It has been apparent for quite some time now that there are some players in the Sunderland dressing room who just do not care enough.
In the aftermath of Darron Gibson's well publicised rant about the attitudes of some players in the squad, I believe Simon Grayson must act swiftly to decide which players do have the right mindset to succeed in the championship. Those who do not must move on in order to fund new signings.
The first player Grayson must seek to replace, and perhaps the most vexatious, is Lamine Kone. The guy has bundles of talent, fitting for many a Premier League side, there's just one major problem; his infuriating lack of effort. As frustrating as it is having nabbed a player of Kone's quality from relative obscurity only for him to allow his talent go to waste, this grey cloud does have a silver lining; with Burnley and Everton both interested Kone could be set to join an exclusive list of former Sunderland players which the club have actually made a profit on.
A potential eight figure sum for Kone could fund a move for proven championship centre half Aden Flint, with the defender - who also has a keen eye for goal - having been heavily linked with a move away from his current club Bristol City in recent days.
Despite their impressive pre season, Jeremain Lens and Wahbi Khazri too were alluded to as 'not giving a ****' by Gibson, and really it's no surprise. Lens has made no secret of his dissatisfaction earlier on in his Sunderland career and that was before the prospect of midweek away games at Ipswich.
As for Khazri, whilst always appearing to give his all on the pitch, the fact he made so few appearances in a dire team last season is a pretty clear indication that his attitude off the pitch is not good enough. Gibson joins former manager David Moyes in lambasting the Tunisian's work rates and I think it is a safe assumption that Grayson shares this opinion.
Now Sunderland are unlikely to recuperate the 20m paid for the pair, but with Aiden McGeady already brought in and Duncan Watmore nearing return from injury, another loan move *sigh* - this time for Max Gradel - could provide Sunderland with enough strength in this area of the pitch to cause problems for championship defences.
Last, but by no means least, the final player for whom it is imperative Grayson gets rid of is the instigator of this article, Darron Gibson. We don't need a club to buy him *phew* and we needn't pay compensation. It's gross misconduct. Whilst there may be truth in what he's said, by going out on the lash hours after playing the way he did, before proceeding to question the commitment of other squad members and offer to fight a Sunderland fan he is clearly part of the problem not part of the solution. And did I mention he's even slower than Rodwell and only passes backwards?