Sunderland fans take heart. Since we lost at Stoke – and many, many other places since – Simon Northwood, a City fan also known as Northy* of the Rip Roaring Potters website and lead singer of Sounds of an Asylum, has altered his view of where his club will finish (132th instead of 12th) but still thinks we’ll be 11th. Sorry, pal, but we’ll need to do better than draw with you (your prediction) on Monday if that is still on the cards …
You’re having another decent season, better – as I write – than ours. Explain!
It’s funny because there has been plenty of discontent throughout the support regarding the way we have been going at things but as usual Pulis and the lads are doing the business and the table doesn’t lie. I think there is plenty more to come from these boys so I expect a decent run in as well.
And yet you have regulars and squad players we assumed to be inferior to the men who’ve replaced/followed them at Sunderland. What do you make of our old boys?
I think that Whitehead is settling in well and has been forced to hold back his game in some of our more defensive performances. It seems to me that when we go at it he really enjoys himself and I seem to remember him saying that being told to stick back in a holding formation isn’t really his way. He’s taken a fair bit of stick off the fans but is proving to be a tough character who gives his all in the battle. Collins I’m not too sure about and I’d say neither is Pulis and I’m not certain he will “do a Whitehead” and start winning over the doubters.
On TalkSport I heard Adrian Durham complaining, perhaps as a professional controversialist, that if all Premier teams played like Stoke, the English game would die. That must make you furious …
Not really mate, bring it on that’s what I say, it’s this kind of thing that creates the mentality that there is at Stoke City. Of course we all know he is talking rubbish.
Who is the best player to have turned out for Stoke in your time as supporter, who is they key to this season’s better moments and who wouldn’t you mind shipping out?
I’ve got to say Mark Stein, absolute legend in my eyes. Etherington has really upped his game this year and is a key performer, shipping out for the ones who Pulis will never deem good enough, the likes of Tonge, Soares and Davies; no point in having these players on our wage bill.
Name this season’s top four in order.
Chelsea, Man Utd, Arsenal, Man City
And the bottom three
Portsmouth, Burnley, Hull
Assuming neither of our sides appeared in either list, where will they end up? Feel free to refer back to your reply in August: “I think Stoke will finish 15th and reckon Sunderland will finish 11th.”
Stoke 12th, Sunderland 11th.
What have been your highs and lows of supporting Stoke?
Everyday is a high when you are blessed with the red and white but key memories are the two trips to Wembley in the Autoglass trophy, winning the 3rd division under Macari and promotion back to the top flight under TP. Lows are the seasons after our relegation in 84/85 where it wasn’t uncommon for 6-7,000 to turn up at the Vic. Having said that I enjoyed those days and was glad to be part of it. Also the turn of the century when going to see Stoke at the Brit was almost certain to set off depression, pathetic atmosphere and even worse players on the pitch.
For some reason you didn’t get the Eduardo question last time: last second of the last game of the season. You need a win to stay up or clinch a place in Europe and it’s 1-1. Liam Lawrence is awarded a penalty when everyone in the ground except the ref knows he dived. You score and win. Take it gladly, take it guiltily or feel so ashamed you almost wish you’d only drawn?
I’m sure I would be able to hide my shame, not that I’d condone it though!
And now stand up for Liam, who would surely never dream of doing any such thing!
A good honest player, seems to be a bit out of sorts this season though which reflects in TP’s team selections.
The World Cup looms. Rooting heart and soul for England or too concerned with Stoke to care too much?
Stoke will always come first in a big way but it would be folly for an Englishman not to be behind his country at the World Cup. Gooarn england.
Will you be at the Stadium of Light? What will be the score?
No I won’t, finishing work at 4.30 in Nottingham, it would be a tough ask especially as I don’t drive! 1-1.
* Northy updates Northy:
It’s funny because since my lad was born three years ago going to the match has taken a back seat so when I do get up it’s like a pilgrimage and enjoy every second of it. I was a regular throughout the 80s, 90s and early 00s so I’ve earned my stripes in that respect. Working until 12 on a Saturday doesn’t help things but as I say I get up when I can. Hope you like the photo: it’s me (the singer) with my band Sounds of an Asylum.