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Roundup: Watch As Lamine Kone Nearly Kills A Man & Sunderland On A Charm Offensive

In today's Roundup: Sunderland players have been in action around the world on international duty, and one opponent had a scare following a clattering from Lamine Kone's elbow. Only some quick thinking saved the unconcious victim from a worse fate. And, Sunderland go all out to convince everyone things are moving in the right direction.

Stu Forster/Getty Images

International Duty Roundup, Lamine Kone Nearly Kills A Man

Sunderland have had nine players away on international duty in recent days, with Lyndon Gooch still to feature for the United States tonight. Here's how they fared:

Lamine Kone – Ivory Coast

Kone played 90 minutes in a 3-1 win over Mali, but the headlines have reflected on a near-tragedy as the Sunderland man collided with Moussa Doumbia who collapsed to the ground unconscious.

Doumbia began suffering a fit and swallowed his own tongue. In an act of swift thinking, Serge Aurier of Paris St Germain, rushed to his aid and ensured he didn’t choke by laying him on his side and pulling out his tongue.

Mali coach, Alain Giresse thanked Aurier for his quick thinking and described the challenge:
Lamine Kone, who is 30 kilograms heavier than him, completely beat him [Doumbia] and destroyed him with his elbow.
In truth it was a clumsy effort by Kone, as you can see from yourself:

Wahbi Khazri – Tunisia

Wahbi Khazri played ninety minutes in a 2-0 victory over Guinea in World Cup Qualifying. Sunderland’s attacking midfielder set up a couple of chances for Tunisia and could have scored two in the first half with only desperate defending from the Guinean defenders thwarting him.

He may have felt at home in a rain-soaked match more reminiscent of Monkwearmouth than Monastir. Khazri continues to impress on international duty.

Jason Denayer - Belgium

Bad news for the young defender - selected to play for the Belgian U21s against Montenegro, the 21-year old only lasted 30 minutes before being withdrawn through injury. Denayer had a scan in Antwerp and he now faces two to four weeks out.

In the meantime, Belgium's U21s side failed to qualify for next summer's European Championships in Poland. Denayer and his Sunderland colleague, Adnan Januzaj, will now be too old to represent the Belgian youth team in any future tournaments.

Didier Ndong – Gabon

Ndong played seventy-five minutes in a dull 0-0 affair against Morocco. In a game with little excitement, Gabon created nothing in the first period but Ddong was behind a couple of half-chances in the second half before his withdrawal.

Paddy McNair – Northern Ireland

McNair made two appearances for his country this week - he came on in the 78th minute against San Marino and 72nd minute in Germany. McNair added a bit of bite to Northern Ireland’s midfield in his run outs but his passing was a little wayward.

John O’Shea – Republic Of Ireland

The 35-year old continued his watching senior-statesman role for the Republic of Ireland managing just a couple of minutes from the bench in two appearances.

Duncan Watmore – England U21s

Watmore scored England’s fourth goal in a 5-0 victory over Bosnia-Herzegovina and he provided the assist for the fifth with a super pass to Tammy Abraham. Duncan’s stock is rising and his dad, former FA Chief Executive Ian Watmore, was past himself with excitement on social media last night.

Joel Asoro – Sweden Under 21

Scored against Estonia last week and got twenty-odd minutes under his belt against Croatia on Monday night. Asoro continues to attract attention in the Swedish media who are hailing the arrival of a 'golden-generation' of talent currently learning their trade in their under-21 team.

Asoro may be pushing for a place on the bench against Stoke this Saturday. Sunderland, in part, carry the hopes of the Swedish nation that his development here will continue at a pace. The 17-year old moved with his mother to England in 2015. One of his national youth team coaches describes him thus:
He is extremely fast for his age, and it has done that he has been a bit exceptional. Technically talented, good at dribbling. Then, he is also very athletic, he can jump high and nod, bicycle kick, turn somersaults the throw, and, not least, score. Just because he's so athletic is probably the biggest reason why he has come so far.

Sunderland Launch Positive Offensive

It's either the nature of being bottom of the table after seven games, or perhaps in reaction to a general feeling that the Moyes-led Sunderland team began the season in a morose, negative mindset; but there's a definite concerted effort to convince the world all is well at the Stadium of Light.

Every club-broadcast media piece has been upbeat this week, and every interview that the local press have conducted with players has reiterated the same 'all-is-well-here' message. Heck, the club even invited national and regional journalists for a behind-the-scenes tour of the Academy of Light.

Here's the latest evidence of Sunderland's charm offensive to convince the watching world there is no crisis here:

Jermain Defoe says everyone is remaining positive:
The spirit here has always been good to be honest, That is not the problem. It has always been good.
At least they're all having a nice time, eh.
David Moyes invites the media to watch a specially orchestrated training session in which he shouts "Love It" repeatedly. Presumably in a bit to convince the watching journalists that it's absolutely brilliant here, Moyes does a great impression of a dad in a freezing cold holiday swimming pool:
Scot Moyes, joked to the watching media: "Youz should be joining in — it's the only way to keep the cold out!"
The Sunderland Echo were invited to the same get-together, but Richard Mennear came over all Charlie Bucket such was his excitement at the invite into Moyes' Chocolate Factory:
The 53-year-old - who has a smile on his face throughout - doesn’t have much to complain about, though, with the players generally meeting his high standards.
Richard has no fears over the atmosphere amongst David Moyes squad:
Results on the pitch have been disappointing, to say the least, with Sunderland currently propping up the rest of the Premier League table after their annual poor start to the new campaign. But that doesn’t seem to have dented confidence too much, if the atmosphere at the training ground is anything to go by.
But, like all kids who have feasted on too many sweets, the sugar-overdose hits our Richard as his giddiness allows him to go way too far:
Moyes and his coaching staff, which includes Robbie Stockdale and Paul Bracewell, are in good spirits.
Bracewell in good spirits you say? The same fella as at the top of the page?

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