Yann M’Vila has been warned that he must keep his temper in check in the fiery cauldron of the Premier League.
M’Vila is in contention to make his competitive debut for Sunderland in today’s visit of Norwich City, with the French international included in the squad to face the Canaries.
I told him to be aware that in this league, they provoke you and you can’t do that againDick Advocaat
The on-loan Rubin Kazan midfielder made an inauspicious first appearance in a red and white shirt last weekend, when he was sent off for a headbutt during the Under-21s’ win over Norwich.
Fortunately, for M’Vila, there were no repercussions regarding any suspension for first-team fixtures.
But Sunderland boss Dick Advocaat has spoken to M’Vila about the need to control his emotions, particularly when Premier League opponents will be ready to provoke him.
Advocaat told the Echo: “He’s in the squad, he’s a player with good vision, a quick pass, a quicker thinker and I think he’s a positive addition to the squad.
“I spoke to him after last weekend and he knows it was stupid what he did.
“I’ve discussed it with him. I told him to be aware that in this league, they provoke you and you can’t do that again.
“He told me that understood.
“But it is not easy to change someone’s character!”
With M’Vila lacking match fitness, he is likely to start today’s game on the bench, with Advocaat expected to stick with the midfield of Lee Cattermole, Jack Rodwell and Seb Larsson, who started last weekend’s drubbing at Leicester.
Despite wearing the captain’s armband, Cattermole was dragged off after just 30 minutes at the King Power Stadium, as Advocaat sacrificed a midfielder and brought on Steven Fletcher to partner Jermain Defoe up front.
Advocaat has not spoken with Cattermole individually this week, yet the head coach has reiterated that the decision was not anything personal against the 27-year-old.
“The idea was to play with an extra midfield player, but we did nothing with it, so I preferred to bring on another striker,” added Advocaat.
“Plus, I saw we were losing every high ball.
“We had to take somebody out of there, and that was Lee.”