tweeting inane rubbish which interests nobody... then came last weekend.

Twitter has apparently granted us apparently "unprecedented access" to players as we can keep a track on their movements and gain insight to their lives. It's about time that someone (and we're talking to you James) gave it a rest for good this time.

Some manage it well. McClean need only to look across the dressing room at Carlos Cuellar or Louis Saha to see that, it's just not for everyone. Here's hoping that McClean buckles down and get's his talking done on the pitch in future. That's the one way he can make himself indispensible to Ireland as opposed to being a mouthpiece.

He can start doing that this weekend when Liverpool come to town.

Brendan Rodgers' side are on a horrendous run at the moment and being battered from all corners of the press for their timid start to the season.

This kind of worries me.

There's something of a ‘wounded animal' about the side at the moment, and I think we could be in for a harder game than many expect. Liverpool are still loaded with quality - Luis Suarez, Steven Gerrard, Daniel Agger, Joe Allen and Raheem Sterling could still have their pick of most Premier League sides and I don't see this bad run continuing for too long from the Merseysiders.

I think this is another game which will hinge heavily on Lee Cattermole for us. He's been outstanding so far this season, and begun to play the role of captain with the intelligence we knew was deep down in there somewhere. If he can keep Gerrard to a quiet game, it will significantly boost our chances.

As said, I expect Liverpool to give us a very good game, but at the same time I can still see us winning. The ‘first' home league game of the season with the new South Stand singing area rocking, the first ‘real' outings in front of the home fans for Adam Johnson and Steven Fletcher, everyone refreshed and desperate for some ‘proper' football following the international break should all factor in.

It will be hard this weekend, make no mistake about that, but we can do it.

SIMON WALSH

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