Clegg on working under Roy Keane
Michael Clegg spent 12 years at Sunderland as the club’s strength and conditioning coach, after being brought to the club by Roy Keane in 2006.
Speaking to Planet Football about working under the Republic of Ireland great, Clegg explained that his arrival was part of Keane’s plan to bring the ‘Manchester United DNA’ to Sunderland.
Although Keane has a fearsome reputation, Clegg says that once you are in his inner circle you see a different side of the former Sunderland boss:
He wanted to take the United DNA to Sunderland, so he also took Raimond van der Gouw as goalkeeping coach, Neil Bailey and Ricky Sbragia as coaches and Mick Brown as chief scout.
People see the stern and aggressive Roy Keane, but when you are in his inner circle you see what a brilliant person he is. When we were promoted to the Premier League, he sent 15 of his staff to Monaco for four days.
He was big into team bonding, as well, taking us cycling and clay pigeon shooting.
Clegg would eventually depart in 2018, following Stewart Donald’s takeover, and despite feeling ready for a new challenge, he is disappointed he was told of his departure in person:
It was something I had kind of expected because the club had just been taken over and I was ready for a new challenge, but I wished they had done it face to face.
SAFC linked youngster heads home
Sunderland were linked with young Honduran striker Iverson Sacaza recently but he has instead made the move back to his homeland with top flight outfit Vida, according to Diez.
The 17-year-old had been plying his trade with Real Madrid affiliate Getafe City Soccer School but has now signed a two-year professional deal with Vida and hopes to break into the youth set-up of the national side.
He has already featured for his new side, appearing as an unused substitute shortly in the 2-1 win over Marathon.
Bent on Sunderland move
Joe Hart made a social media gaffe on Thursday night, posting ‘Job Done’ following his Tottenham Hotspur side’s 3-0 away defeat in the Europa League which saw Dinamo Zagreb go through 3-2 on aggregate.
Hart blamed his social media team mistakenly believing Tottenham had won but, speaking on Talksport, former Sunderland striker Darren Bent told Hart to take ownership of his own social media posts and pointed to his own experiences with Spurs.
Bent famously demanded on Twitter that Daniel Levy allow him to move to the Stadium of Light and recalled that incident on Talksport’s Drive show:
I got a two week fine for it, by the way, and it came back on me.
This was no disrespect at the time to Hull and Stoke because I’d already had the conversation with Sunderland, so I wanted to go there.
Stoke and Hull in this situation were irrelevant. I felt like Spurs were trying to railroad me into going there. I’d have a conversation with Daniel Levy saying I want to go to Sunderland, but he’d say ‘but Hull have offered this’. I didn’t really care what Hull had bid.
I got kicked off the plane before going to China as the deal was nearly done. I got off the plane, but what really annoyed me and why I sent this tweet out, was that Spurs went to China to play in this tournament, came back, and the deal still hadn’t been done. I was sitting in my house for ten days doing nothing.
Because Twitter was only just getting big at the time, I didn’t think anyone would pick up on it until my agent phoned me. My agent called me and said ‘D, have you put a message on Twitter? It’s everywhere.’ Daniel Levy I think said to my agent that I needed to distance myself from Twitter.
I ended up leaving. I got up to Sunderland on the Monday and they still hadn’t got the deal done, so I couldn’t train until Friday.
Dutch coach on failed Sunderland move
Head coach of Dutch minnows SV Nootdrop has revealed that he had been in talks about a move to Sunderland, only for it to fall through when he could not find a buyer for his Austrian-themed bar.
Marko Jalink, a UEFA A-License qualified coach, explained to Algemeen Dagblad that it was his dream to coach abroad but the failure to sell his Alpen Express Ski Hut bar in Hellevoetsluis, Netherlands and then the arrival of Covid-19 put an end to hopes that his future could be at the Stadium of Light:
A coaching career abroad would be great. I’ve always wanted that and it still beckons. Recently I was in conversation with the English Sunderland. Only at that moment I could not sell my Skihut and of course they are not going to wait for Marco Jalink.
Now corona is throwing a spanner in the works. That’s too bad.