Luke’s World: Sunderland set an example Blackburn may follow

Salut! Sunderland is always open to new writers. Hilary Fawcett’s marvellous account of her twin obsessions with SAFC and Bob Dylan has won deserved acclaim. Now Luke Harvey, absent from these pages for too long, returns with a reflections on Steve Bruce’s demise – and how one game summed up a second club’s need for change …

Martin O’Neill’s start as Sunderland manager ultimately ended in triumph, and he was given a good, up-close look at his predecessor’s legacy.

That’s not to say MON has inherited only negative aspects from Steve Bruce even if recent weeks on Wearside might have made that look the case. Bruce did leave our new manager a team of unified and hard working professionals, something David Vaughan and Sebastian Larsson reinforced with their goals.

It would be folly and rather disrespectful to think Bruce did not care about our team. Even against his former employers – Wigan – in what turned out to be his last game in charge, you could see he wanted to win just as badly as we, the fans, did.

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Luke’s World: bring on Liverpool and Newcastle. I can’t wait

Luke Harvey, another of our regular writers, offers a hardcore enthusiast’s welcome to the return – gormless rioters permitting – of the football season …

You’ll have heard the rumours: football is back.

It doesn’t feel like very long since the season ended. For Manchester United fans I’m sure the defeat at the hands of Barcelona is still providing a dull ache somewhere within, despite the FA Community Shield victory over Man City.

But the football league is definitely back, and it will surely provide the thrills and spills as well as plenty of other assorted clichés along the way.

Read moreLuke’s World: bring on Liverpool and Newcastle. I can’t wait