Football FanCast columnist Lewis Doe feels that Sunderland should not lose any sleep over missing out on
Steve Bruce appears to be one of the most forward thinking and smartest
managers in the Premier League. He obviously recognises a good player when he
sees one but will not be taken for a fool.
Lucas Neill is a good player but he also has very strong mercenary tendencies.
He had the choice of joining Liverpool and playing Champions League football a
couple of years ago but he chose to join West Ham United instead because they
were willing to pay him, quite frankly, more than he was worth.
Therefore Bruce and Sunderland should not lose any sleep over missing out on
his signature because ultimately he would not have fitted in properly with the
philosophy that Bruce is trying to create up north. When you have a player that
is so heavily only motivated by money it is difficult to get them to give their
all for a side that is developing across all areas of the club.
Bruce said on the Sky Sports
website: "We did speak to the player
about the possibility of coming to Sunderland. But as things stand, nothing's
going to come of that and nothing will unless circumstances change."
Although it has been widely reported that Neill would have taken a large
wage cut to go to Sunderland, he was still asking for a lot more than the club
were prepared to offer him and a lot more than he is probably worth at this
stage in his career. Had he made that move to Liverpool and then become a good
solid right back that had the experience of playing against the best sides in
Europe then he could warrant certain demands.
However, he has not done this and has simply chosen to play out his career
at a mediocre Premier League club because they would pay him more than anyone
else. He has missed out big time and making a name for himself and on a lot of
respect that he could have won if he had made decisions that were not motivated
by financial incentives.
Sunderland will move on and no doubt
have a very good season this year with the signings they have made and the
manager they now have in place. Neill will not be part of this and they do not