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Roker Roundup: Julio Arca & Liam Lawrence look back at their time as Sunderland players

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In separate interviews, former Sunderland wingers Julio Arca and Liam Lawrence have spoken about their stints as players on Wearside.

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Roker Roundup 20/21
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Arca looks back on Sunderland spell

Former Sunderland winger Julio Arca has been talking to Planet Football about his time at the Stadium of Light, as well as his spells with Middlesbrough and South Shields.

Regarding to his Sunderland career, the Argentine believes that scoring on his debut, in front of a packed Stadium of Light, gave him the confidence he needed to show to himself that he could succeed at the club:

I didn’t play many games in front of that amount of people at the beginning of my football career, so it was a good welcome to play my first game with 48,000 fans in a full stadium, I was lucky to score so it was a great start for myself.

It gave me a fantastic platform on the psychological side, to show myself, ‘You can play here, and you can score. You can do this, and you can do that.

Arca also spoke about his first manager at Sunderland, Peter Reid. Describing Reid as a proper English manager who always looked after the Argentina under-21 international:

He was great. A proper English manager with two sides to him. He could be nice, but when the team didn’t do the right thing, he could obviously be a bit grumpy.

It helped me a lot to have a first English manager like that. He taught me how to respond to the things he said and how to take them on board. He looked after me. I was a young player and he obviously had a lot of experience in football as a manager and a player. He was good with me.

Soccer - FA Carling Premiership - Sunderland v Chelsea Photo by Steve Morton/EMPICS via Getty Images

Lawrence on his Keane bust up

Julio Arca may have been glowing in his praise for Peter Reid but another former Sunderland winger, Liam Lawrence, was not so kind towards Roy Keane.

Lawrence was talking to Mansfield Town’s official YouTube channel ahead of last weekend’s game and said his time was Sunderland was fantastic, but explained how quickly his departure from the club came about:

It was good, apart from the end when I obviously fell out with Roy, it was fantastic. In our first season we go on to win the league by record points.

Just seeing the contrast, the difference in training ground, the difference in stadium, the expectation of the people.

It was an eye-opener but something I cherished. As I said it went well the first year, the second year we obviously went down, we were up against it from the outset anyway. The board didn’t help us with that, there was no money to spend, so we ended up going down and then obviously Roy Keane comes in and the rest is history.

We just had an argument in training one day, I didn’t agree with what he was doing, how he treated me. So I walked in, he comes in a bit later one, we have an argument, we go up to his office and the argument escalates, we nearly have a scrap.

That’s it, it’s done, I walk out, he tells me to keep his phone on me and that was it, I never went back.

Soccer - Coca-Cola Football League Championship - Cardiff City v Sunderland Photo by Matthew Ashton - PA Images via Getty Images

Chance to buy a match won Sunderland shirt

MatchWornShirt and The Royal British Legion have teamed up to offer fans the chance to purchase special edition shirts, that have been embroidered with a poppy for Remembrance Day.

The shirts were worn by the majority of the Premier League and EFL sides and they were personally signed by the players after each game played.

That includes Sunderland, with the home shirts that were worn during the FA Cup tie against Mansfield Town available in an auction at MatchWornShirt.com.

Bidding for the shirts ends on November 27th at 8pm and the current highest offer is for Chris Maguire’s shirt which is at £448 at the time of writing, with the lowest at the moment being the shirt worn by Elliot Embleton, which is going for £103.

The winner of the auction will receive the shirt of their bidding and each shirt will be disinfected by UV-C light, to preserve match worn elements but eliminating traces of bacteria and virus.

Sunderland v Mansfield Town: Emirates FA Cup First Round Photo by Mark Fletcher/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images