Even after a break – not internationals to blame this time, but Arsenal’s FA Cup semifinal – Monday is far too too early to be starting the customary sequence of interview/preview/score predictions.
Our nerves are raw enough without unnecessary reminders of what could rest on the outcome of Stoke City versus Sunderland. Wherever you are in the world, you can almost hear Mark Hughes’s early team talks about where and how we may be vulnerable.
But the game is coming and so are the usual Salut! Sunderland features.
No competition at the weekend, of course, and no one – oddly enough – predicted 1-4 as the result against Palace, though one or two non-SAFC entries got close.
So instead of a rollover for Saturday, I’ll offer a mug from our sponsors, Personalised Football Gifts, for the first Sunderland or Stoke supporter who guesses in advance, correctly, the identity of our Who are You? interviewee.
The article will not appear before Wednesday or Thursday and I shall make an arbitrary decision as to when to declare the deadline having been reached. My decision shall be final and the winner must have UK delivery address.
As regulars know, we find celeb supporters, fanzine editors, the occasional ex-player/manager and ordinary salt-of-the-earth fans to sit in the Who are You? hot seat. There have been good interviews, great ones and just a few duds (I must remember to find a link to the worst – and just did: https://safc.blog/2010/01/who-are-you-were-everton-in-not-many-words/).
Invariably, the results are sufficiently entertaining to make the exercise seem worthwhile and we are deeply grateful to the dozens of supporters from all walks of life who have given their time to answer our questions. The annual awards for the best of them, and the tough choices judges face, bear witness to that.
The search for suitable candidates for games against Saturday’s opponents has sometimes been difficult; I recall some token abuse from subscribers to a well-known Stoke fan site when I posted a message asking for a volunteer but also some superb questionnaires. The excellent Stephen Foster, author of the acclaimed books She Stood There Laughing and And She Laughed No More was a particular success; not long before he died, we’d agreed to make it an annual event provided our clubs were in the same division.
This week, we have tracked down a special interviewee whose name is known to supporters of both Sunderland and Stoke.
There are a few who fit that bill so I shall say no more and give no more clues. The mug – see below but adaptable should a Stoke supporter win, and don’t forget your name appears on the No 12 shirt in the dressing room image – will go to the reader who posts the correct name before it otherwise appears ….
You could be the next No 12. A Palace winner would get a mug suited to his or her tastes[/caption]
But that is all this mini-competition is about. This is not Guess the Score so do not post scoreline predictions unless as part of your reply. Come back later in the week for that comp.