“It’s about results so regardless of how we played in patches today we are relegated … But now it’s confirmed maybe it’s a weight off the shoulders and we can give these fans what they deserve, some performances.”
These were Joleon Lescott’s words last season when Aston Villa were finally relegated in April, per the Guardian.
Unsurprisingly, his suggestion that being relegated was a relief didn’t go down well in any quarters, except maybe at Birmingham City.
However, one thing the centre-back is now acquainted with is a scrap for survival.
And, as reported by Sky Sports, he’s now back for another one at Sunderland.
— Sky Sports News HQ (@SkySportsNewsHQ) January 24, 2017
It suggests that the Black Cats are getting ready to part with Patrick van Aanholt, who is being heavily linked with Crystal Palace.
If that’s the case, the Dutchman’s departure will be a big loss.
David Moyes has reunited several of his old Everton players, but without apparently realising that they are all several years older and that many of them have not fulfilled the potential he once saw in them at Goodison Park.
Lescott will join up with Jack Rodwell, Steven Pienaar and Victor Anichebe, but none of the aforementioned have been able to make much impact so far.
Rodwell failed to cut it at Manchester City, and the same can be said of Pienaar at Tottenham. The reality may be that these are no longer players who are game-changers at the top level, so Moyes is putting a lot of faith in them by basing his battle for survival at their feet.
Admittedly, the former Manchester United manager has little choice, as the funds aren’t there to improve his squad sufficiently.
The only thing that’s certain is that Lescott might be worth a gamble. John O’Shea and Papy Djilobodji have been woeful this term, with the latter now suspended for the next four games after punching Darren Fletcher against West Brom.
Even with new additions at the back, Sunderland also need another goalscorer, as they can’t just rely on Jermain Defoe.
And if strengthening the defence was the priority, then Lescott is hardly the man to do it.