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Roundup: M'Vila - What 'Reports in Russia' Actually Say & Moyes - One Game Ban But Believes Players Are On Side

In today's WipeDown of the news: The latest on Yann M'Vila's future from our Russian correspondent - what those 'reports' really say; David Moyes cops a one-game ban but claims his players are still putting the effort in for him; and a look at what the national press have been saying since the Arsenal debacle.

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Yann M'Vila - What The 'Reports In Russia' Actually Say

You may have seen that the Chronicle and the Sunderland Echo have jumped on this story today and suggested that French midfielder, Yann M'Vila, has entered talks with Rubin Kazan to agree a new deal. Both of them have quoted 'reports in Russia', but what does that actually mean?

Well firstly, Yann M'Vila hasn't "entered talks" at all. As we understand it, Rubin Kazan may have put down an offer to extend his current deal. The next move is purely down to the player to decide if he wishes to commence negotiations.

The 'reports in Russia' are actually sourced from this article in Business Gazette Online which has a headline of "Why Rubin Has To Keep M'Vila".

Business Gazette Online is a reputable source, but the article is essentially just an opinion piece suggesting that the Russian club are of a mind to move towards talks and why that would be a good idea, in the author's opinion.

M'Vila has started Rubin Kazan's last three matches in the Russian Premier League and he has impressed - hence observers suggesting he is a player the Tartarstan club should keep hold of.

According to our friends at, many in Russia still question whether M'vila himself wishes to stay, and his actions during the summer, and since, have indicated no desire on his part to sign a new contract with Kazan.

From the Russian club's perspective, tying the player down to a new deal protects an investment they made three years ago with little recompense so far.

M'Vila was a €12m signing from Rennes in the summer of 2013 and his Rubin Kazan career has been little short of shambolic. In the three years since his signing, he has only made 22 appearances in the Russian Premier League.

Right from day one, since he departed these shores, nothing has been as it seems with Yann M'Vila. In recent weeks we have written that his close friend and teammate Chris Mavinga thinks M'Vila wishes to return to England, and last month the player himself hinted at a return to Sunderland on social media.

Yann M'Vila is a master at manipulating situations to suit his purpose and we highlighted the full extent of a career filled with transfer window shenanigans a few weeks ago.

This has a way to run yet. But we really really hope that someone at Sunderland is in touch with Yann M'Vila right now, because he is the player we're currently lacking.

Moyes Cops a Ban

David Moyes will serve a one game touchline ban at Bournemouth on Saturday according to Daily Mail journalist, Craig Hope. Hope asserts that this may rise to two games if the Sunderland manager contests the charge:

Moyes was sent to the stands during last week's EFL Cup tie at Southampton for swearing at the fourth official. After the game, the under-pressure manager admitted he deserved to be sent off, so it seems unlikely any appeal will be lodged.

Excuse Monday

Regular readers will be familiar with this feature now. Monday's follow a set routine in Sunderland-land, a player is picked at random and shoved in front of the regional media to issue some sort of positive appraisal of the dire situation which worsens each week.

Last week it was Jack Rodwell, which really did not help. Today it's Jermain Defoe, who spoke to the Sunderland Echo:

I couldn't really see what happened with the goals. I'm sure the manager will have a look at it. Everyone makes mistakes, we move on and try not to make the same mistakes.

It's the everyone part which is the problem.

Which brings us on to the second part of the Monday routine, David Moyes' post-match wake; and in truth the Sunderland manager is becoming easy to read. Early in his reign, once it had been identified that his negativity was an issue, he made a stellar effort to sound positive. Now, with his tenure reaching a crisis-point, he's pointing to the deficiencies in his personnel but with a strong hint to those who doubt him, that the players are still working for their manager:

These players are giving their best, they are trying everything they can to get a result. We are lacking quality at the top end to really make the difference as you can probably see as well.

You see, all managerial end-games go through distinct death-throes.

First, the doomed manager will claim he has the backing of the club's owner, board, shareholders or fans.

Second, the doomed manager will claim luck is against his side or he will start making outlandish claims that, despite what the watching world is witnessing, his team are playing well or improving.

Finally the doomed manager will claim he still has the support of the dressing room.

Which stage do you think David Moyes is at?

The Sunday Papers

There has been some compelling reading in the national press in the past 48 hours about the state of things at Sunderland. Here's a summary.

Certainly, the national media have tended to be in no doubt that David Moyes is the best man for the Sunderland job still; and in truth there is a disconnect developing what the press are saying and how fans are viewing the state of things; take the following:

Luke Edwards, the Telegraph:

Get behind the manager. At the moment...calls for change are confined to individual outbursts rather than widespread protests and it should stay that way.

Sunderland employed Moyes as manager because they wanted someone to begin a long-term project. They have craved stability for years but have always succumbed to the short term. Sunderland are not going to change unless they give a manager time. It is a gamble worth taking.

And, there is an element of the Sunderland support who still hold to that view but their numbers are dwindling week by week.

Opinion is swinging and since Saturday's debacle, the view is becoming that no one could have done any worse than Moyes and that confidence has utterly evaporated - what good is a long-term project when the short-to-medium term looks so utterly hopeless?

But, what Edwards does get right is an assessment of the only way Sunderland can possibly survive:

Sunderland are weak all over the pitch and have a big decision to make ahead of the January transfer window......if they want to stay up, they are going to have to find big money for Moyes to invest.

But, is trusting Moyes with 'big money' a gamble on the evidence of his transfer dealings so far, and will owner Ellis Short fund yet another January survival-bid when the odds of staying up may be longer than they have been in any previous battle?

Barry Glendenning - The Guardian:

It seems unfair to blame David Moyes for many of the shortcomings of a club that gives every impression of being dysfunctional from the boardroom down...

Glendenning is a Sunderland supporter and if you are too, you should give his piece linked above a read, because it is a hard-hitting summation of the state of things at a once-proud club whose supporters have struggled to feel much in the way of 'pride' in recent years,

Sunderland have contrived to let all the financial benefits that ought to have come with being Premier League staples, at such a lucrative time, bypass them completely.

There are no shortage of poor sides in the Premier League and Sunderland have long been among them but they have now reached a point where finding three worse ones will be little short of a miracle.

Finally, in the Times, George Caulkin sums it all up rather neatly:

Saturday, truly, was a load of rubbish. No Premier League team have started a season as wretchedly as they have, a fact that David Moyes agreed was “damning”, but the stench permeating every depressed inch of the Stadium of Light is a familiar one. It smells like last year. It smells like forever.

But, Caulkin goes further than his counterparts above, by putting the perpetual dismay on Wearside in context and adding the Moyes-effect in as a backdrop:

Moyes, Sunderland’s seventh manager or head coach in five years, was appointed for the long-term and given a four-year contract, which felt like a statement, but what happens if the long term is the wrong term? What happens if Moyes, a good manager and patently a decent man, is simply not the right fit? What happens if fans cannot love him?

George Caulkin always gets it bang on. Give it a read.

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