Kevin Phillips drops verdict after Danny Graham quits Sunderland
Danny Graham will admit he was “not offering anything” after calling time on his career and Sunderland will be frustrated after “yet another” striker setback.
That is according to Black Cats legend Kevin Phillips, speaking exclusively after the 35-year-old centre-forward announced his retirement on Thursday.
The Gateshead-born striker cancelled his contract with Sunderland after struggling during his second spell at the Stadium of Light.
He failed to get on the scoresheet in 14 attempts in League One this season and is one of a number of strikers — alongside Will Grigg, Kyle Laferty, Marc McNulty — to struggle in Sunderland colours in recent years.
Phillips praised Graham for his career and his courage for admitting it was time to hang up his boots, but also lamented the striker situation at Sunderland.
He told Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs: “Yeah, I think credit has to go to the player for holding his hands up and saying ‘Look, I’m not offering you anything.’
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“So they’ve decided to come to a neutral agreement. It sums it up that he’s gone to the club and said ‘Get me off the books.’
“It probably confirms, with him retiring straight away afterwards, that he probably feels he can’t keep going, enough’s enough.
“You know yourself when it’s time to retire. He’s been a credit to the game. But it just didn’t work out for him at Sunderland.
“When he signed I thought he might be a good addition. But it just didn’t work out for yet another striker at the club…”
Graham played for Middlesbrough, Swansea City, Hull City and Sunderland in the top-flight.
In the Football League, he was Championship top-scorer with Watford in 2010-11 and earned automatic promotion from League One with Blackburn Rovers in 2017-18.