Monsieur Salut writes: the club’s statement on the completion of Josh Maja’s move to Bordeaux was short and uninformative. We awaited some thanks, either way. They came belatedly from Maja and we should give him the benefit of the doubt and accept them at face value as being his own sentiments, not some old dross churned out by his agent(s). Social media being what it is, the response has been mostly unforgiving and mostly unappealing …
This is how Josh Maja chose to bid farewell to Sunderland:
‘Would like to express how much of an honour it was to break through into senior football at such a special club that is Sunderland AFC. I had many blessed moments during my time at Sunderland. Wishing everyone involved with the club all the best in the future’
I have said it and others at Salut! Sunderland have said it, too. Many of us come across chances during our working lives to move to other positions, new employers, different places.
Mostly, I suspect, loyalty to our current employer comes some way down the list of priorities as we weigh up the pros and cons.
Football is an activity where loyalty is even more rare a commodity than in other walks of life. Few if any clubs, players or managers receive or give it. Josh Maja was not employed to be a Sunderland supporter but to play football. He did it well and if we go up this season, it will be in no small measure because of his efforts before he left. And now he has chosen to go elsewhere.
Plenty of questions arise all the same.
Did he tell Jack Ross one day that he wanted to stay and allow his agent, next day, to overrule this decision? Did he and/or his agent(s) show scant respect to Sunderland AFC? Was there not a way in which he could have repaid what the club had done for him, completing the job started this season (of helping us back up) and still fulfilling his wish to get away in the summer? Is sitting on the bench or in the stands at Bordeaux really so much better than all the options to stay, if only temporarily?
Those questions, and others, may or may not be answered.
Not in front of 40k fans, but in first division. Regards.
— GOSSAGA France_Jo (@france_JO) January 26, 2019
But even if I find myself in a minority, I refuse to associate myself with some of the wilder, nastier comments posted at Twitter about his departure. You may choose to go there and decide for yourselves or you may feel no need to do so.
I continue to wish Josh well, to thank him for his contributions to our cause and to ask him to reflect on whether he, in the end, feels 100 per cent proud of the way he ultimately treated the club he considers “special”.
Would like to express how much of an honour it was to break through into senior football at such a special club, that is Sunderland AFC. I had many blessed moments during my time at Sunderland. Wishing everyone involved with the club all the best in the future. @SunderlandAFC pic.twitter.com/6mo5lnLW4a
— Josh Maja (@joshmaja) January 26, 2019