M’Villain of the piece: (1) do we blame Sunderland, Rubin Kazan or the player?

Lost to Sunderland
Lost to Sunderland

As Salut! Sunderland‘s deputy editor, Malcolm Dawson, put it in a comment on these pages late last night, the end of Sunderland’s hopes of bringing back Yann M’Vila – from Russia with the love of so many of our supporters – represents the loss of a player of known quality.

Martin Bain, SAFC chief executive, explains: “I was contacted this week by M’Vila’s representatives, who advised that the player no longer wishes to join Sunderland.

“There was a three-and-a-half-year agreement in place, however after discussions with the manager we have decided not to enforce the contract. Any player that we bring to Sunderland Football Club must be wholly committed.

“Yann M’Vila will therefore not be joining us in January and we wish him well for the future.”

It is difficult to argue with that.

But as Malcolm also said: “We could have had him for less than Ndong. I can understand the club not wishing to be held to ransom but like Marcos Alonso we’ve missed out on a proven player.”

This is where the disappointment lies. While holding out against Rubin Kazan’s preposterous demand for £8.5m for a player with only a few months left on his contract, Sunderland did spend money, quite a lot, on Didier Ndong and Paddy McNair (Donald Love was very much the makeweight when he and McNair arrived from Manchester United, accounting for only a t10th of the combined £5m fee).

Ndong’s form has so far been mostly underwhelming. The others may come good – though poor McNair, having shown real improvement before his injury, is now out for the rest of the season – but were essentially bought as future investments. What we lost through not having M’Vila is undoubtedly significant, if incalculable.

But whereas his Russian club’s greed is beyond serious question, and our own club could be accused of false economy, as I have written today at ESPN, M’Vila hardly emerges with credit from the sorry saga.

He is entitled to choose where he wishes to play his football but should not have given the impression, with the pre-transfer agreement he signed, of having made that choice in favour of Sunderland. Being led up the garden path is a phrase that springs to mind.

Jake: 'another mighty effort, Lads'
Jake: ‘another mighty effort, Lads’

For all the Swansea City vs Sunderland buildup, go to the Salut! Sunderland home page and navigate easily from there …

The onus, as I argued in that ESPN piece, is now on such men as Jan Kirhhoff, Seb Larsson, the soon-to-return Fabio Borini and, yes, Ndong, to provide what has been sorely lacking and was also lacking in M’Vila’s game), goals from midfield.

If that were to start happening, and the recent sharp improvement is maintained, I suspect the great disappointment felt about the latest twist of the Yann M’Vila affair will be short-lived.

M Salut, drawn by Matt, colouring by Jake
M Salut, drawn by Matt, colouring by Jake

6 thoughts on “M’Villain of the piece: (1) do we blame Sunderland, Rubin Kazan or the player?”

  1. I take your point Vince and if Kirch can stay fit I agree he would be ahead of M’Vila in my books but the Frenchman did a good job for us in my view. However I feel that we should have signed him before the season started if the club and the manager (Allardyce at the time) wanted him.

    Rose was always going back to Spurs but Alonso and M’Vila were there for the signing. Considering that the club landed themselves with Vergini and Alvarez (saga still on-going) after clauses inserted in their loan contracts it would appear that there was a lack of foresight or consultation with the manager regarding those. I’m wondering if the reason we are not seeing much of Manquillo and Janujaz lately might have something to do with that – although they have hardly merited a place on their performances to date either.

    In all the talk we have been having about injuries no-one seems to mention Jack Rodwell. I’m hoping he’s on the road to recovery because come January we may need him and O’Shea as our centre half pairing with Djilobodji and Kone unlikely to be available then.

    • Well Danny was making favourable nosies about coming here so I’m not so sure Spurs were making him feel that much part of their plans.
      As to Rodwell I have to disagree….has has been invisible, even when on the pitch(has he ever won a game in red and white?).Every manager we have had recently plays him to start with then eventually realises he is a waste of a shirt and drop him.
      Moyes has finally clicked on to that in my view.Personally I look forward to Cattermole coming back.

      • On second thoughs he may make a potential centre back,so you may have an good idea there.He is hopeless in midfield.

      • No Rodwell has never started a game where we took all three points, though we were robbed at Watford when he scored! With McNair out, that only leaves O’Shea and Danayer as cover for the two defenders who will be away at the African Cup of Nations. Unless we sign a centre back in January that leaves Jones! and Rodwell!!!! or untried young lads as cover for that position.

  2. My view piont is Kirchoff is a far better player all round.I was never a big fan of M’Villa anyways.The fact we are having much debate about an average midfielder simply shows how low we our expectations are as supporters.

    Footballer are not the generally brightest of sparks(M’Villa is certainly one of those) and leave all contract dealings with their agents, so who knows what they have been filling his empty head with?
    To be honest coming home from the match on Saturday he did not even enter my head.
    So just another player passing through…and a not particularly good one either.We have been guilty of letting far better players slip through our fingers,like Alonso and Danny Rose.

  3. Of course we are not party to what went on in negotiations but what appears to be emerging is that the club were holding out to get him on a free in order to give him a more lucrative contract. If he doesn’t want to come then we are better off without him and it will mean that there may be enough to give Kirchhoff a new contract. With him, Seb and an improving Denayar fit we may be Ok for the time being but we also need Khazri and Januzaj pulling their weight with the injury list we have.

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