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ROKER ROUNDUP: Potential Sunderland signing Andonian speaks at length about his career & future

Armenia international Gael Andonian is on trial with Sunderland and played last night in our U23s win against West Brom. In an interview with Onze Mondial he spoke at length about his career - read the best bits here.

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Trialist discusses his career

Sunderland have taken Armenian international Gael Andonian on trial and he made his debut for the club last night as the under-23s beat West Bromwich Albion 2-1 in a development squad clash.

Although he has 22 caps for his country, he has missed out on a call up for this week’s international break due to lack of practice as he has been without a club since he left Ligue 1 side Marseille in the summer.

The 23-year-old gave an interview with Onze Mondial in July where he spoke about his experience at Marseille, the decision to leave his hometown club and why his two loans didn’t work out.

Inter Milan U19 v Marseille U19 - NextGen Series Semi Final Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

On why he never got a chance at Marseille...

We are at Olympique de Marseille, it is a very good team, it’s a squad with international players. And besides that, this club is special... I also think that the timing was not good for me, there was never really any injury or suspensions that allowed me to have a few minutes. And speaking with many professionals, I realized that you had to have talent, but that the luck factor also comes into play.

On his loan move to Dijon and why that move never worked out...

What happened is that I arrived in Dijon in November. I was used in the left-back position, although it was not necessarily my favorite postition. I played pretty well between November and December, where I had to play eight or nine games. But after the winter break, the injured left back came back. Me, I played the first game after the break, where I scored two goals ... But I got a red card the game after.

When I came back, the absentees were there again, and it was hard for me to impose myself again. I was on loan with no option to buy, and I arrived during the year, so it was tricky.

On his positive experience during a loan spell in Greece with Veria during the 16/17 season...

What made me feel good is to finally be able to play matches. I used to do a match here and there, so I was very happy to be able to play regularly there. In fifteen games, I played fourteen. Of course, it’s something that’s good, especially for morale and confidence. What I retain from there is positive. It was a little complicated indeed, in terms of infrastructure there, where it is not at all like in Marseille, the same for coaching players. But sportingly, I played all my matches, so I lost less time in Véria than Marseille.

On why he never left Marseille last summer...

When I came back to Marseille, I just wanted to take my time, and not leave to leave. If a club with a beautiful sports project had come, I would probably have left. But since this project did not show up, I did not rush.

The two moves from before were loans, with no option to buy, and you’re sure to have a club when you come back, so you can leave without asking too many questions. But last summer, as I was left with only one year of contract, it was a definitive transfer or stay a year longer in Marseille. In my situation, where I did not play tons of games, you should not do anything stupid, because it was a blow to bury definitely. So I told myself that it was not so bad, that if you had to stay one more season in Marseille, I would.

On what his future holds now he’s a free agent [from before his trial with Sunderland]...

Yes I have tracks for next season, but nothing really concrete for now. The transfer window is still long, and I want to find the right project. There are tracks in France and abroad. After that it remains vague, because even I do not ask the identity of the clubs right away, to be able to concentrate first on the project. When it’s in big countries like France, Spain, it’s more to play in the second division. But in countries like Belgium or Portugal, I think I can play in the first division. All I want is play time.


Stubbs sacked

Former Sunderland player Alan Stubbs replaced Jack Ross as Saint Mirren manager in the summer but he only lasted three months, as the Scottish club have confirmed that they have parted company with him.

St Mirren Football Club can confirm that it has tonight parted company with manager Alan Stubbs with immediate effect.

Careful consideration was given to this decision and the search for a new manager will begin immediately.

The club would like to thank Alan for his work during his time in charge at The Simple Digital Arena and wish him the best for the future.

The club will keep supporters informed as new arrangements are put in place and thank them for their patience and ongoing support.

The team have lost their last four games in all competitions and haven’t won since they won 2-1 at home to Dundee on the opening weekend of the season.

FA Cup: Sunderland v Northwich Victoria

Grimsby boss praises Embleton

Sunderland youngster Elliot Embleton joined Grimsby Town on loan until January and speaking about the transfer, their manager Michael Jolley was delighted to sign the midfielder:

Elliot is a really talented young player.

He has got real quality – the fact that he is a Youth international speaks for itself.

Elliot is at a good football club where he has received a good schooling and we think he can help the team. He is a very balanced, two-footed player.

Elliot is a bit ahead of Ben [Pringle] in terms of fitness. Ben has not played a lot of matches and he’s been a bit sporadic in terms of his training at Preston.

He might take a little bit more time.

Elliot is going away with the England squad, so he is going to be away with them for eight days. He won’t be with us until he returns.