SAFC v Everton: fan’s view – ‘I don’t particularly like Newcastle’


Rachel Flannery* is an Evertonian with special reason to be invited to answer our “Who are You?” questionnaire ahead of tonight’s SAFC v Everton game. She lives and works in the North East, and chairs the regional supporters’ club branch. Trust a woman to get straight to the point: Wear/Tyne matches are not derbies, she says, since they are not between clubs of the same city. And Newcastle United? “Win a couple of games and they’re the best in Europe”. She said it, not us …

Salut! Sunderland: Despite a poor start, you seem to be showing signs of having a decent season. What are your minimum and maximum expectations?

Maximum expectation – would be an FA cup run and finishing about 6th. Minimum expectation would be finishing above 10th. Ever the optimist!!!

Read moreSAFC v Everton: fan’s view – ‘I don’t particularly like Newcastle’

Everton tonight: time to change the dismal record book


Eight days have passed since the glorious victory at Chelsea.

It came just two weeks after the humiliating defeat at St James’ Park. Some would cheerfully have reversed those 1-5, 3-0 results.

I am not one of them: however embarrassing the derby trouncing was, it was a game that mattered little to the bigger world of football beyond our tribal divide. Hammering mighty Chelsea, in a way that simply never happens to them, was a momentous event noticed everywhere and appreciated by virtually all non-Chelsea supporters.

Read moreEverton tonight: time to change the dismal record book

Everton fans in Ulster: good-is-on each side

An appalling play on words, and surely more than enough to make Peter Cross*. I always thought, because Catholic friends in Belfast and Derry/Londonderry told me so, that Everton was predominantly their club, Liverpool the Protestants’. Peter, who leads Northern Ireland’s branch of the Everton Supporters’ Club, knows better; ahead of Monday’s SAFC v Everton clash at the Stadium of Light, he offers a brief but scholarly history of the two clubs. And yes, talks about football, too …

Read moreEverton fans in Ulster: good-is-on each side

Marriner all at sea as Newcastle sink Everton

Mackem favours Toon shock! As if our own game hadn’t produced sufficient controversy – however contrived – Malcolm Dawson found reason for disgruntlement elsewhere in the Premier programme. In particular, he berates Andre Marriner for failing to take decisions that would have made the Mags’ task at Goodison even comfier …

There has been much debate on Salut! Sunderland and elsewhere about the circumstances surrounding Lee Cattermole’s sending off at Wigan.

Read moreMarriner all at sea as Newcastle sink Everton

Soapbox: the quality of Mersey leaves me drained

 soapboxI couldn’t bring myself to watch this one, and settled instead for a large glass of red wine and back to back episodes of Brothers and Sisters on catch-up TV.    Even though Rebecca and Justin almost split up, Kitty was diagnosed with a serious illness and Ryan was double-crossing the family business, it was less heart-rending than watching our match.   Malcolm Dawson is made of sterner stuff and reports here on our latest defeat.  

I don’t watch football with the analytical purist’s eye of Pete Sixsmith. I watch it from a purely emotional perspective. Which is not to say that Sixer is the Mr Spock of football supporters.  Anyone who has seen him at footy will have experienced his animated side. But me? I am either jumping up and down or sat back in my seat resigned to 90+ minutes of frustration.

Read moreSoapbox: the quality of Mersey leaves me drained

Naive, irrational, expectant: summing up Sunderland fans ahead of Goodison?


There may be a Carling Cup match to preoccupy fans of the Manchester clubs and even Surly Alex Ferguson. But for fans of Sunderland AFC, the only match that really matters will be taking place 34 miles or so to the west …

As responses to a shocking FA Cup exit at Portsmouth go, buying a ticket for the next game at Pompey – not even two weeks away – may seem irrational. I have just ordered mine.

As a logical approach to tonight’s Premier League tie against Everton, putting money on anything other than another Sunderland defeat might seem naive. I was toying with the idea of a fiver on the unexpected away win.

Read moreNaive, irrational, expectant: summing up Sunderland fans ahead of Goodison?

Who are you? We’re Everton (in not many words)


Some rival fans get stuck into Who Are You? with gusto, packing their responses with facts, opinion and humour. Barry Maddicott, an Everton-supporting chef we discovered via the fans’ site Grand Old Team, where he posts as devonblue, is in a class of his own, offering by far the shortest set of answers since the series began. Looking at the way Sunderland have been playing, it can’t be that he fears it would be unwise to give too much away ahead of tomorrow night’s game. Perhaps he just prefers to do his talking at the stove. Welcome, in any case, to this parish, Barry …

Whatever happened in the FA Cup (beaten at home by Birmingham), you must fancy your chances of getting a hatful against us after our run.

Of course but will settle for 1-0

Everton have been on fire. Can you put your finger on what it was that changed your season around?

The return of Neville, and Fellaini playing in his favoured position.

Does it give you added pleasure that Liverpool have been going through such a tough patch on and off the field?

Oh yes.

Peter Reid and Paul Bracewell are among the names associated with both clubs. Any memories or thoughts on them, and other links between us?

Both legends.

What have been the highs and lows of supporting Everton?

Highs 85-87, lows everything after that.

Has our dreadful form surprised you or did we just flatter to deceive earlier in the season?

Injuries hit hard when you have a small squad.

Name this season’s top four in order, and the bottom three?

Man Utd

West Ham, Bolton, Portsmouth

If Everton and/or Sunderland were in neither list where will each of our clubs finish?

Everton 8th
Sunderland top 12

The Eduardo question. Arsenal fans hate the way I’ve personalised this but: last second of the last game of the season. A top four place depends on a win. Saha goes down and everyone except the ref knows he dived. You score the penalty and win. Take it gladly, take it guiltily or feel so ashamed you almost wish you’d missed out?

Take it gladly.

Was it outrageous to mention Saha in the context of such a question? Who are the game’s worst divers?


Club v country. Who wins for you, and why? And does it make a difference to you in a World Cup year>

Club. I’m an Everton fan who follows England.

Name one thing the football authorities or Everton could do to improve the lot of the supporters.

New stadium

And will you be there on Wednesday? What will be the score?

3-1 and no.

* Barry Maddicott on Barry Maddicott: 38, lives in south Devon, followed Everton for 25 years now, currently unemployed chef.

** Photo of Goodison Park from Gene Hunt’s Flickr pages

Colin Randall

Soapbox: Sunderland expects


As Pete Sixsmith shows a worrying tendency towards part-timism by missing his second Sunderland match in a row (ok, he did report on the Reserves and Under-18s this week), his shoes are ably filled by Malcolm Dawson who enjoys his trip to an old-style ground, but not the reminders of the playground …

For nostalgia buffs such as myself, Portsmouth is a great place to go. You can locate the ground by driving randomly, spotting the floodlights towering above the tightly packed terraced housing and parking a couple of hundred yards away, only a five minute stroll from the turnstiles. The illusion continues inside the ground where the primeval urinals consisting of a concrete trough with no splash backs, necessitate a plodge through an inch or two of undefined liquid to dispose of the pre match Speckled Hen.

Although, like Villa Park and Anfield, ground regulations have meant that plastic seats have been bolted onto the old standing areas, I still half expected to see men in long white coats parading round the pitch with paper bags of monkey nuts and the smell of a hundred pipes full of Ready Rub wafting over the tightly packed hordes.

But the Ford Populars and Singer Vogues have been replaced by people carriers and four wheel drives, every third person seems to be talking into their mobile and the P.A. announcer reminds us that Fratton Park is a no smoking stadium.

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Observed: Sunderland 1 Everton 1

The Observer should be paying Pete Sixsmith a salary. As well as writing the half-term report, he summed up yesterday’s match for them. Here, plus the same exercise involving an Everton fan, is his fan’s view of the match …


Pete Sixsmith,

Once again we failed to close down a game after going one up. Darren Bent scored a great goal that showed what we are capable of when we go forward. But we cannot control the midfield. Fellaini ran the show and, to be honest, we didn’t have anyone to compare to him. If you are defending in the penalty box then you are always going to concede. John Mensah was excellent, while Steed Malbranque looked like he is on his way out of the club.

The fan’s player ratings Fulop 6; Bardsley 7, Mensah 8 (Nosworthy 71 6), Da Silva 7, McCartney 6; Malbranque 4 (Zenden 58 6) Cana 6, Henderson 5, Reid 6; Jones 6, Bent 7

Steve Jones,

We got a good point in the end. But I’m disappointed we didn’t get the three points. They had a good period in the first half, but the second half was all us. That’s our problem this season, we can’t win these sort of games like we did last season. Fellaini was outstanding. This was his best game for us and I think that is because he’s playing in the middle of the park. Pienaar was good, as was Saha, even though he missed a few chances. But we can’t keep using injuries as an excuse.

The fan’s player ratings Howard 7; Hibbert 6, Neill 7, Heitinga 6, Baines 8; Bilyaletdinov 6, Osman 7 (Yakubu 69 7), Fellaini 10, Pienaar 8; Cahill 7; Saha 6 (Vaughan 87 n/a)

Soapbox: how to be the perfect host


If I wasn’t impressed listening to Sunderland v Everton on TalkSport, imagine what it as like as viewed from my row in the East Stand. Pete Sixsmith was there …

Ah, Christmas.
The time of year when friends come together, to eat drink and be merry, to enjoy wonderful hospitality – and to end up at the Stadium of Light, with 46,000 others, watching Sunderland extend the hand of friendship to relegation threatened Everton, by allowing them to do exactly what they wanted to do for an hour.

Read moreSoapbox: how to be the perfect host