Sport Soccer

Thursday 19 April 2018

Short urged to spend at Sunderland

Michael Gray has urged Sunderland chairman Ellis Short, pictured, to splash the cash
Michael Gray has urged Sunderland chairman Ellis Short, pictured, to splash the cash

Former Sunderland defender Michael Gray has pleaded with chairman Ellis Short to open his chequebook in the wake of an "inept" display against Norwich.

Gray was at the Stadium of Light on Saturday in his role as a radio pundit as the Black Cats slipped to an ignominious 3-1 defeat on the back of a 4-2 drubbing at Leicester on the opening day of the Premier League campaign.

The performance sparked a painful inquest and the former full-back has called for drastic action after delivering a withering verdict.

He told talkSPORT: "Ellis Short has got to invest money in the squad. The TV rights for the next three years are around £150million - Ellis Short needs to go and spend it.

"You bring in Sebastian Coates and Younes Kaboul from Liverpool and Tottenham respectively, and they are not good enough. Patrick van Aanholt was absolutely horrendous at the weekend - I have never seen a performance like it in my life.

"Jermain Defoe - why leave the Premier League and go to Toronto? Because in the back of your mind you are thinking you couldn't do it in the Premier League every week.

"What I saw at the weekend was so inept... half of the players I wouldn't put in a Championship side.

"I don't know how many I would keep. I think I would keep the goalkeeper, the two central midfield players, Lee Cattermole and Yann M'Vila, but the rest of them, I wouldn't give them the shirt on their back."

Indeed, Gray suggested that the pressure of playing for the Wearside club is simply too much for some of the men currently wearing the red and white shirt.

He added: "I couldn't believe what I witnessed. I have seen some pretty inept performances over the last three years, but that was the lowest of the low, it really was.

"I'm not saying I was brilliant every week, because I wasn't, but what I would do is give 100 per cent. That is what the fans expect and when they don't get that, they give out a bit of criticism and the players can't handle it.

"The shirt is too big for them. They are frightened to play at the Stadium of Light."

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