Yann M’Vila insists he is focused on the present - not the past – despite Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger admitting he wanted to sign the Sunderland man.
M’Vila was arguably the best midfielder on the pitch in Sunderland’s defeat at the Emirates on Saturday, with the French international continuing the fine form which has seen him thrive for the Black Cats since arriving on loan from Ruben Kazan during the summer.
We were interested in him when he was in France and the year we wanted to bring him in, Rennes did not want to sell him.Arsene Wenger
Wenger – who chatted with M’Vila in the tunnel afterwards – confirmed in his pre-match programme notes that he wanted to sign the French international when he was emerging with boyhood club Rennes.
“We were interested in him when he was in France and the year we wanted to bring him in, Rennes did not want to sell him,” said Wenger.
“He had a few off-the-field problems, but it looks like now he’s stabilised and he’s a very good player.”
But M’Vila – who has a clause inserted in his loan deal to convert it into a permanent move to the Stadium of Light next summer – laughed off those remarks from his fellow countryman.
“Yes, I read the comments,” he said with a smile.
“It was obviously nice, but that was the past. This is now!”
M’Vila was full of positivity about the present, despite Sunderland succumbing to a 3-1 loss which, coupled with Bournemouth’s shock win at Chelsea, sent the Black Cats back into the relegation zone.
“We had the opportunity to get a good result, even to win, but we couldn’t take the chances,” he said.
“We had so many chances, perhaps more than you’ll ever get in a game against Arsenal.
“That’s rare against a team like Arsenal. We had a lot of control.
“But we just couldn’t find that final touch.”
The calibre of Sunderland’s performance at the Emirates should not dent the renewed confidence of the Black Cats though, with previous back-to-back wins evidently producing a positive upturn.
M’Vila believes that since the arrival of Sam Allardyce, there has been a far greater mental resilience to the side.
“It’s getting better all the time,” he said.
“At Crystal Palace it was okay, against Stoke a bit better and then against Arsenal a bit better still.
“I think if we carry on playing like that, then we’ll win more matches.
“The mentality and the confidence among the players is a lot, lot better.
“That helps you because the games coming up are very important for us.
“But if we play like that, then I’m confident that we’ll get more important results.
“That might have all come from Sam Allardyce, yes.
“He’s made us a much stronger team mentally.
“We are disciplined and the proof is the way we played at Arsenal.”