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Championship

Sunderland fans react on Twitter to sensational Niall Quinn rumours

The Sunderland hero is apparently leading a consortium to takeover.

Mathew Nash

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Being a Sunderland fan in recent years has been perhaps the most arduous of football fan tasks. The Black Cats have been in rapid decline in recent years. After flirting with relegation from the Premier League on four occasions Sunderland finally went down last term. Now it seems they are heading for back-to-back relegations after Simon Grayson and now new manager Chris Coleman both failed to spring Sunderland back into life.

For most Sunderland fans the blame lies majoritively at one person’s door, chairman Ellis Short.

LONDON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 14: Niall Quinn (L) and Ellis Short chairman of Sunderland (R) applaud prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Sunderland at Stamford Bridge on January 14, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)

Sunderland are currently in their worst footballing position since 1987 and face only their second ever season outside the top two leagues in English football.  Off the pitch things are not much better, with the club’s finances a serious concern.

What Sunderland need is a hero and perhaps they have it, according to some reports. Niall Quinn is apparently interested in taking over the club yet again. It is reported by the BBC among other publications that Quinn is heading up a consortium interested in taking over the club from the American.

Immediately, Sunderland fans got excited at the news. Quinn is a hero at the Stadium of Light after his excellent playing days at the club. He also owned the club from 2006 until Short’s takeover in 2009 and to say he is popular with Sunderland fans would be something of a gross understatement.

9 Mar 1999: Niall Quinn of Sunderland celebrates his goal in the Nationwide Division One match against Bradford City at Valley Parade in Bradford, England. Sunderland won 1-0. Mandatory Credit: Clive Brunskill /Allsport

His return to Wearside would undoubtedly give Sunderland fans renewed hope that the club might eventually be able to turn things around and return to the Premier League.

On twitter Sunderland fans have been celebrating the potential news. Many have compared Quinn’s potential return to the Stadium of Light to almost biblical proportions.

Others are however skeptical. Whilst there seems to be credence to the stories many Sunderland fans are rightly pessimistic. After the run of luck they have endured, such cynicism is a fair defence mechanism.

Hopefully though this does turn out to be true. The return of Quinn is exactly what Sunderland need to turn around their dreadful recent fortunes and get back to their best.

Here is some of the best reaction on Twitter to the news…

Wolverhampton Wanderers

Wolves signing Miguel Veloso would reunite him with long-time partner Joao Moutinho

The Portuguese pair formed a formidable partnership for both club and country and could potentially do similar at Wolves.

Mathew Nash

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Wolves are being linked with a move for free agent midfielder Miguel Veloso. TEAMtalk are suggesting that the newly-promoted side are looking to add the 56-cap Portugal international to their fold this week. He is a free agent having left Genoa and Everton are reportedly also keen.

It would be an interesting signing for Wolves and one which, on paper, certainly makes sense. Veloso is represented by the Jorge Mendes ran Gestifute company. He is also a player with an illustrious record, winning titles with Sporting and Dynamo Kiev.

At Sporting he was considered one of Portugal’s most promising young talents. He was not alone in that respect. He came through to the first-team picture in Lisbon at the same time as another central midfielder, one Wolves fans will know very well.

Miguel Veloso, Yannick and João Moutinho during the Under 21 Championship Play-offs between Portugal and Russia in Porto, Portugal on October 10, 2006. (Photo by CityFiles/Getty Images)

Both Veloso and Joao Moutinho came through at Sporting in 2005. The pair went on to form a formidable partnership in the heart of Sporting’s midfield for the next five years. In 2010, both men left. Veloso headed to Kiev, whilst Moutinho made a controversial switch to Porto.

Moutinho went on to establish a reputation as one of the more consistent central midfielders in Europe.

So this summer, when Wolves signed him for a bargain fee of just £5 million, it was an eye-catching piece of business.

If they could also secure Veloso, the pair might be able to rekindle some of their old magic at Molineux.

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Leeds United

Bielsa’s Engine Room: Kalvin Phillips continues to thrive in new Leeds role

The 22-year-old came through the Elland Road academy system.

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Kalvin Phillips
Photo: Getty Images

After Marco Bielsa’s Leeds United continued their impressing winning start to the season this weekend, recording a 2-1 victory over Rotherham, several players are being highlighted for praise.

Among those who deserve the majority share of the plaudits is 22-year-old Kalvin Phillips, who continues to thrive in the playing style implemented by the club’s new boss.

A player capable of keeping it simple at the base of the midfield, Phillips has proven to be astute defensively and comfortable in possession – key traits for a player to thrive in the Argentine’s system.

Against Rotherham on Saturday, he registered 112 touches, more than any other player on the pitch and a personal best for the club.

He also completed the most passes on the day (88), recorded more interceptions than anyone else (six) and created two chances, one of which went down as an assist.

Rotherham marked a third exceptional Championship performance of the season for the youngster, with his movement and distribution keeping the ball ticking over in central midfield.

The academy talent is proving himself to be a force in central midfield for the Whites, quickly establishing himself as the lynchpin of the Bielsa revolution at Elland Road.

If Phillips can maintain this level of performance he will be integral in the club’s promotion push throughout the remainder of the season.

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Aston Villa

One to Watch: Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish at his creative best vs Ipswich

The Villa youngster was exceptional again this weekend.

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Jack Grealish
Photo: Getty Images

Jack Grealish again proved why he is Aston Villa’s most important player in their attempt to gain promotion back to the Premier League with an excellent performance in Villa’s 1-1 draw with Ipswich Town on Saturday.

The 22-year-old’s wonderful display was underpinned by the 28 passes he completed in the final third – which, according to WhoScored was more than any other player had managed in a single Championship game thus far this season.

Grealish also completed five key passes in the game, bringing his season total to 11 – more than any other player in the league other than Norwich’s Ben Marshall (also 11).

Furthermore, the Englishman completed five of his six dribbles in the game.

(Photo by Neville Williams/Aston Villa FC via Getty Images)

Steve Bruce spoke glowingly of Grealish this week on TalkSport.

“He’s arguably the best young player I’ve had in terms of ability. He can do something where he can lift you off your seat, he’s such a natural footballer and of course he’s grown up a bit,” the Aston Villa manager said.

“For me, he’s going to be a top, top player.”

It is hard not to agree with Bruce. Not only does it appear as though Grealish has matured greatly in the last 12 months, his performances since the turn of the year have been astounding – he has arguably been the division’s best player in that period.

His constant menacing against Ipswich was no different – he has started this season brightly.

He has now been offered a new contract by Villa, according to BBC Sport, and looks set to stay with the club for short-term after a move to Tottenham Hotspur broke down this summer.

If he can manage to help guide Villa to the Premier League, he may be there for the long-term.

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