Former Republic of Ireland international John O’Shea has outlined why he and a lot of the Sunderland players weren’t comfortable with allowing cameras into the club for Netflix’s ‘Sunderland Til I Die’ documentary.
The documentary, which has run for two seasons, offers an all-access behind-the-scenes view at the daily goings-on at the Stadium of Light, however, the series coincided with back-to-back relegations for the North-East giants.
After seven consecutive seasons in the Premier League, Sunderland were relegated in 2017 with the Netflix documentary taken place the following season which saw the club go into disarray as they found themselves relegated once again, to League One.
O’Shea was Sunderland club captain during that first season of the acclaimed Netflix documentary and speaking to ‘Sunderland Legends in Lockdown’ as part of a charity gig in aid of the club’s ‘Foundation of Light’, O’Shea outlined the reasons why he thought it was a bad idea while also revealing that a number of players were uncomfortable having the cameras around.
“The Netflix thing, that’s something I would have been against right from the start if asked. But the club decided to do it, and in a sense I’m glad they did because it highlighted how special people around the club are and how passionate the fans are.
“But I also thought at that time, it was the wrong thing for the club to do because what we really needed to do was just galvanise, settle down and not open the door to cameras.
“Behind the scenes, the intentions were obviously to bounce back to the Premier League quickly, and we thought we could do that. But there was just too much going on at the club at the time for it to work, I think.
“Look, the club made that call themselves, but I know for a fact a lot of the boys weren’t comfortable with it. Having the cameras around, you’re never going to act as you normally would.
“That’s not the reason why we weren’t successful that season – far from it. We didn’t react to the disappointment of relegation and we just couldn’t recover quickly enough to build a good enough squad. That vicious circle of management and squad changes just started again.”