The unsettling of our stars: just tell Arsenal Sessegnon is hopeless

As seen by Jake

It is refreshing to come across a general football website that does not merely lift what it can from the mainstream press but offers its own comments on the material it finds …

did so today, reporting Mail and Express stories suggesting Arsenal are preparing to offer up to £20m for Stéphane Sessegnon and £6m for Kieran Richardson before describing such targets as representing a “big step backwards” for the Gunners.

The site’s writer, who uses The Newshound as his canine nom de guerre, dismisses the reported interest as “more befitting a Europa League challenge than a move forwards”. Promising “no disrespect meant to the Black Cats”, which can safely be taken as an admission of disrespect, CaughtOffside’s rottweiler declares that neither player is “better than what is already available to Wenger now”.

He says that while the suggested price tag of £6m for Richardson sounded good value for money, it “would surely not appease Gunners fans who want to see the club bring in top notch talent”. As for Sess, our star “has improved a great deal in his second season at the Stadium of Light but a £20m valuation, as place by the Express is simply ridiculous”.

It is indeed ridiculous, Newshound. Ridiculously short of the heights to which his value has soared during a run of performances that has made him a serious contender for recognition as the best performing player in the Premier just now.

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I made that point in a comment that briefly appeared at CaughtOffside before being deleted for what I can only think was the pathetic reason that it included a link to Pete Sixsmith’s assessment that Sess was by far the most accomplished player on the pitch (even though he was deployed out of his most effective position). Here is the link that site to show we’re above such pettiness.

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I added that while I considered the writer’s judgement to be completely wrong – Richardson, arguably, was the best back from either side on show in both games against Arsenal – I hoped his Londoncentric view prevailed.

Image: addicted_Kevin

It would be wonderful if we could just tell Arsenal or anyone else, if the stories have any substance, to re-arrange off and bog into a well-known phrase or saying. But the unsettling of players in these stories, whether the result of journalistic imagination, agents’ manipulation or – heaven forbid – germs of truth, is sadly par for the course.

Let us hope that players we need recognise that they are part of a terrific revolution under Martin O’Neill at the Stadium of Light, one that Asamoah Gyan must be kicking himself for having greedily opted out of.

I regard Richardson as an important member of our first-team squad, more much useful because of his varied qualities than some fans have given him credit for.

Maybe just maybe, Sess will also see that there is infinitely more value in playing week after week for a proper club, where his skills and commitment are fully and warmly appreciated, than competing for bench space and occasionally turning out for a brand many of whose supporters cling to a belief that they are entitled to win every game.

And take it from us, Arsène (assuming you are still in charge come the summer): The Newshound is right, Sess is vastly overrated and is under no circumstances worth the £30m+ he’d cost you if Ellis Short is half the businessman I take him to be. Buy Gyan instead.

Monsieur Salut

21 thoughts on “The unsettling of our stars: just tell Arsenal Sessegnon is hopeless”

  1. Malcolm said “It would appear from the thumbs down BB there are those who have missed the gist of Salut’s and your fifth columnist tactics.”

    Sometimes peope just don’t read the original article and just plough into the comments,

  2. The game has changed in the last two years it is surely better to stay where you are and establish a home a base, surely the money is not the issue. Does anyone think that Torres is enjoying his move to Chelsea. Would Cahill given the chance to re-evaluate swop his respected role of the honest endeavour of a relegation scrap with Bolton a club I assume he loved with the media circus that Chelsea has become. Is money creating happiness at Stamford Bridge for anyone, I seriously doubt it. Why are football players chasing dollars? 3 seasons in the Premier League with create financial security for the rest of your life ( apart from Gasgcione) Why don’t players put their families first like normal people, move for improvement and not just for financial reward.

    • Keith – in life people are motivated in different ways. For some it is the desire to do things for others, and some who are driven by greed. It is the assumption that profit, huge incomes etc. are desirable which is behind the supposedly “efficient” system of laissez faire – no matter how damaging that may be to the world in the long run. Too much of a debate and an inappropriate one to to go into here but many footballers at the top level are advised by people who are only interested in one thing. They are the greedy ones and it is in their selfish interests to negotiate deals that earn themselves the greatest commission.

      Obviously there are players about whose heads aren’t turned by these advisors. Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Steven Gerrard etc. have all shown loyalty and commitment to their clubs although they have been well rewarded. Others have also shown that commitment before being moved on by their clubs – in our club Kevin Ball, and Sir Niall Quinn have both shown alove of the club that transcends the salary issue.

      I don’t understand why footballers aren’t happy with earning more per month than most people earn in a decade either but then I can’t understand why cowboy buiders con pensioners into parting with their life savings for non existent roof repairs, or low lifes will steel bronze plaques commemorating the dead of two World Wars to sell for scrap – but it happens.

      I’m sure (well actually I’m not but there might be) there are loads of good agents out there who do look at the bigger picture but many who don’t really give a toss about their clients’ welfare, just the size of their bank balance and their flashy lifestyle.

  3. Let’s hope that Modric comes to us then Malcolm.


    I really don’t know what all the fuss is about with him. I haven’t seen him have a decent game.

    As for McClean. Nothing but a flash in the pan. He’s no better than Paul Atkinson.

    • The assesment of Sessegnon and McClean seem slightly distorted and maybe not considering the facts. Sessegnon has been ever present at Sunderland due to his obvious talent and technical ability, I accept he can be infuriating at times but when he gets the ball the opposition tighten up immediatley leaving gaps elsewhere. He is both scoring and creating important goals and is a constant threat, he has had many very good games for Sunderland and would be a major loss if he moved on, lets hope MON convinces him to stay we have not had player of this calibre for a long long time. McClean has been a breath of fresh air and is anything but a flash in the pan his work rate is exceptional, his speed and determination make him and handful and he is getting better every game

    • It would appear from the thumbs down BB there are those who have missed the gist of Salut’s and your fifth columnist tactics.

    • Sess is effective as he can possibly be in our side due to the manger building our forward play around him rather than just hoping he does something if the ball find its way to him (Bruce anyone?). He’d be frightening in a top four team. The transition from him controlling any kind of ball thrown at him, to him carrying with it with pace is like nothing we normally see from a player at our club, it’s a joy to watch.

      I don’t know who Paul Atkinson is, before my time maybe. I sincerely hope you don’t mean Brian Atkinson haha

      • Paul Atkinson burst onto the scene in 1983 after a good tournament on the Isle of Man. 5 years, 75 games on the wing before going to Port Vale and knacking his ankle

  4. Unfortunately from a fans perspective there are few players who will put loyalty and/or a feel good factor above the advice of an agent looking for their next fat percentage.

    Look at Modric at Spurs. He must be enjoying playing there but he was pushing for a move in the summer. Maybe Harry has a persuasive dog or (heaven forbid) someone was actually able to make a contract stick.

    I’ll keep my fingers crossed he is still a Sunderland player next season – and the way things are he’ll have a better chance of playing for a higher club staying with us than going to Norf Laarndarn – but from statements he made earlier this month I expect him to be away unless he gets a vastly improved deal.

  5. The speculation isn’t a joke so we have to come up with a few reasons to put Wenger and all the Ruperts and Montys who support Arsenal off the idea …

  6. Wenger likes his players to be of French descent somewhere down the line, so despite Sess not being some atrocious centre half nobody has ever heard of, there’s a chance he may make a move.

    Richo’s contribution to this football club has been appallingly downgraded in my opinion. Had he stayed in one position he may have excelled in it but from a selfish point of view, his versatility is good. That said, he is finally looking the part at left back mainly due to the way in which are playing giving him confidence and consistency. His problem pre-O’Neill was his apparent struggle in keeping possession of the ball. Our current system sees players make quicker and more obvious runs than previous, meaning less thinking time and general time on the ball is required. Wingers also back track a hell of a lot more giving a quicker outlet for our full backs when we turn defence into attack.

    He has been here 5 years already, stay and be a legend Richo. You know you want to.

  7. mate, you can keep both of them. Start to come to terms with clubs tapping up your players and the agents starting to earn their 10% by prostituting their charges in the farmers’ market.

  8. Don’t tell Arse(ne/nal – an irregular verb?) that Sess is useless – he’ll buy him in a flash judging by their recent record in the transfer market. Would be great to hold on to BOTH players for all the reasons stated above – but mainly because they are enjoying the game, which I think would be tough for anyone not playing regularly.

    Would be just as nice to have a fit and firing Gyan back for the same reason (yeah, yeah, yeah…you won’t say that if he comes back scoring goals), but I’m not sure he likes football at all anymore, never mind his being fit and firing…

  9. But wouldn’t it be great if our players realised what great times they are part of at Sunderland, by all means fought for wages as high as they could get … but stayed to see it through? Or is that just dewy-eyed romantic tosh?

  10. Ricco is a valuable, versatile player. Gives us the speed to nullify quick right wingers and provide a threat going forward.
    Sess, what can you say, perhaps our best player. Bought at a very reasonable price, he is worth surely upwards of 20mil. I don’t know if he has a buy out clause in his contract but I’m sure it would have been under 20mil.
    I think we might lose him to be honest (perhaps not to arsenal I don’t know), but I reckon he’s a top 4 player. I think, not only the draw of champions league football, but perhaps a home in London where his family could settle more may prove tempting. I hope when negotiating the price for him, Ellis Short is Daniel Levy-esque in his dealings.

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