Tony Gillan: From Sunderland’s trip to New York City to Peter Reid’s team ‘relaxing’ in Annabel’s nightclub, bonding is beneficial

Peter Reid
Peter Reid
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Much has been made in the media of the Sunderland squad’s recent trip to New York. My own opinion might shock you.

I couldn’t give a monkeys.

I said it might shock you; I didn’t say it would.

It has been suggested, by Gus Poyet and Martin Keown among others, that the trip removed focus and contributed to the depressingly bad show against Southampton. The players couldn’t concentrate on the game because they were preoccupied with thoughts of the Statue of Liberty, or the M & Ms shop in Times Square.

This opinion could be taken seriously if it also accounted for all the other rotten performances this season.

Peter Reid is all for “team bonding” excursions and thinks they are beneficial.

He said: “I used to let the lads relax; so to speak.”

Anyone who frequented Annabel’s nightclub during the Peter Reid era will know what he was so to speaking about.

Those days have gone. Players can’t go out and get as “relaxed” as they did in the 1990s. Perhaps a happy medium is in order.

It’s generally the case in football that if you are losing games then everything you have done is wrong.

The wisdom or otherwise of the jaunt over the pond will be verified for many by the result at Goodison this Saturday, although personally I can’t imagine that the trip will make a tittle of difference either way

Whatever. You can’t help but think that there wasn’t much else to write about until the weekend’s FA Cup results.

Talk about something else.