Archive for the ‘Sunderland AFC’ Category
Not so great headlines of our time
Probably explains why I don’t watch Eurosport that often, anyway , well done to The Lads for beating Celtic yesterday!
Pompey agree £12m fee
According to the Portsmouth News a £12m fee has been agreed with Sunderland to take the striker to the Stadium of Light, all will now depend upon talks with the player. He is also wanted by Fulham – Bruce could be in a fight with Abbey Clancy.
Would South Shields based supporters be agreeable to a strike partnership of Crouch and Campbell, and where would it leave Kenwyne Jones?
Ashley in new promotional deal tailored to fit new circumstances
This should go down well in his sports shops,it looks like something that they used to wear in the Stock Exchange thirty years ago, or a uniform that Backworth Juvenile Jazz Band might have paraded around in during the early 70s, but surely he isn’t expecting this Mr. Blobby designed thing to become the fashion accessory de jour around the Bigg Market, huh?
Some Toon fans are less than impressed:
Stephen Buchan, of Consett, saying: “It’s awful. It reminds me of a deckchair on Blackpool beach.
“At a time when NUFC need all the money they can get, they go and release a kit that Mike Ashley would probably struggle to sell at rock bottom price in one of his cheap clothing outlets.
“It’s not as though we fans have been made to look stupid enough without being asked to fork out good money to wear something as awful as that.”
Supporters of local rivals Sunderland, who avoided the drop from the Premier League, are revelling in the appearance of the new shirt, with one, Ryan Jenkins, saying: “It really is appalling. I love it.
“It looks like Norwich and Blackpool got into a fight and this was the leftovers. Newcastle will have to call themselves the Toongerines.”
Another anonymous comment chanted: “Bananas in pyjamas are going down the league; bananas in pyjamas are trying to look like Leeds!!!”
It’s a good job they are playing Blackpool away, midweek, at night, don’t hang around too long on the beach lads the council might cart you away and lock you in a cupboard at six o’clock!
With attendances set to plummet further after their relegation to the fizzy pop Championship, Ashley should manage to get all of the Toon fans through the Blobby sponsored grunge tank in one afternoon, all looking like a giant bowl of Ambrosia custard!
The Sunderland Echo asks if this is the worst away kit ever produced? Then they manage to leave out one of the worst strips ever in their list of competitors – remember that green and yellow striped thing as worn by some Brazilian called Mirandinha.
Hepburn no ‘Golden Balls’ says Toon hard man
Football mad Jarrow MP Stephen Hepburn was labelled as “an absolute poser” by Toon hard man Jimmy “Vinny” Nail yesterday after it was reported that the Labour MP spends the bulk of his time flying around the world playing charity football matches on behalf of the Houses of Parliament. Nail went on to criticise the Sunderland supporting South Tyneside MP as being nothing more than a poser trying to look and play as daft as Paul Gascoigne, the former Toon star who famously cried his eyes out after every game;
“He couldn’t tackle to save his life, and his distribution is as wayward as his House of Commons questions, I don’t know how he gets away with it. His legs are shot too and he’s always short of breath, basically he’s not a fit bloke and I wouldn’t want him in my team, he’s certainly no ‘Golden Balls’. I’m surprised after claiming £142,000 in expenses that he hasn’t invested in a proper protective jock strap and some decent boots but I suppose he’s waiting for a sponsor to cough up. Anyway, that’s seven times I’ve played against him now, when does he find time to be an MP?”
A dignified exit
Yesterday’s game at the Stadium of Light was not as bad as some of us had feared, the Lads played some good football in phases and threatened Chelsea’s goal a number of times, having surrendered to the Blues in a dreadful fashion earlier in the season I came away relatively heartened that we had actually competed and managed to score twice through Richardson and Jones. The resulting 2 – 3 defeat was much as I forecast and we owe our Premiership survival to Hull City and Newcastle United, in the final analysis they were slightly worse than us over the 38 game campaign.
I have often thought that Sbragia would not be the man to take us into the next season in the top flight, despite his credentials and record as a coach at Sunderland, Manchester United, and Bolton and his decision to resign the manager’s job after yesterday’s game came as surprise, if only for it’s immediacy, I expected it to come sometime later this week! Sbragia showed himself to be dignified and humble, he managed (with the assistance of other teams) to keep the Black Cats in the Premiership but recognised that he is not the right man to kick the team on, he will revert to his first team coaching duties. We should thank him for his valiant effort which in the end kept us out of the bottom three, we could have been in a worse position had it not been for the two or three good results that he managed to put together.
There was a lot of talk and rumour yesterday about the amount of new investment that Ellis Short will bring to the club this close season, some of the numbers were as high as £200m! If this proves to be correct, then apart from the fact that Sunderland have never seen that sort of investment in the past, it confirms my beliefs that a new manager will be appointed very, very soon, and that the long planned seating extensions to the stadium may at last go ahead, the American way has always been to encourage more “bums on seats”, but knowing what rumours are like……
And so to the gloom of “the Dark Side”, relegated for the first time in sixteen years, I was told by the regulars in my South Shields watering hole last night that they took it well, in good humour, and that there was never any suggestion of trouble brewing, the Bigg Market in Newcastle is still in one piece, so perhaps they were resigned to their fate. Shearer will not take any blame for their season, he’ll take his £800,000 and return to the BBC more likely, their troubles can be traced back long before his arrival in the hot seat, or Kevin Keagan’s arrival and departure before him, the London Mafia will be made to shoulder the blame, and you can sympathise – running a football club is rather different to running a shoe shop!
I tried my hardest to be sympathetic with the few Mags who I met last night but in the end it fell down to poking fun at them, for once it was good not to feel like the victim and to put the boot on the other foot, so this video, is just for the black and whites around South Shields today.
What a nervous day for North East football fans
I admit, the nail biting has already started and I’m offering prayers that Aston Villa and Manchester United do the right thing and win their respective matches, seriously I am not expecting Sunderland to beat Chelsea, although a well fought draw would be nice. We really ought not to have been in this position after making such a promising start to the campaign under Roy Keane, yet somehow I believe that even he might have found it impossible to sustain the pre Christmas performances, and Ricky Sbragia was left working with Keane’s squad of mainly poor buys in another epic battle for Premiership survival.
The players and the management have only themselves to blame for putting die hard fans through the mill once again, their league position reflects a period of ineptitude, poor decision making, and a lack of fighting spirit which would have been all that we asked for against teams such as WBA, Bolton, and Hull. Nothing transpired in the fashion that we would have wanted, yet on their day the Black Cats can play attractive passing football, but all too often recently the passing has not been designed to go to red and white shirts, and defensive errors and the inability to put the ball into the opponent’s net have cost us dearly.
The consequence is that on the final Sunday of the season our fate hangs in the balance, to be decided chiefly by our nearest rivals on a day which could easily see two north east giants relegated to the Coca Cola Championship, this is not good for the region, it’s economy, it’s confidence, or it’s hopes for the future. Survival Sunday will be tinged with sadness as some supporters carry their grief for days and weeks to come, my only hope is that I won’t be one of them.
Here’s hoping that Man. Utd. take their title in style with a workmanlike beating of Hull City, managed by South Shields born Phil Brown (nothing personal Phil, but your team has been in free fall since those heady days when you threatened the top four), and that at least one of either Middlesbrough or Newcastle survive in the Premiership along with Sunderland, next season would be a very strange one indeed without a north east derby match to look forward to.
Haway the Lads!
Black Cats fail vital test of character
I watched last night’s game here at home in South Shields with utter dismay, having taken a lead through a well worked breakaway goal involving Calum Davenport and Kenwyne Jones I then suffered as the team threw away three points, and then failed to hang on to one point through the most inept of defensive errors. Portsmouth were never really that good, yet once they had equalised Sunderland, despite having plenty of possession, failed to do anything of worth with the ball.
So it now goes down to the wire, a final game at home next Sunday against Chelsea and looking for a win to guarantee Premiership survival, could we possibly have foreseen such a scenario immediately prior to Roy Keane’s departure? It is distinctly a nightmare scenario, and should Newcastle pull off an improbable victory at Aston Villa and Boro do likewise with West Ham, or Hull with Manchester United, then Sunderland could once again be facing a spell in the Coca Cola Championship.
Sunday’s scenario is: Sunderland could lose and stay up if either Hull or Newcastle fail to win. Should Hull draw at home to Man Utd Sunderland would stay up even if they lost to Chelsea but defeat for the Lads combined with wins for both Hull and Newcastle (away to Aston Villa) would drop Sunderland into the bottom three for the first time since December 6th.
We are at the mercy of of the two other north-east teams and Hull City, I can only guarantee there will be a few sleepless nights this week for Sunderland fans.
Some thanks are in order
I listened to the match on the radio as the kids and I tried to find some decent shops in Tynemouth and Whitley Bay, I’ll tell you, it’s easier in South Shields. These formerly grand seaside towns are decaying faster than Chernobyl and appear to be inhabited only by those wanting to get lashed “on the lash” in a string of overpriced pubs dotted between boarded up ruins and closed down retail units, one street consisted entirely of charity shops with a game retailer, a body fitness supplement supplier, and a coffee shop to break the boredom. North Tyneside Tories have their work cut out to reverse the decline!
That was some digress, the match as I heard it should have been won had Sunderland managed to inspire players with the ability to at least hit the target or make the goalkeeper do some work. Richardson and Leadbitter between them had more chances than Manchester United get in a month, but unlike the Reds we managed to waste them all. However a point away from home is always valuable, and this one may be more valuable than most as we stare at the possibility of relegation.
That prospect is causing the players to be nervous and to be constantly looking over their shoulders at the teams below, and it is to Hull City that we must turn to offer some thanks (as should Newcastle), their Sunderland supporting South Shields born manager Phil Brown has them in a tail spin as they look likely to plummet out of the Premiership, having threatened the leaders just a few months ago at Christmas. Thanks should also go to former Sunderland player Liam “Lenny” Lawrence for scoring a 25 yard screamer to help Stoke beat Hull, well done lad!
Anything other than a draw between Newcastle and MIddlesbrough on Monday will be bad news for the Black Cats.