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Roker Roundup: “I feel like I got made a scapegoat” - Jack Rodwell on his Sunderland nightmare

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Speaking candidly with the official Everton FC Podcast, former Sunderland midfielder Jack Rodwell has talked about his time at the club and how he felt like he was made a ‘scapegoat’.

Sunderland Training Sesison Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Rodwell discusses Sunderland spell

Jack Rodwell appeared on the Official Everton Podcast yesterday, as the Premier League club interview past players about their time at Everton and their life and career since leaving Goodison Park.

During the interview, Rodwell discussed his time at Sunderland and chatted about his experiences with the Netflix programme Sunderland ‘Til I Die.

The current Sheffield United utility player explains that as he was not playing much during that season, he did not see the documentary crew regularly but still found the experience to be off-putting:

They were everywhere, they were on the pitch, the were behind the scenes.

It’s good, it’s good for fans and good for things like that to see things but as for players, I think most of us kind of wanted a little bit of our own space, the manager as well. It was one of those things.

To be honest, it was a season for me where I wasn’t playing at all, a little bit of a low season for me in general. I was kind of out of the way a little bit from the dressing room, I didn’t really quite get to see it every day. It was one of them, you look back and it was a little bit off-putting to be honest.

Regarding that season, Rodwell revealed that he was made into a scapegoat for no reason and that he was always ready to play:

It wasn’t a good season for anyone but especially for me, I didn’t even kick a ball that season. Like you said, I feel like I got made a scapegoat without doing anything wrong really. I was ready to play but for whatever reason I wasn’t ever picked, things like that happen in football.

I don’t really speak about it in the media, I could go on and on but I don’t really because it’s part and parcel of the game. I just get on with it and try to keep positive and don’t even really think about it.

I could look back and say ‘this is how they treated me, this is what they did, this is how they were wrong about this’ but I know what happened and I know what type of person I am and that’s the main thing really, I just try and let my football do the talking.

The one-time England international explained that he was training hard but was prevented from playing due to behind the scenes decisions that were out of his control:

No because I just don’t think they were ever going to play me, it was behind the scenes decisions that were out of my control. I was just going about my business as normal, training every day as hard as I could. If I get picked or if I don’t get picked that’s not up to me.

The reasons why I was told I wasn’t getting picked were other reasons that I don’t want to go into, no need to. I just turned up for training and if I wasn’t getting picked, I wasn’t getting picked.

Rodwell was happy when his former Everton manager David Moyes turned up on Wearside but believes the Scot walked into a tough job and, in the circumstances, did as well as he could:

For me that was brilliant news, it was a familiar face, obviously brought me through at a young age at Everton, so that was brilliant.

To see some of the old faces, he brought Jimmy Lumsden in and people like that who I hadn’t seen in a while, yeah it was just nice surroundings being familiar with him.

It was a tough job, looking back at it. The two seasons before that we just survived relegation and survived we actually did, it was down to the wire the last few games.

The first season Moyes came in, it was difficult, the team wasn’t on a necessarily positive momentum, it was probably the opposite if anything. I felt like at the time, no matter what he did really it was going to be a very difficult job. In my opinion he did as well as he could and it just didn’t quite work out.

Although Sunderland are currently residing in League One, the 29-year-old would not be surprised to see the club back in the Premier League in the next few years:

It’s a massive club, it’s a shame where they are really. I don’t think anyone really expects them to be in League One. Obviously they missed promotion this year in unfortunate circumstances with the virus and things like that.

Like you said, it’s a massive club, massive fanbase, great stadium, it’s got the history, it’s got everything it needs to be a big club. It’s just unfortunate for the last few years that it has been on a bit of a downward slide.

I’m sure they’ll bounce back soon, it might just take a couple more years to just cement themselves as a bit of a Championship team and then build from there really. Maybe two or three years you might see them back in the Premier League, you just don’t know do you?

You can listen to the podcast with Rodwell in full on Spotify be either clicking HERE or pressing play below:

Sunderland Players Return for the Start of Pre-Season Training Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Wrexham on new Black Cat

Sunderland signed Wrexham defender Bobby Beaumont earlier in the month, with the 18-year-old signing an initial one-year deal.

Speaking to the Welsh club’s official website, his former coach at Wrexham, Dan Nolan, sang his former youth team captain’s praises:

Bobby was a model student and player during his time in the Centre of Excellence.

He deserves his success because of the excellent attitude he showed during his time with the club, and I’d like to wish him the best of luck for the future.

As for the player himself, he revealed last week to the Leader that the move came about thanks to a successful trial at the Academy of Light and says he cannot wait to get started:

I had a trial here for 10 days and they offered me a 12 month deal with the option for another 12 months.

The Stadium of Light is a great stadium and my digs are only five minutes away from the training ground.

I’m really looking forward to the new season. It’s going to be different. It’s been hard for all clubs during lockdown to make plans and this season is going to be different for everyone.


Academy products on the move

Sam Greenwood has posted a goodbye to Arsenal on his Instagram page ahead of completing a £1.5m - rising to £3m - move to Leeds United.

The England youth striker had been starring in the Gunners under-18 team but he is now expected to step up to Marcelo Bielsa’s development squad once the move to Elland Road goes through.

Tommy Robson has completed his move to Queens Park, who will become the third Scottish outfit he has featured for since leaving Sunderland in 2018.

The Scottish League Two club’s manager, Ray McKinnon, was delighted to welcome the Sunderland academy product to his club, telling the club website:

I’m really pleased to have got this one over the line. Tommy is a top-quality player who despite being just 24, brings great experience and athleticism to the squad.

He is an attack minded, left sided player, and I believe he has a great future ahead of him in the game. It’s fantastic to have him on board.

Sunderland U23 v Athletic Bilbao U23: Premier League International Cup Quarter-Final Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images