Club captain Bolo Zenden has revealed today that he isn't overly happy at his lack of match action recently, and admits if the situation doesn't change soon, he might well be on his way out of Sunderland.
In an interview with The Journal, the 34-year-old midfielder says he's been fit for weeks now, and can't get his head around why he's being left out "In the last six games, I believe I’ve had about nine minutes. You can understand where I am at the moment."
"I’m obviously not happy with the minutes I’ve had, but that doesn’t mean we have to jump to conclusions. There’s still loads to come. That could definitely be at Sunderland, but it could definitely be somewhere else" he added.
It would be a huge blow to lose Zenden. We're all well aware of the good he brings to the club, and for me, we really should be repaying him more. Steve Bruce & Niall Quinn have already spoken about how crucial he has been off the field, guiding the likes of Jordan Henderson, as well as other young players. Quinn even said he "sets the standard" for younger players, and is regarded as a model professional.
We also know from the recent series of talk-ins that both are keen to have Zenden around in a coaching cpaacity once his playing days are over. Bolo it seems is keen on the idea, but not just yet as he went on "Maybe because of the situation I’m in, (a move into coaching) is something other people will start speculating about, I’m not going to be pushed into certain situations when I’m not ready for it."
Bruce recently admitted that he should have brought Zenden on ahead of Lee Cattermole in the 2-0 home defeat to Liverpool when Sulley Muntari went down injured early in the game, and while the gaffer has admitted his mistakes, Zenden still isn't happy "Potentially the home game against Liverpool could have been my last against my former team, which I didn’t feature in. That’s not going to come back. It’s a positive thing that someone admits a mistake but it doesn’t give me back the games that have passed." added the Dutchman.
Bolo was keen to stress that he was completely match-fit in the interview, and even took what could be seen as a side swipe at team captain, Lee Cattermole, who has been out since before Christmas "It’s not the first time it’s happened. It’s not like I’ve not been fit for six months."
I agree with Bolo, that he should be given more games, especially in this terrible run we are on. An experienced head could have come in handy in the holding midfield role, and would also give us the benefit of being able to move Sulley Muntari further up the field, whilst giving his protege Jordan Henderson a much needed rest. Not to mention it could sway him into staying at the club in a coaching capacity when he feels he is ready.
We'll sharp see on Sunday whether Bruce takes on board these comments, however I hope he does, and we see a new look Sunderland midfield. With Bolo sitting alongside Cattermole in the middle, with Sulley Muntari, Stephane Sessegnon and Jordan Henderson given license to roam in and around Asamoah Gyan.