Whether it was an own goal or his own, Sulley Muntari fired the shot that led to what Pete Sixsmith called possibly our most important goal of the season, since it secured a Premier status that had at least showed signs of vulnerability.
But now it’s over. Sunderland AFC have confirmed the option to sign midfielder Muntari permanently will not be taken up. And that, because of the terms of the loan deal with Inter Milan, means his association with the club is over
Steve Bruce said: “Sulley has been a great professional in his time here and naturally we’d like to thank him for his contribution to our season and wish him all the best for the future.”
The 75 per cent of Inter fans who voted in a fan site poll in favour of selling him will doubtless be dismayed to see his return. Most Sunderland supporters will agree with the club that he is not right for the club and our own Phil Johnson will be wondering if he cast a curse on Muntari with his mischievous revelations the other day.
Phil had dug out, from the Forza Inter site, a spoof interview in which Muntari talked in self-effacing fashion of being the greatest player on earth. All the way from Thailand, Phil then proceeded to nag me gently about using it at Salut! Sunderland.
I felt that good fun or not, it was wrong to run it while he was a newly arrived Sunderland player in need of encouragement. I relented once we had achieved safety and I was able to balance it with recognition of the importance of his goal. If you missed it, click here
Muntari now faces the cultural shock of swapping the Bridges centre for all those bleak designer boutiques of Milan. he must be kicking himself for not seeming to try harder, play better, be indispensable.
On the other hand he may agree with my French in-laws who stopped in Sunderland the other day on their way to a holiday in Scotland, failed to visit the Stadium of Light to see my brick and then claimed they couldn’t find a restaurant potable, by which they didn’t mean a drinking restaurant as the literal translation suggests but a decent one.
Well, Pete Sixsmith would have something to say about that. Why didn’t they go to the Glass Centre or the Italian – sorry, name escapes me – overlooking the marina opposite the Harbour View pub, the other Italian at Cleadon or one of the best Indian restaurants I’ve ever encountered, Bollywood Spice?
On reflection, I bet Sulley tried them all and will miss them them like crazy. We’re disappointed it didn’t work out for him with us. Good luck to the lad as he returns to the wastelands of northern Italy.