New man for Sunderland hot seat, an older man on the A list


Colin Randall writes: About the only way I could get through the first half of the Millwall game, even via the Barnes & Benno commentary on the club site, and what Gary Bennett called the worst goalkeeping (Robbin Ruiter) he could recall witnessing, was to read Pete Sixsmith‘s account of a night out with past players. Sadly Tony Coton couldn’t make either the event or the match (he might have got a game on either side as goalkeeping howlers led to a 2-2 that established Sunderland, on one statistical test, as England’s worst home side in history) …


As I walked into Quinns Bar last night for the launch of Tales From The Red and Whites Volume 2, Nick Barnes, the estimable BBC Newcastle commentator shot out and dashed downstairs in a tremendous hurry.

I hoped that it was not bad news for him e.g. the restoration of David Moyes as manager, the sale of the club to Robert and Grace Mugabe, the closure of the Harris Tweed industry and wondered if it could be news on the managerial front. All was about to be revealed……

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Sunderland v Southampton ‘Guess the Score’: reaching for glory amid the gloom

Jake: supporting a club proud to keep its red and white stripes. Unlike, er, the Saints
Jake: supporting a club proud to keep its red and white stripes. Unlike, er, the Saints

It’s nearly here. Tomorrow, which will coincidentally be a full week on from the (unfulfilled) promise by Northumbria Police to get back to Salut! Sunderland with answers to our questions about the disgraceful late change to the matchdate, Sunderland play Southampton in the fourth round of the Capital One Cup.

In a season that has so far had only one ray of sunshine, the game represents SAFC’s best chance of helping to make 2013-2014 memorable for the right reasons.

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Soapbox: damn Yankees


No apologies for banging on about the Carling Cup defeat. It was a big night for us and we blew it, our own self-destruct tendencies combining in critical fashion with the accomplished versatility of a keeper from overseas. Pete Sixsmith feels he has been there before and is so cross he even has second thoughts about liking Villa and their fans …

Sixteen years ago, almost to the day, Aston Villa won a League Cup tie at Roker Park, thanks to a fantastic goalkeeping performance by Mark Bosnich.

A Sunderland side containing such luminaries as Martin Gray, Alec Chamberlain and David Rush battered the allegedly superior visitors, before falling to a couple of late and thoroughly undeserved goals. I remember talking to Gordon Armstrong the next day at Sedgefield Races and he was still shaking his head in disbelief at what had happened.

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