For weeks, he’s been silent, But Birflatt Boy has been provoked beyond endurance and is back on the warpath. In his sights: Steve Bruce’s over-dependence on loan signings, and one in particular. It is fair to conclude that BB was not among those casting shedloads of MOTM votes for Elmo earlier in the season (though it’s also fair to add that the Egyptian has champions among SAFC fans while some opposing supporters regard him as a real threat) …
Any hopes of European qualification that we might have had have been sunk.
And one of the many problems we have, to my mind, is that we are top heavy with loanees: Mensah, Muntari, Onouha, Welbeck, and of course our very own version of Forrest Gump, Ahmed Elmohamady, or “Elmo” for short. This one really is the runt of the loanee litter!
Five of them, and they have featured regularly this season. We still haven’t committed on anyone yet, even though a spokesman from Elmos’s club in Egypt was quoted as saying that to all intents and purposes “he is now a Sunderland player”.
But you can’t build a team with players that belong to somebody else. Especially when they are like this fellah!
Elmo is frankly one of the worst imports that we’ve seen in the English League for some time. Quite what Bruce saw, that made him think this lad was a footballer, God only knows. He tries all the time. He tries very hard. There’s never a lack of effort, just an abundant absence of any footballing ability whatsoever.
Let’s cut to the chase. He is pretty quick, but he’s only quick when he hasn’t got the ball under control. He has a head like a Toblerone, and always seems to have his head about four feet from the flight of the ball.
As he ran away rubbing the back of his head after Shorey had managed to break his own duck of scoring for Sunderland before the flying Pharoah it was difficult to know whether he was celebrating a piece of good fortune or embarrassed that the spotlight may have fallen on him after making yet another haphazard aerial challenge.
He is even less effective with his head than he is with his feet, and that’s saying something, particularly bearing in mind that he can’t shoot and is more likely to be on the end of a law suit a la Cisse as a result of hitting somebody in the crowd than he is of hitting the net.
Someone is bound to correct me (as the law of averages alone would suggest I must be wrong!), but has Elmo managed to bring a save out of an opposing goalkeeper since he arrived? I can’t think of one.
The most important aspect of a winger’s play is the ability to deliver good service into the box from positions which weaken the opposition defence; namely the dead ball line, or at the worst when he has passed the full back. If by any chance you are reading this Elmo then this does not mean just past the half way line or from the front door of The Howard Arms. That doesn’t work.
By the way his tackling is nothing to start writing home to Cairo about either. Elmo really does personify what is wrong with the modern game: nothing but an overpaid lummox. This is a player who isn’t worth a place in the car park, yet was amazingly restored to the starting XI.
When Steve Bruce signed him the eventual fee was supposed to be around the 2.5 million mark. We have already paid a loan fee I understand. It’s a shame that there wasn’t a clause in there which linked the loan fee to goals created (assists in modern parlance), or to crosses delivered to a red and white shirt. A smart accountant would have included deductions for crosses delivered to the opposition. That way we could have come out of this deal with some sort of credit.
Steve Bruce’s persistence with Elmo, has long since passed the point of causing bemusement or even bewilderment. His selection defies the most consistent and incontrovertible evidence that he isn’t within a Saharan mile of being good enough, yet down the tunnel he comes virtually week in and week out. After the latest episode on the Bruce and Black Horror Show there are other candidates to receive a panning on sites like this, but Elmo really just encapsulates Steve Bruce’s reign which must be hanging by the most slender of threads now after a single point gained in the last 24.
Elmo has tried hard and credit to him for that. He just isn’t any good.
Please Mr Bruce, take the sensible decision and send him home with a couple of stottie cakes for his trouble. At least make sure that we are not stuck within him any longer than we are going to be stuck with you. He’ll never make a player as long as the sun continues to set on the Sphinx. Where was it that they shot the real Forrest Gump?