Sunderland misfit Papy Djilobodji has open up about his time with the Black Cats, revealing he purposefully orchestrated his exit after relegation to the Championship.
The 32-year-old is currently with Gazişehir Gaziantep in Turkey, but he has spoken about his time at Sunderland and made comments that will doubtless anger die-hard Mackems. He cost the club £8m in 2016, but played just 18 times as they were relegated. He claims that, despite being a professional, relegation was more than he could stand.
“I am a professional. Since I was little, I have respected my training, my coaches, my elders in the National Team,” he is reported as saying by the Roker Report.
“In all the clubs I have been to, I have been respectful, except in Sunderland because we had gone down and I did not want to play in the Championship anymore. So I did some bullshit and they fired me.”
The Senegal defender then tries to justify his behaviour in the interview, originally found in Press Afrik. After a loan spell with Dijon, he returned to the SoL unfit and unwanted.
“I have always fulfilled my obligations. I train hard, rest and try to play every game I can, if I’m not injured. I like the truth and if I can’t find it, I say I don’t agree.”
There are a few Sunderland fans, and maybe even staff, who might disagree with his comments about training hard and staying fit. In September 2018, not long after the Black Cats were relegated to League One, the former Chelsea defender was given leave to find a new club. After he returned late from a period of leave he failed a fitness test, and was sacked for gross misconduct.
He joined Guingamp in France after leaving the SoL, playing four times. In that spell, they conceded 14 goals and he was sent off too. He’s now in his second season the Turkish outfit, who are fourth in the Super Lig.
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Djilobodji is a reflection of every reason Sunderland are in this mess – expensive players and bad attitudes which did not align with the ethos or desires of supporters. His comments will be a twist in the wound no doubt because the club are still paying for the likes of him and his actions.
Under Lee Johnson, there is a brighter future for the Black Cats, and they will hope that starts this afternoon at Lincoln City, a side who were in the National League when Sunderland paid £8m for the Senegalese flop. How times change.