SUNDERLAND winger James McClean has put his future at the club in serious doubt after causing more controversy on Twitter.
McClean was fined two weeks’ wages for tweeting about his love of a pro-IRA song Broad Black Brimmer by the Wolfe Tones, which tells a story of a boy whose father is killed fighting for the IRA.
His actions breached club rules regarding the use of social networking sites and manager Martin O’Neill is growing increasingly frustrated with the 23-year-old’s behaviour.
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McClean’s tweet last week isn’t the first time he has used the site to air his frustrations, for the former Derry City attacker has already landed himself in hot water on two previous occasions.
While being called up for the Ireland squad for Euro 2012 was seen as a perfect end to his first six months as a first team player with Sunderland, he was left frustrated by appearing for just 14 minutes during the finals in a 4-0 defeat to Spain.
That led to an outburst in September when he used Twitter to criticise Giovanni Trapattoni’s decision not to use him during a long trek to Kazakhstan. The winger also caused a stir by choosing to pledge his allegiance to the Republic of Ireland rather than Northern Ireland on Twitter, a move which resulted in McClean receiving death threats.
The situation prompted Sunderland to issue the squad with guidelines over their Twitter use, but despite several warnings McClean continues to ignore their advice.
McClean hasn’t started a Premier League game for the Black Cats since the 3-0 win over West Ham on January 10 and his long-term future at the club could be in jeopardy if he continues to breach club rules.
Although his form in the early part of the season wasn’t great, the fact O’Neill isn’t picking the winger speaks volumes.
The Sunderland heirachy is growing increasingly tired of his attitude, and if there is no improvement between now and the end of the season, his days on Wearside appear to be numbered.
Whether the Republic of Ireland international features for the Black Cats against Fulham tomorrow remains to be seen, but the hosts will welcome back a familiar face when Martin Jol’s side travels to the Stadium of Light.
The Cottagers boss revealed yesterday that former Black Cats man Kieran Richardson will return to the squad this weekend after recovering from a calf injury.