Linked Striker Would Cost Ellis Short's Arm and His Leg
Seemingly the only hope of Sunderland being in the Premier League next season is a January littered with investment. Therefore, already eyes have turned to who may be lured to the Stadium of Light in the winter transfer window.
The Sunderland Echo today reported that David Moyes is keeping tabs on Moussa Marega who is currently the leading goal scorer in the Portuguese Primeria Liga.
Marega is on loan from Porto at Vitória S.C. who are fifth in the division and he has scored 10 goals in 8 appearances this season. With a goal every 70 minutes, the 25-year old has only failed to score in one game - against his parent club.
There literally isn't a hope in hell this will come off, for three reasons.
Firstly, Marega is also being linked with Liverpool, Tottenham, Watford, Stoke and Crystal Palace and a whole host of other clubs across Europe, including a return to his 'owners', Porto, who are aiming for the league title, sitting second in the division behind Benfica.
Secondly, Marega is most likely to feature for Mali in the Africa Cup of Nations which will rule him out of action in domestic competitions for the month of January. With David Moyes already faced with missing several key players due to the tournament, his Sunderland side will likely be in need of signings who can make a rapid impact in the Premier League; but more than that - Marega supposedly has a contract to 2020, with a whopping buy-out clause in it of £35m to put off would-be suitors.
Now that would be a statement of intent.
Carragher Destroys Kone Live On TV
Any Sunderland fans watching Monday Night Football on Sky Sports last night would have been nodding along sagely and eagerly with pundit and former Liverpool defender, Jamie Carragher, as he ripped centre-half Lamine Kone to shreds.
The Ivorian has wafted between decent and atrocious this season, with the latter being a more recurrent feature than the former. Fans watched in horror on Saturday as Kone was out-leaped by diminutive striker Alexis Sanchez for Arsenal's first goal and shrugged in disgust as he turned his back twice for the Gunners' fourth.
Carragher said of his performances:
He’s causing Sunderland a massive problem.
The players around him are nowhere near good enough. He is good enough and he showed it last season but his attitude now is becoming a major problem for Moyes.
As much as he was the solution last season in terms of keeping them up, he’s now a massive problem.
Sunderland were thinking they’d done well keeping him in the transfer window.
They’ve now got a major problem with him and I hope other managers are out there looking at him, thinking he might be a problem.
To perform like that and the position he’s put David Moyes in and the Sunderland supporters, it’s not acceptable.
Most supporters were just glad Lamine Kone stayed in the summer, following his public flirting with Everton. As much as anything perhaps that was symptomatic of such a frustrating summer in the transfer market. But, to think that just three months later, many are suggesting it would have been better had Sunderland cashed in, that is a damning indictment of the man.
Credit to Carragher for publicly stating what many fans have been thinking.
Even if Lamine Kone does still rate as Sunderland's best defender - sadly, at this rate his value is plummeting by the week.
#TeamKone is rapidly becoming #TeamConned.
Patrick Van Aanholt On The Differences Between Big Sam And David Moyes
In an interview with Italian journalist Emanuele Giulianelli, Patrick van Aanholt has been discussing the state of things at Sunderland and highlighted the key difference between 'Big Sam' Allardyce and David Moyes.
On that topic, the Dutch left-back said:
They are two different kinds of managers: Sam Allardyce likes to play behind and David Moyes likes to play football from the back. But they both always want to win: so I think the mentality of our team hasn’t changed; what has changed has been our style of football.
On current showings, that enforced style change may yet be the downfall of Moyes at Sunderland. The playing-out-from-the-back tactic is crippling his team with the personnel currently at his disposal.
In truth, Patrick van Aanholt has reverted back to his pre-Allardyce foibles in many matches this season; and when asked which coaches have best aided his development, the 26-year old hailed Big Sam's influence, rating Allardyce alongside his coach at Vitesse Arnhem, Fred Rutten, as the two who have made the most impact on his career:
Last season Sam Allardyce gave me support and helped me to improve my skills.
Patrick van Aanholt needs Sam Allardyce. In truth - Sunderland need Sam Allardyce.
And while we're on the topic and as it's pertinent following Victor Anichebe's now notorious faux-pas on twitter, van Aanholt offers an insight into why he, and many players like him, don't manage their own social media accounts:
I like to be involved in social media, but the risk is that it causes players to lose focus. They should focus more on football and then do other things. If you post something stupid, people will see it and it might affect you.
Sorry - still feels rubbish.
A****Wipe of the Day
Steve Brown writes for the Chronicle.
He rarely makes much sense.
His sentences are incomprehensible
And now he's caused offence.
Steve Brown. You may have read some of his articles in the Evening Chronicle - well, I say 'read', they're usually completely incomprehensible such is his odd writing style. He probably thinks he has a jokey-banter edge to him, but it doesn't translate well.
Anyway, in a new low for the Newcastle rag, he's copied Roker Report and launched his own blather and called it "NewsWipe". Imagine our amusement.
Q. What is more tragic - Steve Brown of the Chronicle, or Steve Brown of the Chronicle copying Roker Report?
Desperate times, but imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. So said Oscar Wilde.