Italy’s star, SAFC’s underachiever. Where did it go wrong with Giaccherini?

How Jake saw Emanuele Giachherini
How Jake saw Emanuele Giaccherini

Sorry for the patchy appearance of new material here, John McCormick’s splendid efforts excepted. In the tetchy climate, I daren’t say what may, for most of the last week, have distracted some of us. Emanuele Giaccherini couldn’t always get a full game for Sunderland but stars for Italy at Euro 2016. Is it our fault or his? What on earth happens to so many players of quality once they pull on our shirt, Defoe being a class exception? Monsieur Salut tracks the Giaccherini days at Sunderland as viewed on these pages …

Read moreItaly’s star, SAFC’s underachiever. Where did it go wrong with Giaccherini?

Who are you? We’re Barrow. Who?! You heard, Barrow

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Once he’d left football, Vic Halom, a hero of 1973 and therefore a justifiably revered figure at Sunderland, was involved in a company called, if I recall correctly, something like Disaster Solutions or Disaster Management. It was one of those record-breaking bad Premier seasons of ours when I met him before an obligatory pounding at Old Trafford, and I remember wondering whether SAFC’s predicament was beyond even Vic’s powers to resolve. That’s a long way of introducing Andrew Steel*, Barrow fan and football blogger (check out Halftime Oranges), who reminds us that Vic also made a big impact at his club. Andrew also has soft spots for Liverpool and Inter MIlan, but Barrow come first and he will be part of the army of fans making their way cross-country for Saturday’s FA Cup third round tie, a dream for him, hostage to fortune for us …

Salut! Sunderland:What does it mean to you, as a fan, to have drawn Sunderland away? Better than Boro away, I imagine.

I was made up when I saw the draw, although I was a little cautious about getting ahead of myself as, to be honest, I didn’t think we’d beat Oxford.

Last year was amazing. I’d never thought I’d watch Barrow playing Premier League opposition in a competitive match. It’s the stuff of dreams, so twice in two seasons is just magical.

For me, this year’s draw was definitely bigger than Boro. With no disrespect to Boro, Sunderland is a bigger club with a better following. I’m very much looking forward my first trip to the Stadium of Light

Read moreWho are you? We’re Barrow. Who?! You heard, Barrow