Sixer Says: let’s offer a fond but grateful farewell to Jozy Altidore

Jake: 'Jody scores, we're on the pitch'
Jake: ‘Jozy scores, we’re on the pitch’

The lads and lasses who support AK over in the Netherlands won’t be able to believe it. For them, Jozy Altidore scored goals for fun. Followers of the United States national team generally think he’s the real deal. But back in Blighty, in Hull and Sunderland, we all wonder about the lack of goals (a problem if you are a striker) and some, Pete Sixsmith among them, suggest Rugby League might have been a better option as the young Jozy contemplated his sporting career. For all that, Jozy Altidore deserves to be remembered as a player who gave his all and was, by all accounts, a great guy. Good luck, Jozy, but let Sixer take up the story …

Farewell to Jozy

Jozy Altidore, Jozy Altidore,

When you kicked that ball

You couldn’t hit a barn door

I accept that my attempt at a pastiche based on the poetry of Sir John Betjeman is more like William McGonnigle or EJ Thribb but however bad it is, it isn’t as bad as the career that our soon to be ex striker has enjoyed in the United Kingdom.

If ever a player was totally unsuited to the Premier League, it was Jozy. He came from the Netherlands at the same time as Wilfried Bony and is exiting his club at the same time too. However, there is a considerable gap (or should it be gulf) between what the two achieved,

He’d had a bad time at Hull City a few years ago, scoring once in the 28 games that he played as Phil Brown’s side toppled into the Championship. He confronted Alan Hutton when we played at the KC Stadium in April, butted him and was sent off, so we didn’t really have a positive image of him.

Off he went to AZ67 Alkmaar, deep in the Dutch cheese fields, where he found the form that had prompted Villareal to shell out a lot of money for him four years previously. Fifteen in the first season, followed by 23 in the second and a regular place in the USA national side, suggested that he had put the Hull experience behind him, and he pitched up at Sunderland as part of the Di Canio and Di Fanti revolution.

Unfortunately, he was awful when he arrived, continued to be awful and was awful as he left for MLS and, presumably Toronto. Unlike that large jam donut mentioned by JM Whistler, his arrival was not eagerly anticipated and his departure will not have us craving for more.

He is yet another expensive failure in our vain attempts to fashion a team with a deadly goalscorer. Over the last few years we have had to suffer Jon Stead, Andy Gray, Rada Prica, Nacho Scocco, Danny Graham and David Healey, who barely summoned up half a dozen goals between them.

But Jozy was probably the biggest flop of all because he came with what looked like a decent pedigree. USA international, regular scorer in the Eredivisie, a player on a mission and that was to conquer England and outshine Wilfried Bony.

He did neither. A single league goal in the 60+ appearances he made for us made him less prolific than Mick Henderson, Tony Cullen, Paul Atkinson and Colin Waldron and the exit sign flashed and beckoned after that horrendous miss against West Ham a few weeks ago.

Despite his inability to find the net – or even the crossbar or the post, let alone the keeper, – the crowd never turned on him. In fact, most of the support desperately wanted him to succeed and realised that his confidence was growing more fragile after every scoreless appearance.

He tried hard and showed some decent touches. He had a storming game in the 3-0 demolition of Newcastle last February, playing a major part in setting up Jack Colback’s clincher. But he missed a great chance in that game and never recovered from it. Perhaps if he had scored then, he would be would be hitting the net regularly for Sunderland.

I wish him well as he returns to a league where he will feel more at home and will be up against slower defenders who may just allow him to show off his pace and strength.

In the future, long after Monsieur Salut and I have shuffled off this mortal coil, young boys will sit around the fire and ask their bewhiskered grandfathers to tell them tales of Jozy Altidore and how he scooped the ball over the top or fell down or ran into defenders. And no doubt they will say: “But he can’t be any worse than this shower of s**** that we have now, Granddad.”

And the old man will shake his head and give a wry chuckle – because he knows that he was.

Pete Sixsmith: 'what will 2015 bring?'
Pete Sixsmith: ‘adieu and good luck, Jozy’

12 thoughts on “Sixer Says: let’s offer a fond but grateful farewell to Jozy Altidore”

  1. These type of players should never get to wear the red & white shirt,he was US all right and is going to his level in the MLS league,which is lower than Div 3 here.He got payed for nothing!

  2. Alan J. 6.5M for winning a penalty. That’s the best that you can do is it to defend this useless ox of a footballer. He pocketed $2.2M per year during the time he was with us, and all you can come up with is a penalty.

    The bloke was complete and utter rubbish of the first order from his first day at the club until his last. A bigger waste of money would be difficult to find at any club in the league, and not just us. A first class embarrassment for us and a pitiful excuse for a footballer. Outscored by Phil Bardsley and left us level on league goals with Mart Poom.

    Yes, we remember the penalty. I’d love to hear your speech at some loafer’s retirement do, asking colleague’s to applaud the bloke sharpening a pencil some time toward the end of October 1992.

    • Arguably, he shouldn’t have needed to be brought down for that penalty [ if he was fouled – TV footage looked doubtful ] because he was put through clear on goal, and really should have got a shot away.

  3. As McGonagle almost said about this disaster:

    Big Centre Forr’ad you lost your way!
    Goodbye! I am not sorry to say
    Your premier league goal can’t be taken away
    Scored against Chelsea, a team in their prime
    Which will be remember’d for a very long time.

  4. Has everyone forgotten it was Jozy who won the penalty at Stamford Bridge that went a long way to saving our status last season?

    • If he had scored in some of the games we drew 0-0 or lost by one goal – about fifteeen of last seaspn’s games – the penalty would have been irrelevant

  5. Must admit I’m in the Jeremy camp here…..yes he tried his heart out and was/ is a nice guy but completely useless at this level (he’s not the only one though ..Gomez) but what you have to really look at is who decided to sign him in the first place!!!

    Our Academy and scouts have a lot to answer for or actually too little to crow about because we appear to have little talent spotting ability. Celtic and Rangers (before their collapse) seemed to have the ability to identify talent form abroad with ease, why can’t we?

    We fail to attract (Defoe excluded, but he would not be at SAFC in his prime) and as Keane said they want the high life and they are not going to get it in Sunderland! Eve our rivals up the road seem to discover ‘gems’ why can’t we.

    As Marcellous say’s in Hamlet ‘ something is rotten in the state of Denmark’!!! and SAFC need to realise we need to bring through our own to make us a team to be proud of.

  6. I was watching a lot of Eredivisie when Jozy was at AZ, and really did think he’d be a good signing once we had him. I can’t understand why a man so good in the Eredivisie, and who always looks good at international level, can be so dreadful in the premier league. Yet that’s the way it went.

    As Phil D says, Defoe needs decent service if he’s to score, and that’s where the danger is. Given that we struggle to make 3 chances per game, he’ll need a monster chance conversion rate if he’s to get a decent tally.

  7. At least Jozy gave his all,but sadly he simply didn’t have the talent to be successful in the unforgiving EPL..He tried hard and failed unlike many more talented players who failed because they couldn’t be bothered .Good luck Jozy least you gave it your best shot.

  8. Doggerel poetry from William McGonagall and the 17½-year-old EJ Thribb is almost as bad as the Jozy poem in the article.

    The swap is great if it comes off, but Defoe needs decent service if he is to score and move us up the table.

    We don’t want a disaster of the epic proportions as described in McGonagall’s Tay Bridge verse.

  9. That last paragraph with the young boy talking to he’s Grandfather was hilarious and probably sums up generations of similar Safc conversations from 1879 untill the end of time . Jozy never recovered from getting that stonking goal against Arsenal ruled out for nowt and he got worse game by game . Yet another fortune wasted while we let the likes of Murphy who I rated at the time and who has improved since go for 50p and the usefull Bendtner who was available on a Bosman ignored . This is Safc though and logic doesn’t apply ,therefore its entirely fitting that we sign a flop and actually swap him for Defoe , you couldn’t make us up .

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