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Is he coming back, staying there or on his way somewhere else entirely? The Gyan plot thickens …

GhanaWeb has been a source of several of the stories that have appeared about Asamoah Gyan after his abrupt departure from Sunderland in search of his desert gold. Often enough, reports on Gyan in the UK, in the press or electronic media, relied on snippets picked up from this and other Ghanaian outlets.

For once, the boot is on the other foot.

GhanaWeb has deferred to the Sunderland Echo in speculating about the possibility that Gyan may not only be contemplating a return to Wearside but has been actively courted by Martin O’Neill. Or so it seemed; there is, to say the least, confusion, with the Echo now denying it ever published such comments.

But since the story is repeated elsewhere, what would people think if it happened? My own guess is that while many will feel deep-seated resentment towards Gyan and the manner in which he engineered his move to Al-Ain, the majority would rally loyally to O’Neill is it happened to be his wish to have the player at the Stadium of Light. The MON endorsement would be enough, in other words, to stop that resentment translating into a chilly homecoming, though Gyan would have to work his socks off to regain confidence fully.



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But I may be wrong. Maybe the enduring sense of grievance is too raw. Gyan can watch the Premier League live on TV in Abu Dhabi and see how well Sunderland have been doing. And who, after all, wouldn’t prefer to be playing in a buoyant, talked-about Premier team rather than the equivalent of League 2 or even the Conference? Money issues, that is, put to one side.

For the record, Gyan is top striker in the UAE Etisalat Pro League, the two he got last week taking his total to 15. Al-Ain reprotedly want to tie him down to a contract; a Qatari club was said recently to have made a bid.

And what GhanaWeb reported as having been said in the Echo, by an “insider” (which could be anyone from a PR person to MON himself, talking on a non-attributable basis, but will not be mere gossip from a bloke who knows the wife of someone on the ground staff), is this: “There have been talks in the past few days with the player who is quite open about returning to the club. O’Neill is leaving his options open at the end of the season and both parties will sit down for further talks in the summer and Gyan is positive about it.”

Enter the further twist. The Sunderland Echo‘s senior football man, Graeme Anderson, who I respect, has now posted the following comment at GhanaWeb: “This is Graeme Anderson here from the Sunderland Echo – this story is untrue. The quotes attributed to the Echo, as far as we are aware, have never been published in it.”

So where did the quotes appear? I’d need to know the answer to that before judging whether I could be as confident as I was when they were supposedly in the Echo that they had actally been spoken by someone who knew what he or she was talking about.

Could MON's Superman powers make Gyan a Wearside hero? Jake hopes so

With that heavy proviso, should we have him back then? Yes, as part of the further strengthening needed this summer and in the knowledge that O’Neill wanted it, I would be willing to forgive and, perhaps more slowly, forget. Since we do not know what else will be happening, on the outs as well as the ins, I just wouldn’t want him to be considered our main sources of goals.

* See also: a view from the Gulf, shared back in January with Salut! Sunderland: http://salutsunderland.com/2012/01/asamoah-gyan-and-the-view-from-the-gulf-fit-fast-exceptional-ability/

** And see the GhanaWeb story at this link

Monsieur Salut

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Salut! Sunderland is written, illustrated and edited by - and principally for - supporters of Sunderland AFC. The site aims to be sufficiently literate and entertaining to appeal to people who do not follow SAFC but enjoy good football writing.

32 Responses to “If Asamoah’s Gyannin back, can he be welcomed as a prodigal son?” Subscribe

  1. salutsunderland April 3, 2012 at 10:27 am #

    Apologies to anyone who has tried to comment and hit a brick wall. The “allow comments” box under the bonnet of the site had somehow unticked itself.

  2. JB April 3, 2012 at 10:51 am #

    Before we signed him I had watched Gyan over a number of years in the African Cup Of Nations, I knew he was a top player. Unfortunately when he came to us his performances were pretty variable although I’d allowed for that seeing he was new to both England and the Premier League.
    How much of his move was down to him and how much was down to him falling out with Bruce I don’t know so I’m open on him coming back here.
    The only thing which bothers me is he has retired from International football and is playing in a league where he doesn’t need to be superfit or play his socks off. If he comes back overweight,unfit and not caring then we don’t need him. Will he be prepared to give up the easier lifestyle and bid money to come back to the SOL and our year long winters?
    Who knows, but until we get someone better he may be all we have.
    No one seems to care whether we get our other loanee back…Riveros, I always thought he looked like he could be a decent player and he could be one to prosper under MON.

  3. Bill Taylor April 3, 2012 at 11:05 am #

    All it would take would be a few goals and Gyan would be on his way back to being a golden boy. Bad memories fade surprisingly quickly when a prodigal son comes home and starts delivering the goods.
    But how likely is that to happen? As JB says, lifestyle and fitness could play a big part. Gyan would know that if he did return, O’Neill would expect/demand great things of him. I don’t know if that kind of work ethic can be transplanted into someone.
    I never thought Cristian Riveros was given a chance at the SoL. It was as if Steve Bruce signed him one day and wrote him off the next. I’d like to see what O’Neill could do with him — more, I suspect, and certainly more sustained than he could achieve with flash-in-the-pan Gyan.

  4. Goldy April 3, 2012 at 11:14 am #

    My initial reaction to a suggestion of a return is a resounding no. As you point out, however, if anybody could change my mind, Martin could.

    The two problems linked to each other that I can see unfolding would make his return maybe too problematic. The first problem is that the fans will justifiably want some sort of explanation to as why he left us, an explanation that doesn’t involve financial reward. One easy way for Gyan to have had dealt with this would have been to say he couldn’t work with Bruce etc. Given the overwhelming dissatisfaction with Bruce before his dismissal, this may well have been accepted by the fans. As Gyan repeatedly told the press Bruce was like a father figure and wasn’t the reason for his departure, he has slammed this door shut into his own face.

    This creates the second problem. Whatever reason he gives, and his PR team will have to think of something, it will be questioned and met with cynicism. This would mean that in every game he would play following his return, anything that was perceived as less than 100% in any single instance would result in vocal rejection from a large section of fans. I just don’t know if it could work.

    In O’Neill we trust.

  5. John Mac April 3, 2012 at 11:15 am #

    What are the implications for our goal-scoring machines coming up from the Academy and reserves? Whickham and Ji aren’t ready for a sustained run, so I think we do need to buy a forward even with Gyan and Bentner (if he stays) but I wouldn’t want to lose Ryan Noble & Jordan Cook without giving them a chance to prove themselves in the first team

  6. CSB April 3, 2012 at 11:21 am #

    As pointed out above, would/could Gyan fit into our style of play, high tempo, high work rate?…..I doubt it, but even if he could how long before he spat the dummy out again.

    I hope that MON interest in Gyan is purely down to calculating how much he can get for him in order to bring in players who may just show a little bit more commitment, ambition and effort for our cause, Gyan was sadly lacking in all three.

    What disturbs me more is the language used in all this paper talk, he would be open to a return, has had talks etc Gyan is a disposable asset, in the same way that he ditched us we now have every right to do the same to him.

    Having said that if MON did consider him to be a part of the future then I would abide by his judgement, but he will have to win over a great many fans if he is allowed to return.

    Totall agree over Riveros, he like Kilgallon et al is worthy of a chance.

  7. Michael April 3, 2012 at 12:35 pm #

    I think we should keep our options open on Gyan and Riveros. Both are good players who might prosper under MON.Look what he’s done for Kilgallon.

    With regard to Gyan, and in addition to his desire and fitness for the EPL MoN has to weigh up the effecthis return could have on his squad. Would they be happy or not? How woudl teh fans react?

    Riveros is a different matter. I agree with those who say he wasn’t given a chance by Bruce.

    Personally I would prefer to keep Bendtner and Sess and not bother with Gyan if we can get another £6million for him.

  8. Bill Taylor April 3, 2012 at 12:56 pm #

    Bendtner, after a shaky start, has come good for us and fitted into the team in a way Gyan never did and probably never could. I’d like to see him as a permanent signing. Holding onto Sessegnon is a given. I’m hoping that these days he’s seeing the team, and the region, in a different light and is less inclined to want away.
    O’Neill needs to make one or two judicious buys during the off-season and also to sell on one or two of the lesser lights. But he has as solid a squad as anyone could wish for and to have built it into this shape so quickly from the shambles Bruce left behind is little short of miraculous. My Magpie friend Alan Sims said when we got him that MON was the best manager in the English game. Hard to argue with that.
    Every time I look at Newcastle’s position in the Premiership — and fair play to the Mags, they’ve had a stellar season — I think about what the standings might have looked like if Sunderland and SB had parted ways a few weeks earlier: certainly neck and neck with Newcastle and maybe even a point or two clear. As it is, I think we’re unlikely now to catch them. A finish as high as 7th is on the cards for us and that’s a huge achievement for MON and his team. But it’s soured just a little by that niggling “what if….”

  9. Joan April 3, 2012 at 2:25 pm #

    I’m hoping that this speculation is just to raise his value so we get enough money for him to keep Sessegnon, on higher wages if that’s what it takes. Under no circumstances would I want to have Gyan back – I didn’t think he was particularly good when he played for us but the manner of his leaving was unacceptable. If he donated his year’s salary to the Niall Quinn children’s ward it might be a different matter …

  10. malcolm April 3, 2012 at 2:51 pm #

    Get as much as we can for him and see who we can get in instead. That may be Bendtner or it maybe someone else. I don’t want him back after his performances at the start of the season. He may have had his issues with Bruce but he showed no respect to the club or the fans by his attitude and lacklustre performances.

    Riveros? If he wants to come back – I’d welcome him. At the back end of last season when he got the chance his attitude was spot on.

  11. John Mac April 3, 2012 at 3:30 pm #

    Would anyone else prefer Torres to Gyan?

    I’m not suggesting for one moment that he’d want to come, or that Chelsea want to sell him, but it strikes (no pun intended) me that he’s the kind of player who could fit in with a counter-attacking style and that MON is the kind of manger who could get the best out of him.

    My point is that there are players out there who could do a good job for us and Gyan isn’t necessarily the best one of them.

    Be bold, MON. We have faith in you. Go for the best!

    • John Mac April 3, 2012 at 3:32 pm #

      Sorry, MON is a manager. As far I’m aware it’s Sir Niall and Mrs Sir Niall who have mangers.

  12. jason April 3, 2012 at 3:39 pm #

    Gyan hate him or love him has got goals in him and if MON gets him back we need to support that decision but i think its just our way of rallying interest in the player, i doubt he will be back and i do not think even with his improved form that Bendtner is the answer.

  13. Bill Taylor April 3, 2012 at 4:05 pm #

    Bendtner’s not entirely the answer but I don’t think any single player is, or should have that put on his shoulders.
    Torres is an interesting idea. But I’d be happy enough if MON could tempt Papiss Cissé from the path of darkness to the Stadium of Light. Perhaps along with Demba Ba, who should’ve been there in the first place.

  14. Pete Sixsmith April 3, 2012 at 4:32 pm #

    I’d rather have Brett Angell back than Gyan – although if he did come back and scored a capfull of goals, I may revise my opinion.

    • Goldy April 3, 2012 at 6:35 pm #

      Brett Angell scored everywhere but here. Here he transformed into some sort of half cut sunday league footballer who followed his shocking first touch with a foul against the defender who benefited from it. This is how my 13ish years of age self remembers him anyway. We had a few of those recently as well, Jon Stead, Andy Gray, Lillian Laslandes.

      My Dad also told me at the age of 12 or 13 to brace my self for how good Mick Harford was going to be. Shame on him, although he followed his shocking spell here with a return to the premier league. This club does strange things to some strikers.

  15. Geoff Bethell April 3, 2012 at 5:45 pm #

    Would you have had Lee Clark back?? What Lee Clark, egged on by a few idiots to whom he couldn’t say no, did to disrespect the shirt pales into insignificance compared with Gyan’s effort. It’s on a par with Darren Bent and, arguably, worse. Yes, if we could build a time machine and have a slim, fit Gyan committed to the club’s playing style and having sacked his agent (sorry, manager, wasn’t it?) we might consider it. Even then we would do well to worry that what he did once he could do more easily a second time. Realistically I wouldn’t touch him with a barge pole. Riveros? I didn’t realise he was still our player. He’s done nothing wrong and, if anything, the club has wronged him. We actually owe him another chance.

    • Jecko April 4, 2012 at 7:51 am #

      We owe Riveros nothing, in the short time he was here he showed us nothing to suggest he’s any better than what we have. We have a good set of midfielders, if we can bring in one or two more with pace then we could have a cracking side.

      We’re desperate for a striker, Gyan is certainly not the answer. He was going through the motions when he was here, he probably moved because no other options were on the cards at that time. He was well paid and offered the chance to put himself in the shop window, obviously offers were little and far between yet again and therefore jumped at the chance to cash in when offered the chance to play in Qatar or wherever he is.

      • Geoff Bethell April 5, 2012 at 7:44 pm #

        Have to say I agree wholeheartedly with your 1st paragraph despite what I wrote earlier

    • Joan April 4, 2012 at 9:40 am #

      I think Gyan’s behaviour was far worse than Bent’s. Bent seems like a decent lad who engaged with the club and the fans but took a decision to move not only for money but also for his career (in hindsight that’s turned out to be a big mistake). Whereas Gyan only ever cared about himself.

  16. Goldy April 3, 2012 at 6:39 pm #

    Does anybody know if Riveros is actually playing well at present? I’d be all for giving him a second chance but remember we have decent central midfielders all performing ok at the minute, and I kind of remember Riveros being a yard off the pace of play whenever we attacked.

  17. Bill Taylor April 3, 2012 at 7:07 pm #

    Two goals in 31 appearances, I think. He’s been playing as a defender.

  18. Ian_SAfc April 3, 2012 at 7:56 pm #

    I’d welcome Gyan back. But I think the reality is that Sunderland will sell him at a big profit. He’s current top scorer in the league over there and will fetch top dollar.

    But, I can’t see the player being happy with a pay-cut coming back to Sunderland which is a club he regards as a stepping stone club anyway.
    Also, would the dressing room welcome him back? The fans would not give him a warm welcome (but that would change if he knocks in a few goals straight away).

  19. Pete Sixsmith April 3, 2012 at 9:45 pm #

    Can’t see Riveros coming back – Colback and Meyler are way above him in the pecking order now. Add Larsson, Gardner and Vaughan and there is no place for him.
    Many fans would have to swallow their tongues if Gyan came back. I feel it would be a mistake to have him back. Let him go, make a tidy profit and reinvest the money on a player that MON really wants. Bendtner?

  20. Jecko April 4, 2012 at 7:46 am #

    I’m unsure why people are even discussing this. There is zero chance that Gyan will return to Sunderland. I also think regardless of whether O’Neill wants Bendtner or not, Bendtner will not want to sign for us. He would probably prefer a move abroad if he’s not wanted by a better side.

    We need to keep Sessegnon at the club at all costs. I’d say use the money we’d make from the Gyan deal and throw it at him to ensure he’s on a top whack contract for the next 4 years.

    If we’re ever going to grow then we have to hold on to at least some of our more talented players. If we can’t hang on to Sessegnon then he should not be sold for anything less than £25m.

    Gyan is replaceable, Sessegnon is not.

    • Ian_SAfc April 4, 2012 at 5:52 pm #

      Sess is (sadly) going to want to leave. He’s champions league quality. Plus his family are living in France. If PSG or, failing that, a London club are interested, then he’ll probably pop off. But I’d want more than 15mill for him. I hope he stays, but can’t see it. Sorry.

    • Geoff Bethell April 5, 2012 at 7:42 pm #

      This seems like a good idea on the face of it, but the reality is that, whilst a fat contract might persuade a (hypothetical) player to sign, it doesn’t make him perform if their heart is not really in it. So, yes, if Sessegnon genuinely wants to play for Sunderland then throw money at him to make it worth his while. So far I don’t think the Bent-Gyan Effect has corrupted him so maybe it’s a good idea. But he’ll pretty soon get disillusioned if we aren’t making progress next season – which means more money thrown elsewhere.

  21. michael April 4, 2012 at 8:45 am #

    Although I think it is unlikley to happen the club should not close the door to Gyan, or any other good player. He wouldn’t be my first choice but we might not get our first choice, and if MON feels he can make it work, then why not? Same goes for Riveros.

    It looks to me that if we can keep Niklas and Sess we might not need to bring in more than three or four players.

    I assume that Bridge will not want to sign up, and Kyriagos will not be invited to sign up, particu;la;ry as Kilgallen is looking useful. I think that either Gordon or Westwood will probably go, along with Bramble and Elmo.

    So we need a left back (Warnock or Gunter?) a young right back (Clyne?) to compete with Bardsley , although Brown can play there. Another forward with pace (Ablonghor?) would also be handy. I would also like to see Laing, Noble, Cooke,Knott, Egan, Deacon and the like coming to the fore and get a few games to blood them into the EPL.

    • Joan April 4, 2012 at 9:36 am #

      Would you not want to sign Bridge permanently if availabile? I think he’s done a good job for us and would be very happy if he stayed on

      • michael April 4, 2012 at 8:55 pm #

        I’d sign Bridge, but what I said is that Idon’t think he will want to move up north on a permanent contract. Don’t forget his paramour is one of the glamorous Saturdays pop band , and I suspect she needs to be closer to the London or Manchester music scene. But who knows? I might be doing her a great diservice.

  22. Rob April 4, 2012 at 9:47 am #

    Ghana Web are about as relaible as Marco Boogers in a caravan (remember him?). I don’t think there’s a story here. He’ll be away in the summer, I’m sure.

  23. Tom Lynn April 4, 2012 at 11:15 am #

    Gyan back on Wearside? Never in a million years, thanks. He is an overrated egotist who will never cut it in the competitive world that is the Premier League on a week in, week out basis. MON has been superb for our club but I would challenge any decision to bring back a guy who did what he did to SAFC. We’ve had £6m for his current loan deal, now let’s get a bit more and get rid. A lot of things in modern day football make you despair but this guy sits very near the top of the ‘Despicable Tree’ and we should show that we are a club who will not tolerate fools like the egotistical maniac cum crap dancer that is Asamoah Gyan. Goodbye forever, you are a disgrace to the history of SAFC, established 1879. [*Footnote: It was embarrassing to see Man City supporters half heartedly 'welcome' Tevez on to the pitch last Saturday afternoon-you can tell that they despise him for what he's been done to their club, but they..and Mancini..are so desperate to win the title that they have ultimately turned a blind eye to his disgustingly disloyal and overtly arrogant behaviour. Pathetic doesn't come into it.]

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