Consider Sunderland’s season ahead – and meet Rapidgamer’s World Cup girls


A few of the happiest photos from South Africa 2010 have been the product of Radidgamer‘s seemingly one-track mind. All quarter finalist pictures here, with the exception of Stig Nygaard‘s woman of Ghana, are his work …

If you happen to be English, French, Italian or Portuguese, and like football, life could seem a little grim just now.

But viewed through the eyes of a Sunderland fan, there are several compensations for the varying levels of grief we feel at the stutter and eventual collapse of England’s World Cup challenge.

Most of us, I suspect, realised very early on, if we hadn’t already seen it coming before Capello’s 23 boarded their flight to South Africa, that we were not going to see a vintage World Cup from our boys.

Polls must have been done, though I didn’t see them, but how many thinking fans seriously expected – as opposed to hoped – that we’d beat Germany?

But Sunderland have three players still deeply involved: Cristian Riveros and Paulo da Silva have, on most reckonings, had excellent competitions so far for Paraguay and John Mensah has been a key figure, prior to suspension, in Ghana’s heartwarming progress.

It means we cannot wait to see Riveros and, rather more than last season, da Silva in action in our red and white stripes, not just Paraguay’s (even though these do give us another great excuse for supporting them, as Salut! Sunderland has been doing for a month or more). And it also means we are following with interest the rumour mongering and comment about the chances of Mensah returning to us.
The new season will be a great test of Steve Bruce’s ability to lead us to the next level, which must be a significantly improved Premier showing and maybe a serious cup run or two.

Paraguay and Ghana remain fixtures of my own thinking as the quarter-finals approach, but I now can’t wait for more news on signings – real news, that is, not wild speculation – and the start of the new season.

Over at the Blackcats list, Rob Hutchison signed off before beetling off to Porto for a week – work, Rob, or pleasure … or both? – with these thoughts:

So what can we be looking forward to?
Again it’s great to be looking up and not down (for now anyway). I’d be content with a top 10 finish (and) a sprinkling of class added. Riveros looks like he could be an absolute steal, but I can’t see Benty scoring the number of goals he did last year, so KJ needs to step up to the plate, and we need another quality striker to give real competition for places.

El Mohamadi and Angeleri deals are still not done but hopefully at least one of ’em will come and we still need more defensive cover.
On a wider outlook, I believe Blackpool and West brom will go back down, and it will be a close thing for the Toon, with maybe Wolves slipping down as I doubt Mic Mac’s ability to sign the quality needed.

Chelsea will win the league again, and Liverpool under Hodgson will get their CL slot back, I reckon.

Maybe Fulham will struggle under sven… thing I know…..its gonna be fun….bring it on!


That nicely sets the ball rolling. Now’s the time to enjoy more of Rapidgamer’s photographic essays from South Africa 2010 and maybe add a few thoughts of your own.


Colin Randall


Tomorrow: the men

6 thoughts on “Consider Sunderland’s season ahead – and meet Rapidgamer’s World Cup girls”

  1. Da silva has had a great WC but I hear Bruce wants to sign Upson for 7m. A lot of bucks for a 31 year old and if he comes what happens to da Silva? Right back. We need a top midfield player Cana and Cattermole are too similar. Bentley would be my choice or even Carrick. WC over let the Premiership begin

  2. It doesn’t matter in that business if someone has seven shades and the dying breath kicked out of him as long an nobody blows a plastic trumpet. I admire the priorities. Clearly the people who administer the sport have previously had any sense they might have had booted out of them some time ago.

    Was Blatter a MMA fighter at some point?

  3. Speaking of vuvuzelas (or perhaps shouting over them), Canadian Press reports from the wonderful world of Ultimate Fighting:

    LAS VEGAS—Chokes, kicks and punches to the head are okay. But vuvuzelas are out for the UFC.

    UFC president Dana White has banned the noisy plastic horns, made famous at the World Cup in South Africa, from UFC 116 on Saturday when Brock Lesnar defends his heavyweight title against Shane Carwin at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

    “This decision was pretty simple for me,” White said. “Vuvuzelas make the most horrific sound I’ve ever heard. I’d rather let Brock punch me in the face than hear 15,000 people blow on those things.”

  4. All tasteful and discreet, and filling a gaping hole left by the sudden end to a stream of fine words from Salut! Sunderland’s (all-male, save for the vuvuzela lady) team of writers.

  5. I wasn’t sure if I was on Salut or had mysteriously been taken to Page 3 of The Sun.

    Rapidgamer certainly knows how to take a snap of a bonny lass, that’s for sure.

    I’m not sure that these pictures of such delightful scantily clad women are the best thing for the middle aged and older fogies that normally patrol the pages of this site.

    I do favour the Paraguayans though I have to say. Put them in red and white and it could be Hattie Jacques for all I care.

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