Is it a breach of Salut! Sunderland‘s policy of getting fully behind the Lads before matchday to support Steve Bruce’s comments on the Titus Bramble affair? I don’t think so.
Bramble has been suspended pending a club investigation into those aspects of the early-hours Yarm incident that concern club discipline. He therefore plays no part in the approach to West Brom at home tomorrow.
Like Bruce, I have no idea of the truth or otherwise of the suspicions on which Bramble was held in the cells overnight and questioned about an alleged sexual assault and possession of a class A drug. The player is innocent of any offence, in the eyes of the law and in mine, until such time as he is proved guilty.
But Bruce was quite right to echo my own thoughts about where Bramble found himself at that hour of the day, so soon after playing badly in the 2-1 defeat at Norwich and with a key opportuntity to redeem himself only three days away.
The manager told the Shields Gazette: “There’s a police investigation going on into Titus, and obviously I’m restricted in what I can say, but for me, the big disappointment is he shouldn’t have been there in the first place.
“With the rewards footballers get, they have a responsibility, a moral responsibility, and I don’t think footballers should be in nightclubs on a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, especially after you have just been beaten – and how badly he had performed against Norwich as well.
“If it was me, I would be locking myself away for 24, 48 hours and burying my head, and making sure when training comes around that I’m going to go and perform better than I did on Monday night.”
And while he’s on, Bruce might have a word with another of his squad who is unavailable for tomorrow.
If Phil Bardsley’s lawyer was accurately quoted in the remarks he made in support of the player’s unsuccessful bid to avoid a six-month totting-up driving ban, it must have been among the most fatuous appeals in judicial history.
Essentially: my client will be inconvienced in getting to and from training, his partner will have to get up earlier to take the child to school and it was only for a few minutes in any case that he parked so inconsiderately (in order to undertake the can’t-wait business of collecting some winnings on a bet). Or have I been dreaming; were those comments made only in some old episode of Monty Python?
Ha’way the Lads that remain available for selection! Collectively, you’ve a lot to prove.
* No comments in breach of the principle of innocent until proved otherwise will be permitted.