in

Jack Clarke interview: The youthful “veteran” spearheading Sunderland’s offensive

Given that Jack Clarke seems to have been around forever, it is easy to forget that he is still quite young.

“I believe that I would still be considered a young person at any other club! The Sunderland winger joked, “I’m only 22, but in this dressing room I’m almost a veteran,” while speaking with Sky Sports following his September capture of the Sky Bet Championship Player of the Month title.

“It’s not a burden in my opinion, because there are knowledgeable players here. However, I’ve played in enough games at this level to know what this league requires, so I think it my duty to impart that knowledge to some of the younger guys who haven’t played as much. Every little bit counts.”

His youthful energy belies a player who made his breakthrough with Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds United team back in 2018 as a 17-year-old.

However, his growth was slowed down in the years that followed. Under Jose Mourinho, Tottenham always seemed like a long shot for a raw adolescent. He also struggled a little bit at Stoke and QPR after going back on loan to Leeds.

Then, after moving to the Stadium of Light on loan at the beginning of the previous season, he has at last found a place to call home and is beginning to reach his full potential.

 

He is currently among the greatest players in the league, not merely one of the most interesting young players in the Championship.

Clarke declares, “I love playing for the gaffer.” He’s been excellent with all the other boys as well as me. He allows you the freedom to express yourself as a young attacking player, and that’s all I want to do.

“I believe he recognized our squad’s strengths. We spent a lot of time honing our strengths and strategies for different kinds of games. Putting the ball in the right places and acting appropriately when it matters.

“Every week, I go out there and give it my all. Things seem right sometimes, and wrong sometimes. to have fun playing football and to try new things. He provides you with that stage.”

Watching as many games as possible, Clarke is always excited to see some of the best players in the Premier League who thrive in his left-sided spot.

“I love watching Jack Grealish, Heung-min Son and some of the other big names in my position,” he states.

“I enjoy observing their areas of strength and if you can replicate their actions in your own gameplay. Next, consider why you can’t perform as well as they can. After that, you practice and work on it until you are able to. You will only become a better player if you follow my method of improvement.”

With eight goals this season, Clarke leads all scorers in the Championship at the moment. To beat the league total from the previous season, he just needs two more.
You are attempting to view a video that is not available from your current location or country.
Pete Smith and Simeon Gholam of Sky Sports closely examine whether young stars from the Championship could be included in England’s Euro 2028 roster.

Penalties have been beneficial; three of his total have come from the location. It is an additional aspect of his game that has demonstrated his ability to step up to the challenge.

“I never really had my eye on penalties, but we made a rule at the start of the season that whoever wins it can take it,” he explains.

“I scored and defeated Preston in the first match. Then I acted similarly toward Blackburn. The gaffer says I can keep taking them as I haven’t missed any yet.

“I always stay out after training to practice, and the day before a game I try and replicate what it would be like to take one. But there’s a long queue of people doing the same hoping to take them off me!”

There are so many exciting performers at Sunderland learning their trade at a tender age, but a player who is really standing out in terms of reputation and performance is Jobe Bellingham.

Penalties have been beneficial; three of his total have come from the location. It is an additional aspect of his game that has demonstrated his ability to step up to the challenge.

“I never really had my eye on penalties, but we made a rule at the start of the season that whoever wins it can take it,” he explains.

“I scored and defeated Preston in the first match. Then I acted similarly toward Blackburn. The gaffer says I can keep taking them as I haven’t missed any yet.

Bellingham is among the young players in the team that joined in the summer with the intention of assisting them in moving over the disappointment of losing to a Luton team that advanced to Wembley and earned promotion to the Premier League in the play-offs the previous year.

Despite the setback, Sunderland had a truly successful season, becoming the first newly promoted team to place in the Championship top six in eight years.

Clarke thinks they can improve on it this year by using it as a springboard.

“There were moments we can reflect upon and be proud of,” he says. “But after we’d lost there was a lot of disappointment, and you’ve got to pick through that and see how well we’ve done.

“When you get that close you only think of what could have been, rather than what you’ve achieved.

“It took a while to get over that. But I don’t like to think about too much because you can’t change it. You can just try and put things right the next season, and try to get over the line.

“I’ve now lost twice in the play-off semifinals; you have to strive to make the most of that experience or it will wear you down. It might serve as a springboard for us to improve as a squad this season and win this league.

“Hopefully we can get into the play-offs or higher and go one better this year, and finish on a real high.”

During his time at Spurs, Clarke never took the field to play in the Premier League, but he will return there eventually. Fans of Sunderland can still hope that it will be with them for the time being.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

NEWS UPDATE: Liverpool has dispersed their January plans after eliminating the best team this season.

Everton takeover: 777 Partners update released, with deal’more in doubt’ than in…