Soon-to-be League One opponents talk Sunderland
Former Sunderland manager Simon Grayson was interview this afternoon about whether Sunderland would be a good purchase for potential buyers:
Well you would say so. You would really think that Sunderland can’t go much lower than what they have this year.
There’s been some big clubs in League One - Manchester City, Nottingham Forest, Leeds United - and all found it very difficult to get out of there at the first attempt, so it’s going to be an FA Cup Final for all the teams playing against them week in and week out.
Ultimately it’s tough to do but what they will do is start afresh, get a new manager in, get new owners in there, and if they can start the season well they can get back very quickly.
While Wycombe Wanderers midfielder Dominic Gape, who scored the goal that clinched promotion to League One for the Choirboys at the weekend, can’t wait to play at the Stadium of Light next season:
I have played there a few times but that was youth football and it will be nice to play there this time in front of a few fans. I am really looking forward to it.
It’s been a quiet week for Sunderland’s loan players, with only Papy Djilobodji, Fabio Borini and Wahbi Khazri being involved for their respective clubs.
Djilobodji played the full 90 minutes for Dijon as they lost 3-1 to Gus Poyet’s Bordeaux, with the Senegal international giving away a penalty after a very clumsy challenge on François Kamano. That was the 19th penalty Dijon have conceded this season - comfortably the most of any club in Ligue 1.
Khazri also played a full-ninety this weekend but his Rennes side came out 2-1 winners against Toulouse. The Tunisian got an assist after setting up James Léa-Siliki for the opening goal of the game, but will be disappointed he didn’t score after failing to make good contact on a chance early in the first half.
Elsewhere, Fabio Borini came on as a late substitute, replacing Hakan Calhanoglu, as Milan kept their European hopes alive with a 2-1 away win at mid-table Bologna.
Josh Robson was an unused substitute as Notodden FK lost their first game of the season, 2-0 at home to Sogndal, and Tom Beadling missed out due to injury as Dunfermline comfortably beat relegation strugglers Dumbarton 4-0.
Finally, Andrew Nelson sent a heartfelt message to Falkirk after his loan spell was cut short thanks to an injury - and with a year left to run on his Sunderland contract he’ll be keen to secure regular first team football once again for the upcoming season, whether that be here on Wearside or elsewhere.
Young keeper interesting Sunderland trains with Big Sam’s Everton
There are high hopes in Norway for 13-year-old Isak Hansen-Aarøen - the young goalkeeper is on the radar of many clubs in England, and this week he has joined Everton to train with their academy.
Hansen-Aarøen has already undergone a similar stint with Sunderland at the Academy of Light, and has had spells training with Liverpool, Manchester United, Crystal Palace, Newcastle United, Blackburn Rovers and West Ham United.
The youngster, who is currently on the books of Norwegian team Tromsø IL, is unable to join any English clubs until his 16th birthday but if Sunderland are to sign the promising stopper, they will have a lot of competition for his signature.
Academy product stars on the big stage
Sunderland Ladies academy product Lucy Bronze hit the headlines at the weekend after scoring a stunning winner [which you can watch HERE] in Lyon’s Champions League semi-final second leg clash with Manchester City which saw her side go through 1-0 on aggregate.
Bronze, who has been nominated for BBC’s Women’s Footballer of the Year [you can vote for her HERE], joined Sunderland in 2003 and made her way through the various youth levels before playing for the first team in the 2009 FA Cup Final defeat to Arsenal. Since she left the club she has appeared for Everton, Liverpool and Manchester City before making her way to Lyon.