O’Shea speaks out on Sunderland future
After announcing his retirement from international football on Wednesday, John O’Shea has been discussing his decision during an interview with Kevin Kilbane on ‘The Football Show’.
During the podcast, his future with Sunderland was brought up and O’Shea said it’s a wait and see situation:
I’m out of contract at the end of June and it’s just a wait and see but look, when I signed the contract last season with Sunderland, I kind of thought we’ll see how the body copes and obviously you want to play as much as you can and compete and be competitive.
I probably played more than I maybe thought during the season.
Those comments don’t suggest that the 37-year-old O’Shea is thinking about hanging up his boots at club level just yet, but a new contract at Sunderland will be off the cards until the takeover is resolved and a new manager is in place.
When the new regime appoints a new manager, if he hasn’t found a new club by then, should a new contract be offered to O’Shea (possibly with a coaching role) or do the club need a fresh start with the Irishman allowed to leave for pastures new?
Ruiter on his great Sunderland adventure
Despite the club being relegated to League One and being injured for the second half of the season with a dislocated finger, Robbin Ruiter has called his move to Sunderland ‘a great adventure’, while his biggest disappointment is saved for the staff who will be hit hardest by relegation:
Sunderland is a big club, many people in the Netherlands do not know about this. The stadium, the fans, the training complex.
In addition, I played away games against clubs like Aston Villa and Wolverhampton. That is incredibly cool.
When you sign for a club that has just been relegated from the Premier League, you hope to participate in promotion the following year. That did not take a moment. This relegation was rough. Especially for the people in the office. Footballers and managers are passers-by, these people live for the club. Suppose they lose their jobs...
The only thing this club can do now is to return to the Championship as soon as possible.
Ruiter, who signed a two-year-deal in the summer, says he is returned to light training after recovering from the dislocated finger and should be ready to take a full part in pre-season:
I’m on the field again, I’ve caught some balls again.
If everything is alright, I’ll be completely fit again in pre-season.
While discussing his brief Sunderland career so far, Ruiter explained that he belives chopping and changing goalkeepers so much - something both Simon Grayson and Chris Coleman were guilty of - is a regular occurrence.
I only signed a contract at the end of August, so it was quite logical that the manager first opted for the other goalkeeper. After four games I got a chance for the first time.
In the end I stayed in for five games before my competitor was selected again and while I did not play that bad at all. That has actually continued throughout the year. The club has changed goalkeeper eight times this season. That is apparently pretty normal here.
No Robbin, that’s not normal at all.
Honeyman in demand
Finally, after a good showing in his first full season in the senior side, George Honeyman is being eyed by a trio of Championship clubs. According to David Coverdale of The Sun, Honeyman is a target for Sheffield Wednesday, Fulham and Aston Villa.
Honeyman scored seven goals from midfield as we were relegated to League One and with the 23-year-old being an academy graduate, he is one of the few players that we should be keeping hold of and building a team around for next season - and beyond.
Nothing will happen on the transfer front until the takeover is completed and even then it may require a new manager to give the say-so on any departures but with Honeyman only have one-year left on his contract, a club may give that new manager something to think about immediately.
The report also claims that two other players that we would ideally keep for next season, Lyndon Gooch and Paddy McNair, have joined Honeyman by attracting interest from elsewhere.