Top pundit rips Sunderland man to shreds

Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher has blasted Sunderland’s Lamine Kone for his performance in Sunderland’s 4-1 defeat to Arsenal on Saturday, and this season in general.

What’s the word?

Speaking on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football, the pundit ripped into the Ivory Coast international, who was especially poor in defence against the Gunners at the Stadium of Light.

The Black Cats had given themselves a lifeline when Jermain Defoe made it 1-1 from the spot in the 65th minute, but they crumbled at the back and found themselves 4-1 down just 13 minutes later.

Carragher said (via the Sunderland Echo): “There’s one player whose attitude on the pitch this season has been nowhere near acceptable and I think that’s Kone at the back.”

Wasn’t he one of the main reasons they survived last season?

In a nutshell, yes. Kone and Defoe were two of the individuals that ensured Sunderland completed yet another Great Escape last term, and it was some of those performances that convinced Everton to launch a £14m bid for his services in the summer.

What’s happened, then?

While he may not be playing to the standard that he has shown previously, it has to be taken into consideration that Sunderland are struggling as a team for quality and confidence, having picked up just two points from their opening 10 Premier League matches.

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Are Everton still likely to be interested in signing him?

Possibly. With Phil Jagielka not getting any younger, Ronald Koeman could still be on the lookout for a defender in January, and the African centre-back is still likely to be on the Dutchman’s list of targets.