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Papy Djilobodji's month-long ban is the cherry on the cake of his poor decision making

The FA have confirmed Sunderland defender Papy Djilobodji is banned for four games after an independent panel upheld his violent conduct charge. The Senegalese defender has been found guilt of lashing out at West Brom's Darren Fletcher; but this incident is hardly the latest example of his poor decision-making. For one thing - that stupid challenge against Hull in November looks even stupider right now.

Sunderland v Hull City - Premier League Photo by Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

Another day, another glut of bad news. This one though shouldn't surprise anyone - Papy Djilobodji has been banned for four games after having his charge of violent conduct upheld by an FA appointed Independent Regulatory Commission.

He probably should have had an extra game added on top for wasting the FA's time, but of course such things do not currently have recourse under English football regulations.

Heaven knows what he would have put in the content of his defence had he been called to a personal hearing - I was only waving at him and his face got in the way? A strange one perhaps.

West Bromwich Albion v Sunderland - Premier League Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

In the end, there may have been a little tactical mischief on the part of Sunderland. Faced with an already ravaged squad, might David Moyes have hoped the men and women who make up such committees would be too busy to take a look at the video before Tuesday's fixture against Tottenham - and so enabled Djilobodji to turn out for that game? Who knows.

One thing is certain though - this is hardly the first rush of blood to the head Papy Djilobodji has shown since his £8m summer arrival from Chelsea.

Djilobodji's three-game ban has been extended to four because he was sent off against Hull City as a result of two poorly timed lunges at Tigers' personnel. Already on a tight-rope in that game as a result of clumsily clashing with Dieumerci Mbokani, he then proceeded to get his marching orders by catching Jarrod Bowen in a lunge he didn't need to make, in the 89th minute - as Sunderland were coasting three goals to the good.

Few realised the significance at the time - most supporters were simply relieved that Sunderland were on their way to a second win of the season - but that stupid challenge now means Djilobodji misses the trip to Goodison Park at the end of February. By then, David Moyes could be confirmed as the latest manager at the Stadium of Light to need a miracle to avoid relegation.

There are other examples of course and Djilobodji marked his introduction to life in a Sunderland shirt with a series of horror-shows. He was punished by Tottenham's Harry Kane in September for a stupid mistake which gifted Spurs three points; and he went missing earlier that month as Everton arrived and tore through the home defence of which Papy was a part, before departing from the Stadium of Light with three unanswered goals and three points.

Tottenham Hotspur v Sunderland - Premier League Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images

Even prior to his Sunderland career, Djilobodji has done some stupid things. Last March he caused consternation in Germany by performing a throat-slitting gesture at an opponent in a game in which he turned out for Werder Bremen against Mainz. He received a three-match ban on that occasion and was forced to issue an apology.

However, the rub of it is probably fairly simple. £8m for any player is big deal to a club like Sunderland - hovering just above financial oblivion with some of the highest debt levels of any outfit in Europe. So some may point to Djilobodji's transfer fee and expect something a little better for David Moyes' investment in the Senegalese defender.

The truth is perhaps a little lesson in economic reality. For £8m, in today's market in the cash-rich Premier league, you pretty much get a Djilobodji - an inconsistency from buying someone else's reserve-team defender. Your £8m signing may have potential, but it's always going to be a gamble and you won't get the finished product.

But, for now - as ever at Sunderland - there's little room to mope or to plan. The pressing problem is the prospect of a month without one of our first-choice centre-halves. And suddenly, Joleon Lescott's signing looks a little more palatable.

Moreover, there is an increasingly ominous look to sale-talk surrounding Lamine Kone. The Ivorian defender - just back from African Cup of Nations duties - now becomes the key man in Sunderland's defence with Djilobodji's omission landing on top of Patrick van Aanholt's imminent departure. Would you risk selling Lamine Kone right now?

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