No supporter reading this needs to be reminded of the reasons for why Lamine Kone needs to be shot out of a cannon to a place as far away from Sunderland as possible, but... well, I’m going to do it anyways.
Y’see, the casual football fan watching Sunderland this season probably saw Lamine Kone and thought “well, he looks quite decent actually” - and that’s the problem. We know he is. We know precisely what he’s capable of, and we know what a fit and motivated Lamine Kone can bring to your side - particularly having seen him play at the standard of a top six Premier League defender for a period under Sam Allardyce.
It has been a shame, then, to see just how little effort he’s given Sunderland since his mate Younes Kaboul was allowed to sod off for a pittance to Watford in the summer of 2016. There have been occasions in the time since where Kone has shown just how good he is, but the complete lack of consistency during that period just shows how little he cares about being a Sunderland player.
We aren’t going to get the big money that Everton offered us when David Moyes was manager, but someone will still be willing to take a gamble on Kone because, annoyingly, he’s still capable of playing at a high level of football - even if he has failed to show it on more than one occasion over the last two years.
I don’t mean to be malicious when placing John O’Shea in the same category as someone as unprofessional as Lamine Kone, but in the same breath I really don’t want either of them at my football club next season - just not for the same reasons.
O’Shea has been a fairly dependable servant during his time at Sunderland, and played far more football last season than perhaps even he could have envisioned, but it cannot be ignored just how long he’s been our captain, and the fact that he’s been the perceived leader of this group throughout back-to-back relegations.
Fresh leadership within the camp is needed and until O’Shea goes, that doesn’t seem possible whilst he’s around. It’s thought that O’Shea would like to stay, and though Jack Ross still has a decision to make on his future I’d be saying “thanks, but goodbye” if it was me making that call.
Nobody is going to be daft enough to take him off our hands for free never mind part with actual money for him, but if there is ANY way we can get this bloke out of the club it’ll do the reputation of our new owners absolute wonders.
It’ll show that p*ss-takers turning up to take advantage of our football club won’t be tolerated, and most importantly tells the world that the new and improved direction that Stewart Donald and Charlie Methven have promised us is most definitely underway.
I don’t know how they’re going to do it... I just hope they get it done.
Like John O’Shea it’s probably about time that Cattermole moved on, even despite the fact he’s seen as a good person to have about the place. I suspect he’s on high wages, and you have to ask - is it worth it?
I’m not sure that Cattermole is robust or effective enough in the Football League - strangely, I think he’d be better suited to a top flight side where he can have players around him that do all of his running, at a club like Burnley or Brighton.
I used to be a huge fan of the former Boro captain, but time hasn’t been kind to him and he’s just not done enough in recent seasons to suggest that he’s worth keeping around - particularly when he’s taking a large portion of money out of the club every single week through his wages, which are akin to that of a player in the Premier League.
Another that is paid a lot of money, and another that I’m not sure we really want to keep around the place next season. Aiden McGeady may well be our most individually-talented player, but can you really see him playing League One football?
Jack Ross promises to bring explosive attacking football to Sunderland and, whilst you’d think that will see players like McGeady thrive, the small print says that when we haven’t got the ball that the players have to work bloody hard to get it back - not something that suits McGeady at all.
The Republic of Ireland international won’t struggle to find a new club and we’ll probably be happy to see him move along when you weigh it up against his age and the wages he’s on, along with the fact that he’s got two years left on his contract.