Monday, August 15, 2022

Why This Attacker’s Sunderland Exit Shows There Is No Room For Laziness In The Premier League

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Arka Tarun Mukherjee
Arsenal fan and football expert, Arka Tarun Mukherjee actually used to play cricket at semi pro level. An ardent student of football tactics, ATM is very passionate about the tactical aspects of the game and has a dream of being a football manager in the future.

Sunderland winger Jermaine Lens has already confirmed that he would be heading to Turkey to join Fenerbahce on loan. The Dutchman joined the Black Cats in 2015 and had made only 25 appearances for the club scoring 4 goals. Ahead of the reported medical at Turkey, Lens took a swipe at his current club claiming that the club treated him badly. Lens said, “Sunderland would just love to get rid of me. I did not play, was not even on the bench. I just had a problem with the club. What? No idea.”

The winger arrived at Sunderland with a big reputation. Having played extensively in the Eredivisie for AZ Alkmaar and PSV as well as in the Ukranian Premier League with Dynamo Kyiv, he was a player with great experience and quality, which saw him amass 7 trophies already in his career. For the Black Cats, Lens started well under the manager who managed him in the Eredivisie for both of his clubs but after Advocaat left in October 2015, the Dutchman found it difficult to get into the team under the strict regime of Sam Allardyce.

This is where it gets interesting, there’s absolutely no doubt about the attacking qualities and range of skills of the attacker and his amazing chip against West Ham was a testament to that. Strangely, his main problem lies with his discipline and work rate. Even in that very match against The Hammers, he got himself sent off for two rash tackles allowing his team to go down to 10 men and surrender a 2 goal lead.

Big Sam is not somebody who would take any kind of nonsense from the players and he made it clear that in order to get into the team any player would need to show that discipline and work rate on the pitch. Moyes is pretty much the same as he wants his players to be tenacious in their approach. On the wings, you need to fall back and cover for your fullback which happened sparsely when Lens was on the pitch.

The former PSV man actually made it worse for himself when he refused to participate in a post-match warm-down following a defeat to Watford in December 2015, for which he was fined his two weeks wages. Incidents like these showcase that the player lacks professionalism and in the most competitive league in the world there’s hardly any place for this sort of behaviour. The Dutch international at the moment seems all set to be reunited with Advocaat once again at Fenerbache and can turn out to be a wonderful signing with his attacking abilities and skill but his Sunderland career would be remembered as a failure for Premier League is not a place where you can get off by giving anything less than your 100%.

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