Papy Don’t Preach

The Papy Djilobodji saga is set to go to court, but then again that was always going to be the case. French news outlet, L’Equipe, claims the player will ‘seek arbitration’ from English courts ‘before turning if necessary to a civil court’. His agent claims: “The defender has a written agreement authorising him not to train in July in order to finalise his transfer. Without news from his leaders, he stayed in Nantes to train physically in August and he did not receive his salary, while waiting for a new destination.”

In other news, Dylan McGeouch has been chatting to the Scottish press about his reasons for coming down to Sunderland, to join up with Jack Ross. “When I spoke to the manager I was really excited to go down and join him,” he said. “He’s been great since I’ve been here and I think he can really take my game to the next level. The size of the club is phenomenal. The stadium, the training ground, the facilities, everything about it is unbelievable. I just got that feeling that this was the place I wanted to come and kick on again. They’re a club in the same situation as Hibs when I joined, in a place where they probably shouldn’t be considering the size. The manager’s brought in a lot of new players so hopefully we can have the same sort of turnaround we had at Hibs and get it back to where it should be.”

Meanwhile, Charlie Wyke is hoping that he can form a lethal partnership with Josh Maja. “We are different to each other. Josh is a quality young player and I think we can develop a good understanding if we play together. But we will find out in the next few weeks when I get match fit.”

Wyle also spoke about his debut goal against Oxford, which he got the very slightest of touches to. “The way I scored on my debut is definitely what I had been watching Lynden do for a few weeks, so I almost knew what he was going to do. He was going to deliver a low drive across the box and that has helped me a little being able to watch from the side. It’s not ideal not playing but it has helped being able to watch.”

Elsewhere, former SAFC forward and now dart player, Kevin Kyle, reckons that Niall Quinn is the best thing since sliced bread. “I started training with the first team and my touch was s****," he admitted. "I asked Niall Quinn for advice on how to get better. He says: ‘Right, come in at 8am every morning and we’ll work on it. So, we used to come in at eight every morning and play head tennis in a little box. We did that every day until my touch got better. So, then I said I’m not as good as you at heading. So, we moved to work on my heading, and then we’d move on to something else and we just worked on absolutely everything. I remember a lot of the young Irish boys really struggled with homesickness as well as me, and Quinny took us all over to his house for two days over the weekend," he added. "It was Sedgefield and he had these big stables with horses and everything. He said to us this is what we could have if we stick at it. He really was the ultimate nice guy. I think everybody else says the same about him, but honestly, he just looked after everyone. But at the same time he was an unbelievable footballer as well. Everyone would rip the p*** out of him because his wife bought all his clothes out of Next. When we’d go away on end of season holidays we used to all chip in £20 each to get Quinny a decent outfit for the trip! He was the ultimate gentleman though. Absolutely fantastic bloke.”

Finally, Sunderland born Nigel Clough reckons Sunderland are capable of finishing in a promotion spot come the end of the season. The Burton Albion manager, who has always had a soft spot for us, said: “Quite a few of the leagues are bit topsy-turvy at the moment but I don’t think League One. The top four will probably be the top four and the automatic promotion will come from that group. Portsmouth, Peterborough, Sunderland and Barnsley look the strongest teams in the league and everyone else is trying to play catch up. I don’t think anyone doubted that Sunderland would be up there – a strong squad, 30,000 people at home. It takes us ten home games to do that, so you see the sort of difference in revenues there. They will fill the away end as their support is never in doubt. With Sunderland it’s the expectation as much as anything. Everyone expects them to bounce back up and it’s a very difficult league even for them.”