Gary Rowell column - Jozy Altidore not just to blame for Sunderland failure

Jozy Altidore
Jozy Altidore
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THE ARRIVAL of Jermain Defoe has cleared the way for the departure of Jozy Altidore – a £7million signing that never came off for Sunderland.

When Jozy arrived, he was a USA international with a good goals record for club and country, but a signing that promised so much has ultimately delivered so little and it’s in everybody’s best interests that there’s a parting of the ways.

I know there won’t be too many Sunderland fans sad to see him go, but I believe his failure on Wearside wasn’t totally his fault.

Sunderland as a team never looked the right fit for the big American and we never played to his strengths, as too often he looked out of sink with his team-mates.

I always felt Jozy would be better with a strike partner, and it’s ironic that now he’s gone, Poyet looks like he’s going to change his system with two strikers.

Whenever Altidore went away on international duty, he always seemed to score for his country and often it was against the top-ranked international teams, so maybe he’s just not suited to the Premier League.

A lack of goals drained his confidence, and his miss against West Ham seemed to be the last straw, but I hope that now he’s back in the MLS, he can regain his confidence and kick-start his career.