Well it has to happen sooner or later. After two draws and a defeat, we could do with beating Everton, praiseworthy a display as we mustered to hold Spurs. And Jogger, one of the Gang of Five behind the admirable Everton fan site, Blue Kipper, believes the time may have come. That, or another draw. Quesions posed and thoughtfully answered – including great candour on the inevitable Leon Osman question – before the weekend games …
Salut! Sunderland: Isn’t it about time you let us win one of these games?
Not at all. After the way you played against City, I don’t it will be long before you beat us. Maybe your time is now. Were you surprised at how bad we were in the replay or do you think it was more to do with Everton playing particularly well?A bit of both, as usual. You had a (mostly) good run prior to the Cup tie and it had to come to an end sooner or later. We had just started picking up some form. I must admit I expected more from you at your place, but you just couldn’t get going after we had two good chances in the first ten minutes. It happens. You should have seen how bad we were in the derby match at analfield.
Are you in the “bitter Blue” or we’re-all-Liverpudlians camp when it comes to the rivalry?
Nothing bitter about us. At analfield they just don’t like us taking the piss out of them, their Yank owners, their loony unsuccessful spending (e.g. Andy Carrol), and their Norwegian “fans.” When they do it, it’s “banter.” They’ve got worse and more hysterical as the Mancs have overtaken them in the trophy stakes. Naturally we rub it in – that’s what they mean by “bitter.” Real Scousers know the score.
Brett Angell. He was so bad he’s become almost a legendary cult. And I didn’t misspell that last word. You had to see him to believe him. He was a sort of cross between Arthur Mullard and Jo Brand, and with about as much footy ability. Arguments still rage as to how a club of our standing ended up signing him. Some fans are still convinced he was actually employed as a programme seller who somehow slipped into the dressing room and got changed before anybody knew what was happening. A complete football bell end, but apparently a nice chap.
Any good, bad or amusing memories of past encounters between our clubs?
The one that sticks out is May 19th 2001 at Goodison, a 2-2 draw in the last match of the season. You had a good season and finished seventh. We were shite and finished sixteenth. With a minute to go you got a free kick at the corner of the goal area at the Street End, which was laid off to Kevin Phillips. Everyone – I mean EVERYONE – was back on the goal line and you would have put your house on the brilliant little man just smacking it home. He’d already scored both Sunderland goals. He hit it over. (He did the same thing, also at the Street End, for Blackpool with a penalty in this season’s Cup tie.) Seriously, I’ve always liked Kevin and could never understand why he didn’t make the breakthrough and become a truly great player.
Explain the generally good relations between our two sets of supporters.
It’s just one of those things that happen in football. We should both be grateful because it’s so rare in the game. We’ve both got our loonies, though – hasn’t everybody? Ultimately it probably boils down to Merseyside and Wearside having the same feel for the game. You can’t buy that.
Hand on heart, where will you finish and what will be the top four in order?
Difficult one this. We’ll probably finish ninth. Top four: Man United, Man City, Arsenal, Spurs.
I reckon you’ll finish eighth or tenth, which is commendable given your difficulties this season. Down: Wigan, QPR, Wolves.
Cheating: what form annoys you most, who is/are the worst culprit/s and how do we stamp it out?
Shirt pulling at corners. The worst bastard is Carragher of analfield, though to be fair everyone’s at it. Just keep giving penalties until they learn sense. It might mean some games end up 7-6 but so what?
On the same theme, were you just a teeny bit embarrassed when Osman complained about Gareth Bale diving or do Sunderland fans misunderstand pooor Leon?
Yes, and no misunderstanding. Again, everyone’s at it. It’s called “professionalism” but of course it’s one more way of cheating.
Club vs country: who wins for you and why?
I support both. I don’t see a problem.
Will you be at the game – and what will be the score?
Yes. And you’ll like this, I think it will be a 1-1 draw or a Sunderland win by one goal. You’re due a win and are likely to get it if Moyesy plays some of our untried youngsters. I wouldn’t object if we won 7-1 again, though.
* Jogger on Jogger: The bluekipper site has been going for close to fifteen years now. I am one of five friends who contribute articles and other stuff. We have had a great time doing what we love and met some fantastic people on the way. Being an Evertonian is a way of life. We’ve had plenty of ups and downs over the years, but we enjoy every minute of it. The club and the fans deserve a trophy, maybe this could be the year.
Interview: Colin Randall