Ken Waugh*, who runs the Talk of the Tyne fan site, has been unwell, my hand’s been dodgy after an op but we’ve patched together one last derby preview, Ken answering the same questions put to Keith Topping the other day …
Welcome back. I mean it – despite our rivalries, the common sense position has to be to want all three major North-eastern clubs in the Premier. What do you make of it so far?
As expected, tough with a freak win over Villa, think we can stay up but we need to avoid injuries.
2 And on those rivalries. Good-natured banter, near-religious fervour, poisoned hatred or a bit of all those things. What does theMackem/Magpie divide mean to you?
I live in a 50/50 divide, so always had mates who are also unwashed, makes for good banter in the pubs – but for me, match day is pure hatred.
3 Unless covered in answer 1, how do you rate Chris Hughton’s achievements (praised at Salut! Sunderland,incidentally) and is he the man to ensure Premier status and move you on to higher things?
He’s done well to bring us back up, but I worry about him in the big league, he already stated he wasnt up for top flight management, some of his tactics are already looking a bit naive, but, we could be worse off, imagine if we had Steve Bruce?!
4 You’ve waited even longer than us for a major domestic trophy. How confident are you that those day scan return for you, and do you think they ever will for us?
Never confident on winning anything, were NUFC, we are used to disappointment and have learnt not to expect, unlike the media view that we are deluded, you will find that we are very grounded.
5 Is there any Sunderland player past or present you’d love to see or have seen in the black and white shirt? Does it hurt to see Steve Bruce in charge of Sunderland?
Yeah, Nial Quinn, he use to live round the corner from us, he might have been crap but I might have been able to cadge a lift off him 🙂
6 Who are the greatest Newcastle players you’ve ever seen, and which ones shouldnever have been allowed near the shirt?
In my lifetime, Peter Beardsley is the best player I have seen in Black and White, obvious choices include Shearer, Tino etc, but Pedro was amazing to watch.
7 What do you really think of Mike Ashton?
Never heard of him, is he related to Dean? Mike Ashley however is a bastard! (Can I blame that error on the dodgy hand? – ed
8 Any great or bitter memories of past derby games?
The big scoreboard that said 4-1 to us haha
9 Name this season’s top four in order, and the bottom three. If in neither list, where will NUFC and SAFC finish?
Chelsea, Man Utd, Arsenal, Citeh, bottom 3, West Ham (I hope) SAFC ha, Bolton serious, mid table for both of us, us possibly a few points behind you.
10 Is it time to abandon high-minded principles of fair play and accept that cheating – diving, feigning injury, trying to get opponents booked etc – is just part of the modern game? If not, how do we stamp it out?
The FA are meeting about the matter shortly, the introduction of video evidence in realtime will more than likely appear, but, I also think the standard of referee’s this season is below par, too many poor decisions allow player to take the chance of diving.
11 Have you already forgotten the World Cup or cannot you wait for the next one?
I followed England as a kid, then realised it’s just a big corporate disaster, NUFC is my football club, I couldnt care less if Rooney scored 10 passed montenegro.
12 Will you be at the game? What will be the score?
I’ll be there, sat with my arse twitching like most, I would love to say we will win, I know there will be goals, and will go for a 2-2 draw, I hate to say that you should, on paper, edge us.
* Ken Waugh on Ken Waugh:
Enjoy the game,
I run Talk Of The Tyne.com and we’ve recently moved to the Vital network, I’ve supported NUFC since my grandad told me off for bringing a bottle of double maxim from the pub for him (You could send a note to the landlord in those days and I used to take him brown ale) the pub had ran out of brown ale so the bloke gave him double maxim with, my grandad said, Im not drinkin that pish son, tak it back – then explained why, then I supported NUFC, mind you, had never heard of Sunderland back then, think it was a place full of pits?
Interview: Colin Randall