Here is a digest of the week just gone by, as it was seen by Salut! Sunderland …
The week has been dominated by one issue: the sale of Jordan Henderson to Liverpool for £13m, £16m, £19.25m, £20m, money plus Ngog … you take your pick. Can’t the clubs simply be open about fees EVERY time there is a transfer, not just when it suits them? Why are some fees trumpeted, others “undisclosed” (though usually leaked in any case)? Answers on a postcard to Mr N Quinn.
Salut! Sunderland wished Jordan well, regretted his departure, wondered aloud what it said about the club’s ambition and worried about the replacements (seemingly no more lined up this time than when we sold Darren Bent, and therefore vulnerable to Waggish objections to moving to Wearside and/or exorbitant demands from the selling clubs).
Have a look back over what we said, and what our readers made of it all, by clicking on any of the sub-headings:
A look at the media’s role in reporting the build-up to the transfer, plus – since news dropped just as the piece had been written – immediate reflections on the rights and wrongs of the deal.
Salut! Sunderland folk added their own thoughts. Liverpool fans assured us there was more to David Ngog than an ability to dive in spectacular fashion when playing against Birmingham City.
Pete Sixsmith bids his own fond farewell to a man he regards as the best home-produced player at Sunderland AFC since Colin Todd. He also recalls, as others recall presidential assassinations, the moment he heard the news about Toddo.
Phil Johnson, a reader in Thailand, commented: ” I think that has to be one of the best, well rounded articles I have read regarding the SAFC transfer policy over the years.”
We were left exhausted by all things Jordan. Just waiting now for Steve Bruce to interrupt hols in the Algarve to tell us what he really, really thought about losing such a central member of his squad.
And let us all hope the Gyan-for-Spurs speculation leads nowhere, though few of us will be reassured by the tone of the player’s own remarks on the subject., as quoted by Jeremy Robson in a comment at a separate posting about the transfer rumour mill:
“I am not aware of any contact from Spurs, I have a contract with Sunderland. At the moment it is rumours. I was in London three weeks ago for an award in London with my good friend John Pantsil, not for a meeting with Spurs. Spurs are a fantastic club and any player would be flattered by their interest, so I am, but there is nothing I can do if Sunderland want to keep me.”
Sunderland supporters are accustomed to being lectured on how much bigger a club Villa are than us and that this alone is enough to explain why Darren Bent followed his public eulogy to SAFC, its fans, the region and the way his career was proceeding by immediately plonking his first transfer request on the table. Imagine, Villans, Bent kissing your badge next May just as he’s plotting yet another move.
Our two clubs actually had comparable histories – seven top-flight titles for them, six for us though both sets of achievements require impossibly long memories – until our own decline began in. The fan base of each club is also similar, as is the loyalty those fans show. Undoubtedly, Villa’s more recent track record is more impressive than ours and, in a season in which both clubs bitterly disappointed their supporters, they did finish a whole place above us. Geoff Bethell, a SAFC supporter, explained the histories better in a posted comment and concluded that Villa have the edge.
But among those Villa fans is a sizeable minority that gets a buzz out of belittling the likes of us. And that is where Birflatt Boy, a combative if shadowy contributor to these pages, came in. He found it amusing to think such a grand club had so much as considered replacing Gérard Houllier, truly a world-class figure of football management whatever people think of him, with someone who had just escaped by the skin of his teeth taking his club down.
True to form, Villans queued up to tell us, sometimes at length and with apparent passion, how little they cared what anyone here thought. But there were flashes of humour: “PaulMcGrathsgoneAWOL” wrote: “Yeah, you’d have to be really desperate to get your manager from Wigan!” and it was all quite good-natured stuff.
And of course, Martinez decided to stay at Wigan anyway.
And of course there was more. You can easily explore it by navigating the links down each sidebar column. A bientôt …