Quick Kicks: Thoughts And Reaction From Tottenham And The Season

Jan Kruger

Yes! The season is finally over. Time for some immediate reaction to that brilliant news and the 1-0 final day defeat to Tottenham.

What The Gaffer Said

We're obviously disappointed with the result but the lads have done a very good job.

They gave everything in terms of commitment and desire but we're still going back with zero points from the game.

Gareth Bale made the difference once again for Tottenham with a great piece of play.

I'm very happy with the performance, it was disciplined and we didn't lose our brains.

Sometimes in final games the players are too relaxed and thinking about their holidays, but that was not the case today. Spurs had to work hard to get their three points.

The team did well considering players like Jack Colback and Sebastian Larsson weren't in their normal positions.

They did very well, but in the future I would like to have more difficulties when it comes to choosing my team.

A big thank you to the fans - I cannot measure the number of fans who were here today.

They sang all the way through the game and they were louder than the opposition fans and I loved seeing them in the section of the stadium in their red and white shirts.

I wish we could have got a point for them to have something to celebrate. Unfortunately that didn't happen, but the players wore the shirt and played the best way they could today and that's the best we can deliver.

A fair an honest assessment from Di Canio of the game. The effort was there, the preparation of the players was evident in the organisation, and no one could accuse them of 'being on the beach'.

With what was available, it was a very credible performance.

The real story however, was Di Canio's subsequent revelations, prompted by 'Casinogate' involving Phil Bardsley, but he certainly didn't stop there.

I saw the picture on a website and moments later he was out of my squad.

How can I play a player that probably is blurry for three, four days after what's happened? I want to deliver a very clear message: there is no excuse to behave like he did.

I could understand it if we had won the Champions League or maybe the FA Cup.

I thought that at Swindon... arrogant, ignorant footballers because they've not had many chances to stay at the top level.

I have to tell you unfortunately I found a worse environment in terms of discipline in this club.

Some player that couldn't involve [himself] in my squad today for a different reason decided: I don't train today.

They make that diagnosis. He didn't go to the Academy of Light because he said "yesterday I had poisoned food".

The doctor tried to contact him. His phone was switched off for three hours. This is the situation at Sunderland.

These players will not be here next year. Not under me. The owner and I are going to sit at the table and go through but he knows many things.

I spoke to him before by telephone and he told me we are going to change many things.

This is what he told me before. [He said] "Relax, don't worry because we are going to change many things", so it sounds like he supports me completely. We will see in the future.

So there we have it, laid bare for all to see. A worse and less disciplined environment than at Swindon, players faking injury and ignoring calls from the club, and wholesale changes planned. Basically, Di Canio is going to war with the dressing room.

You have to be careful of believing everything you hear, of course, but there is something about all of this that just fits.

All season long, Sunderland have played like a rabble of indisciplined and unprofessional incompetents. Second to almost every ball, a yard slower than almost every opposition, mentally 'blurry' to borrow a term from Di Canio himself.

It's not the only issue, and there will be a debate over whether or not it should have been made quite as public as it has been, but it's pretty clear that the squad is absolutely rotten to the core in terms of attitude and professionalism.

Awesome Jack! But Not The Future...

Jack Colback's performance at White Hart Lane was frankly superb. He was up against a really tricky customer in Aaron Lennon and he defended with both heart and ability.

As good as he was, though, I'd advise caution over hailing him as some kind of magic solution to the continual left back problem. He is great cover, and has developed into a really solid stay-at-home full back.

That is great when your backs are up against the wall and your focus is defending, but defending hasn't really been Sunderland's problem this season.

When it really matters - against the teams around us in the league and when we need to impose ourselves on the game - it just isn't enough. That extra thrust of a modern and dynamic full back is what is needed who can powerfully stride up up into the attack without worrying about lacking the pace to get back quickly enough should it be required.

Getting Danny Rose back would be the ideal solution, but even if that doesn't happen you have to fancy the search starts over.

The 'Miracle' Of Di Canio

Paolo Di Canio claims it is 'a miracle' that Sunderland achieved Premier League survival. Though much of it is his flair for the dramatic just coming out again, it is actually quite difficult do disagree.

Di Canio was robbed of his best players for what we presumed beforehand to be the key fixtures, and those results against Newcastle and Everton in the end were the club's salvation.

Only really the Villa game stands out as an aberration, and he did well to take this lot away to Chelsea and Tottenham and make both work their socks off to get a result against us.

Hopefully, Ellis Short will back him now over the summer and allow him to make at least most of the changes he has spoken of, because it sounds like he wants to essentially strip the club of under-performing unprofessional plodders and replace them with actual footballers. We don't have to spend fortunes, we just have to spend wisely.

Thank God That's Over!

I genuinely don't think I have ever been as happy to see the end of a football season arrive. This year has been an arduous slog through a bleak and desolate wasteland and I'm thrilled to finally see the back of it.

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