‘I’ll be a Sunderland fan this year’
Sunderland signed former Everton youngster Morgan Feeney late last week, with the centre back making his first appearance for the club in the 3-1 friendly win over Gateshead.
Everton’s development squad also won at the weekend, beating Runcorn Town 7-1 and after the game their manager David Unsworth made sure to express his delight at Feeney’s move to Sunderland.
Unsworth told the official Everton website that he will be a Sunderland fan this year thanks to Feeney’s arrival and said that Phil Parkinson’s team will be getting a ‘wonderful player, wonderful man and a leader’:
He phoned me [on Friday] night and we had a lovely conversation.
I’m thrilled, because I spoke to Phil Parkinson a week or two ago and he asked me about him and I couldn’t have sung his praises any more. It was like I was his agent!
I’m glad Phil has decided to take him because he’s not just a wonderful player, he’s a wonderful man. He’s been a wonderful player and skipper for me over the past couple of years.
I’m sure, given the right opportunities, Morgan will do very well there. Sunderland are getting a top player, a top professional, and they’re getting a leader.
It’s a wonderful club, wonderful history, great fanbase. A proper club. I’ll be a Sunderland fan this year!
Former trio in the news
Former Sunderland striker Anthony Stokes has joined academy product Max Stryjek at Scottish Premiership outfit Livingston after signing a one-year deal with Gary Holt’s team.
Stokes has been signed to replace Australian striker Lyndon Dykes who departed the club last week to sign for Queens Park Rangers.
| Livingston FC is thrilled to announce the signing of Irish striker Anthony Stokes on a one-year-deal following his departure from Persian Gulf Pro League champions, Persepolis in Iran.— Livingston FC (@LiviFCOfficial) August 22, 2020
Full story here - https://t.co/XsLHzRty2c pic.twitter.com/zeNu1CrYvH
Ex-Sunderland midfielder and future England centre back Jack Rodwell has signed a new deal with Sheffield United that will see him remain at Bramall Lane until the end of the 2020-21 season.
Jack Rodwell has committed his future to the club, agreeing a contract extension until the summer of 2021 ✍️#SUFC— Sheffield United (@SheffieldUnited) August 23, 2020
Sunderland released Tommy Smith back in May and the New Zealand international joined Colchester United this week on trial as he looks to earn a contract ahead of the new season.
He had played two pre-season games for Colchester - including one against former club Ipswich Town - but now the Edinburgh Evening News report that Smith is in talks with Hearts over a move to the SPL, as the Scottish side look for a cover after an injury to John Souttar.
Everything changed when Allardyce left
Ola Toivonen re-signed for Malmo this summer, after 11 years playing abroad, including a loan spell at Sunderland during the 2015-16 season.
Recalling his spell at the Stadium of Light with FotbollSkanalen, the Swedish international said the club was a ‘fantastic organization’ when he was there and was not the same as the club he saw while watching the Netflix series Sunderland ‘Til I Die.
Toivonen pinpoints Sam Allardyce’s departure as the catalyst for the club’s downfall, saying the former England manager had great control over the club:
No. It was a fantastic organization when Sebastian [Larsson] and I were there, fantastic support from the crowd every match. It felt like there was order and finding out what we could influence.
Manager Sam Allardyce had great control over the organization and his staff. We did not have a very good view of the finances. When Sam got the job in England, everything changed. Had he not taken that job, it probably would not have gone so south for them.