There are clubs we loathe, clubs we quite like and clubs we couldn’t really care less about.
I say “we” but each category necessarily involves a subjective view. Our own Pete Sixsmith has a (deeply negative) thing about Crystal Palace; I have a soft for them even if their ground is a tip and presents a series of spiked logistical hurdles. I quite like Liverpool; Sixer emphatically does not, or at least not post-Shankly and Paisley.
We’re all expected to detest Newcastle and some of us do, while others like to beat them and finish above them but otherwise couldn’t really care less.
But lots of Sunderland supporters feel affection for and affinity with Everton and I often get the feeling these sentiments are mutual.
Certainly, the comments left by Evertonians here over the seasons have done nothing to dissuade me from that view. Of course, there’ll be a few Sunderland fans who remember a rotten day out, for whatever reason, at Goodison and Evertonians who fell snooty about us, given the fairly wide gulf in achievements in recent times.
… On recent history, Everton are more of a nut for Sunderland to crack than Man City, who have left Wearside pointless on each of their past four Premier League visits, even while scratching their heads in amazement at how the defeats happened.
Everton have fared better, winning one and drawing two of the last four Premier visits; the one defeat, when Stephane Sessegnon’s winner maintained Di Canio’s own successful battle against relegation in the spring of last year, was the only one since 2001 …
… Sunderland and Everton are clubs with much in common, though some Toffees fans would glance at post-Second World War records and scoff at such a notion.
Goodison is a handsome relic of the sort of stadium — Sunderland’s grand old Roker Park included — that the Rangers-supporting architect Archibald Leitch created or helped to create around the British Isles.
Neither club has won the Premier League, but Everton have nine top-flight titles, Sunderland six. Both resist the impertinent idea that they live in the shadows of bigger clubs Liverpool and Newcastle United, respectively. Peter Reid was a hero at each club, albeit in different roles, and several players — Paul Bracewell, Kevin Kilbane, Alan Stubbs, Don Hutchison and, now, Jack Rodwell among them — have served both with varying success.
As one Evertonian [Bernard Walker in his excellent ‘Who are you?’ interview with John McCormick] put it this week, ‘Sunderland, and the North East, have so much in common with Merseyside, economically, socially and culturally.’
The mutual respect is tangible, at least among older supporters. But the love-in will end abruptly on Sunday afternoon. Everton would expect to win, while Poyet would privately be content with a point. I’m with the manager on that, while desperately hoping for better.
That’s just a flavour of the piece as a whole, which can be seen at http://www.espnfc.com/club/sunderland/366/blog/post/2132006/buoyed-sunderland-ready-for-everton-test
But I’d be interested to hear from fans of both clubs on whether there is anything in the theory that they tend to get along quite well …
** See all our SAFC vs Everton buildup by going to the home page – https://safc.blog – and effortlessly navigating from there.