Soapbox: no stumbles in this Forest

SoapboxWith school finally out for summer, Pete Sixsmith gets to his first Sunderland match of the season …..

A good warm up game on Keano’s old stamping ground and some very encouraging signs. Let me give you three:

Tainio looked like the reincarnation of Stefan Schwartz. He won the ball well, used it even better and tackled as if his life depended on it. Impressive.

Richardson looked extremely fit and took his goal really well. He is at least half a stone lighter than twelve months ago and is beginning to look like an international player.

Stokes set it up and looks sharp and keen to be involved. Maybe we will see the latent talent that lies deep within him.

The news that Malbranque has signed is a tremendous fillip and the squad is looking very strong. There may well be others to come in and I suspect that a few will be leaving, but first impressions of this squad are good.

I have spent a great day in Nottingham. Some really interesting cricket and some entertaining football, with a splendid pre-match meal and some wonderful post-match pints courtesy of Castle Rock Brewery. If you are interested in collecting floodlights, Nottingham is brilliant. County have modern thin ones, Forest have old fashioned pylons and Trent Bridge has six fly swats around the ground. Mecca foe floodlight collectors – don’t laugh, there are some out there.

Thanks to the Rufford Hotel, West Bridgford for access to their systems.

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