Jermaine Defoe has stunned Sunderland fans by joining bitter North-East rivals Newcastle UTD. The league’s highest scoring Englishman was the target of several bids in recent days, but Sunderland had until now refused to part with their prized jewel.
“I take full responsibility,” Sunderland manager David Moyes told Soccer on Sunday. “I was trying a bit of reverse psychology. I said, ‘You’re wanted here Jermain. But there’s the door. If you really want to leave, I’ll help you pack.’ Half an hour later I’m at his flat on West Park Road helping carry a fridge freezer down three flights of stairs.”
“The fans are angry,” added the former UTD manager. “I don’t blame them. My job now is to dust myself off, maybe have a wee nervous breakdown, get myself back on the training ground and start panicking. Some managers don’t like that feeling, but I do some my best work when I’m hyperventilating and on the verge of passing out.”
Defoe insists that the deal was too good to ignore.
“I couldn’t turn it down,” he told Soccer on Sunday. “It’s an extra hundred quid a week, cash-in-hand, off the books. And the beaches in Newcastle are stunning, I’m told. Plus, I’ll be living closer to the A1 which will shave 6 minutes off the journey to London. My mum’s not getting any younger, so that’s important.”
“I’m just sorry I didn’t get to say goodbye,” added Defoe. “But I’ll dedicate a goal to the Sunderland fans on Derby day next season, if they stay up. Do they have the squad to pull it off? I’m not sure. I can’t put my finger on it, but something’s missing. It’s hard to see where the goals are going to come from.”
With Newcastle flying high in the Championship, Rafael Benitez admits that Defoe might struggle for game time.
“I had a good conversation with Jermain,” the Spaniard told Soccer on Sunday. “I said, ‘You understand that this is mostly about fucking with Sunderland?’ And he said, ‘Sí boss. So long as I have spondoolicks coming out the wazoo, I couldn’t give a monkeys’.”