TalkSport: a guilty pleasure

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What do you listen to during the morning drive to work or when getting ready to leave the house? Who winds you up and who, later in the day, helps you wind down? Colin Randall admits to a weakness for TalkSport – even when it talks rot …

There is a confession to make: I may be addicted to TalkSport radio. Even on days when I really must listen to Radio 4 in the car, I find some time to turn to Alan Brazil’s morning show.

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Soapbox: mauled by the Manchester Reds

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A week that began with disaster (if being walloped at football can truly be one) and improved to mere disappointment ended without even a hint of bringing delight. Pete Sixsmith dutifully turned out to watch Sunderland’s reserves taught a lesson by Manchester United …

Thursday night was the end of a miserable week on the pitch for SAFC.

A good thrashing at Stamford Bridge, penalty kick disappointment against Preston and then a plucky and committed, albeit limited, Reserve team bump into a Manchester United side full of players looking for an opportunity to get into the first team once the Glazers have sold the regulars.

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A search for football’s best, most passionate fans

Here is a reminder of the search launched by Sky Sports for the best football fans in the land. There will a league table, placing the fans of all 92 league clubs in order, and prizes are promised. Anyone got the answer? Naturally, we all think that answer is staring them in the face and comes from the Stadium of Light. Look at the video and decide whether you’d like to get involved and shout about your passion …

Imagine it. You support Chelsea, Arsenal, Man United or Liverpool. You’ve followed them for ever, or rather since you were old enough to work out they were quite good and won a lot. You may even have been to the city where they play.

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Soapbox: robbed by the Reds

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If only. If only Kieran Richardson hadn’t done football’s equivalent of Roman Polanski making a high-profile visit to a country with a massive extradition treaty with the US. If only Malbranque had got to that ball before Carrick and made it 3-1. If only Anton … but no, this is the way to even higher blood pressure. It was still a resounding performance, the result as predicted by Bill Taylor (ex-Bishop, now Canada) on these pages and the game as described here by Pete Sixsmith


One of
my first Soapbox pieces was after our 3-2 defeat at the Emirates two years ago. I said this was the first time we had looked like a Premier League side since Reidy was in his pomp and that it was something we could build on.

Alas, since then, we have done very little except beat weaker teams and scrabble around the nether regions, prompting commentators to dismiss us as also-rans and one of those sides that act as cannon fodder for the big boys.

Well, that was effectively brought to an end on Saturday as we gave Manchester United a lesson in how to retain possession, how to mark tightly and how to score goals. Yes, Sunderland gave Manchester United a lesson. Never thought I would write those words, but, dear reader, it is true. We did. So there!!

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Who are you? We’re Manchester United (2)

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That’s more like it, Salut! Sunderland said mischievously: a Manchester United supporter in the Red Devils’ heartland of – you guessed – Denmark. But Helge Conradsen* is not just another far-away, never-been-to-Old-Trafford gloryseeker. He heads Denmark’s branch of the MUFC supporters’ club, has 47 years’ service as a United fan, owns a dog named after Cantona and is probably the best-known and most knowledgeable of all the club’s Danish fans. We love the way his brother “was once” a supporter of Sunderland (how can such an allegiance be fleeting?) …

Salut! Sunderland How does a Danish person end up supporting Manchester United fan? Why not Hull City or Derby County, for example, or your local club in Denmark?

I was 10 when I saw my first FA Cup Final on Danish TV. It was in 1963. Manchester United played Leicester City. I didn’t know anything about the teams but the team in the dark shirts (there was no colour TV then) played really well. A small striker caught my eyes. I found out that the name of the team was Manchester United and that the name of the player was Denis Law. Since then Manchester United have been my passion and Law my favourite player. I follow both English and Danish football but nothing can compare with Manchester United.

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Who are you? We’re Manchester United (1)

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This may be a first. A fan from the City of Manchester has been found, verified as a United supporter and persuaded to preview the game at Old Trafford on Saturday. That was cheap and grossly unfair, or at least United fans would say so. Of course there are Man Utd supporters in Manchester and the surrounding area; it is just that there are so many of them in far-flung corners of the word that the global glory-seeking jibe comes naturally to the lips or keyboard. Liam Bradford*, assistant editor of United first fanzine, Red News, and press officer for the Independent Manchester United Supporters’ Association (IMUSA) puts us right. Next stop? Denmark! …

Salut! Sunderland:

The last United fan in the Who Are You? series at Salut! Sunderland was a 100 per cent Manc who gets very irritated when people say they’re a world brand, not a proper club. What say you?

HOW VERY DARE YOU!!!!!!! We are both! As much as we hate to admit it, we are a successful football club that got turned into a worldwide recognised brand. What you do have to consider is that no football club means no brand where no brand means that there’s still a football club. We have to be a proper club don’t we? How do you define “proper club” anyway? founded in 1878, but we aren’t a proper club? It’s difficult isn’t it? The long and short of it is that we have to understand now that we are both customer and fan to a team that is both football club and world brand.

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