You’ll no doubt remember Sunderland, who’ve suffered successive relegations and are competing for promotion to the Championship this season.
Their 10-year stay in the Premier League ended two seasons ago, when players like Papy Djilobodji and Didier Ndong were unable to help David Moyes stave off a Bottom Three finish.
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Neither spent the Championship season at Sunderland, with Djilobodji heading to Dijon and N’Dong to Watford, so it was safe to say they wouldn’t be angling to put on the red-and-white striped shirts in League One.
Narrator: They did not.
N’Dong is literally AWOL and Djilobodji’s efforts at performing under contract have amounted to showing up to the Stadium of Light overweight and speaking poorly of his odds of hanging out around town during his life on Earth.
“Didier Ndong has shown no interest in returning to the football club whatsoever, we don’t even know where he is. Papy has returned but in his last conversation [before coming back] he said: ‘You’ll never see me in Sunderland again’.”
New Sunderland chairman Stewart Donald claims he’s better fit to put in a performance than Djilobodji, and says the club is fining them and perhaps suing them for damaging their value.
The Black Cats are one of five unbeaten clubs in League One, four points behind leaders Peterborough. American midfielder Lynden Gooch‘s four assists lead the team.
Things continue to go from bad to worse for Sunderland.
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Without several first team players due to injury and participation at the Africa Cup of Nations, plus left back Patrick Van Aanholt looks to be on his way to Crystal Palace, manager David Moyes must now deal without key central defender Papy Djilobodji for four games.
The Senegalese defender lashed out at West Bromwich Albion skipper Darren Fletcher off the ball late on in Sunderland’s 2-0 defeat at the Hawthorns last weekend. The incident was not spotted by the officials but TV cameras picked it up.
Djilobodji initially denied the charge but an independent panel has found him guilty of violent conduct and he will now serve an immediate four-game ban, meaning he will miss the games against Tottenham, Crystal Palace, Southampton and Everton.
Moyes will have Lamine Kone back after Ivory Coast crashed out of AFCON in the group stages but Paddy McNair is out for the season. Moyes’ Sunderland have the most injuries in the PL with 10 and his options in defense are so stretched that earlier this week veteran center back Joleon Lescott signed a short-term contract until the end of the season.
Below is the statement the FA released confirming Djilobodji’s ban.
Papy Djilobodji will serve a four-match suspension with immediate effect after his violent conduct charge was found proven.
It was alleged the Sunderland defender was involved in a 86th-minute incident with West Bromwich Albion’s Darren Fletcher on Saturday [21 January 2017] which was not seen by the match officials but was caught on video.
He denied the charge, however it was found proven following an Independent Regulatory Commission hearing.
The suspension includes the additional standard game as it was the player’s second dismissal this season.