On Facebook yesterday, I wrote: “Forget the hysteria of Leveson and the Scotland Yard ‘burglars/muggers/killers’ delight’ investigation of reporters having pints or lunch with coppers. The Tyne-Wear derby, Newcastle v Sunderland, is on Sunday at noon. Elegant, witty, informative and impeccably fair tribalism is to be found at https://safc.blog/
SO it was quite a proud night all round for Sunderland players on international duty, and 79 was a magic number.
This has been a week of great happiness – beating Arsenal to reach the FA Cup quarterfinals, welcoming Fraizer Campbell’s inclusion in the England squad and James McClean’s Irish call-up – and much sadness, Niall Quinn’s decision to end his links with SAFC. Oh, one more happy bit: Salut! Sunderland reached ninth, its highest ever position, in the Soccerlinks hit list (though we may have fallen by the time you click on that link) …
While others watched England, Pete Sixsmith – at least until late in the international friendly – was at Hetton, where his willingness to brave chilly weather was rewarded by a welcome return from injury by Fraizer Campbell …
It was cold enough at Hetton/Eppleton last night for soup. After last week’s balmy 18C, we were back to the kind of single figures associated with the average marks awarded to a Sunderland defender after a game against Stoke City.
However, those of us who braved the early Spring chill, were warmed up by a goal form Frazier Campbell and a really enjoyable and entertaining game between two young sides, chock full of players making their way in the game.
… in which we praise the Sunderland men who graced the Wembley turf last night and introduce you to a new team strip to end arguments over our own …
Before anything else, Salut! Sunderland salutes all the SAFC players who represented their countries in the England v Ghana friendly last night. In particular, bravo Asamoah Gyan for an equaliser to cap what was, by all accounts, an excellent game and Danny Welbeck for making his first England appearance.
At this distance – M Salut is in France – you have to rely on the reports of others.
One Sunderland supporter with Wembley tickets wondered what the England fans in the family enclosure made of his celebration of Gyan’s goal. Another sent a celebratory e-mail: “Gerrin … more of that on Saturday please.”
A third, thinking also of a certain Mr Carroll, added: “Can’t say I’ve enjoyed an England goal less and cheered the opposition scoring more than tonight. Can we have that every week please Gyan!”
While all this was going on, our own Pete Sixsmith sent a text telling me Fraizer Campbell had also scored – on his return from injury in a 1-1 draw for the Reserves v WBA. There’ll be more on that, I imagine, from Pete himself a little later, but Campbell’s recovery and confidence-boosting goal can only be good for the club.
Here’s a team line-up with a difference: one man’s view of the worst players in the Premier League. One Sunderland regular, and one old boy, get nominations. The compiler gets an earful …
When a journalist runs out of things to say, he can always come up with a list. After all, Nick Hornby did it, over and again in High Fidelity, and made a fortune. So why not?
Justin Mottershead is a mature student in his final year of a journalism degree at City University London. He says he’s from Manchester and “obviously” loves United – the “obviously” is a little baffling to those of us who find the correlation not at all obvious – and his list is of the players he’d select for the Premier team from hell.