Book of Mark: rash optimism – ‘Man City? We can beat this lot’

A warm welcome to Mark Ferguson, editor of the Labour List and a passionate Sunderland supporter. In this, his first column (we will sort out images and the like later), he takes a huge risk of acquiring egg on face – but, as Pete Sixsmith said in his interview for the Bluemoon site, what’s the point of going or caring unless you believe you can win? …


Tomorrow,
we face Man City. The odds are comically in City’s favour.

They’re the champions, and have an imperious home record that would be the envy of any team in the world. Their subs bench could probably finish in the top six – even though there are only seven of them.

They can even afford to shed a phenomenal footballer like Adam Johnson – the most exciting Sunderland signing in my lifetime.

They’re massively odds on favourites for a reason.

But they should be worried about playing Sunderland – because we know how to play against them.

Only one team took a point from them at the Etihad last season. With four points we were their toughest opponents last season. And we were 10 minutes away from that being six points. So yes, we do know how to play against them. And now we arguably have a stronger squad. Including a striker who can’t miss and a certain right winger who has something to prove to both sets of fans…

Having watched them stumble to a 1-1 draw two weeks ago where they were run ragged by Arsenal, I’m not concerned about tomorrow – I’m relishing the match.

By 4.50 tomorrow – I reckon we’ll still have our unbeaten record intact. A huge feat after arguably the toughest single fixture of the season.

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9 thoughts on “Book of Mark: rash optimism – ‘Man City? We can beat this lot’”

  1. Just read that Mancini thinks AJ will do well here then join ‘another top team’. Cheeky barsteward! put that on the dressing room pegs today. We can indeed win, go on the attack please 🙂

    • I wonder how Mancini will feel when we become, consistent top six and are threatening for a CL place (maybe at City’s expense)?

      Of course, it is unlikely that he will be around for the five years to see the “consistently” bit but, I think that this season may give him an inkling of where SAFC is heading!

      Yet another example of why it is better to engage brain before opening mouth!

    • I took the question to read “in your SAFC supporting days”.

      So, for me, it has to be Slim Jim who, lest we forget, had played not only in numerous Scottish international games (when every Scottish team was packed with real talent) but, also, only two years earlier, for The Rest Of The World v England.

      Clough was signed before my love affair with SAFC began and I would be surprised if the signing of a 20 year old, from Millwall, would have caused anyone’s heart to miss a beat at the time.

      • Excitement was not the word for it when the result came in from Charlie Hurley’s debut. Blackpool 7 SAFC 0. What we became is different. Baxter and Clough yes but I also see what Mark, who is undoubtedly much younger, means when he says he was thrilled by AJ’s arrival. A current England international agreed to come to us from the champions of the EP. I think I’d still say Baxter, past his best as he was.

      • Talking of Blackpool, I can remember going to Bloomfield Road when we won 2-1, with Baxter scoring one of the goals with, possibly, the best penalty I’ve seen.

        He powered it into the top LH (IIRC) corner, as viewed from the spot, between post and bar – no goalkeeper in the world would have even come close to saving it.

        Regarding Marks thoughts, on AJ, he can only comment on who we have signed during his days of supporting the lads, in exactly the same way that I could not consider Clough, because he was before my time – along with Shack, Gurney, Buchan et al.

  2. I love optimism, rash or otherwise, but “Adam Johnson – the most exciting Sunderland signing in my lifetime…” That might be taking it a little too far.

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