Andy Reid powerless to hide his discontent
Oct 18 2010 by Mark Douglas, The Journal
Mark Douglas talks to Andy Reid ahead of a crucial evening for Sunderland - and a pivotal period for the player himself.
ANDY Reid is fed up. Not the kind of petulant frustration that sends managers up the wall, more the deep-seated disappointment that comes when you haven't started a Premier League game for seven long months.
He would try and hide it but there’s no point – Reid just doesn’t do sitting on the bench, picking up his wages. And for an intelligent, erudite bloke who just happens to possess the most cultured left foot on Wearside, it eats away at him.
First there were the injuries, now the battle to convince Steve Bruce there is a place for him in the high-octane young Sunderland side he is building. It has been a losing one so far.
His mood has hardly been helped by recently losing two vintage guitars left in a Durham studio – “my own stupid fault really” – but it is the way his career has stalled since February that irks.
Having mentally turned a corner by shedding a stone with his pre-season fitness regime, Reid was reaping the benefits with some fine performances for Sunderland.
A recall to the Republic of Ireland side was even mooted.
And then the injuries. First there was a hamstring injury at Portsmouth – deep in the middle of Sunderland’s winter of discontent – then a calf problem.
And then a visit to a specialist that revealed a wedge of his calf muscle was actually poking out a torn sheet of ligament that surrounded it.
That ruined a crucial pre-season for the 28-year-old – and his long recuperation from the subsequent operation is a root of his discontent now.
Another hamstring strain looks set to rule him out of contention today. It has made things tough for him.
“I understand where the manager is coming from completely. I’ve got no divine right to be in the team,” Reid says.
“But I just want a chance – whether it’s here or out on loan.
“I feel that if I get into the team here I’ll do a good enough job to stay in there.
“I thought it was coming together for me at last. I was really enjoying it, I was playing well and I felt great. I had a good run and picked up those injuries – it was really, really tough. But again, what can you do? Just deal with it and move on.
“Mentally is the biggest thing. It was difficult and it’s still difficult for me now.
“The manager is probably sick of me not being particularly happy. I’m getting sick of not being in the team. And it’s not anyone’s fault. I’m not slagging off the manager and he’s not slagging off me, I don’t think, it’s just the way it is.
“I can’t be any different, it’s just me – I wear my heart on my sleeve and I want to play. If I’m not playing, I’m not happy. I won’t just pick up my wages and say ‘Yeah, it’s all right’.
“I think the manager understands that and understands me. He knows the way I am.”