It’s a familiar question in the ‘Who are You?’ series: what do you think, we ask opposing fans, of Sunderland – the club, the fans, the city and region, David Moyes?
This is how Dale O’Donnell, our Manchester United interviewee (he’s editor of the the Stretty News fan site), replied:
‘Yeah, I thought we looked after you a bit when Steve Bruce was in charge with the likes of Brown and O’Shea. Then your fans took the p*** a bit and Poznan’d at our expense. That has to be one of the worst small-time things I have seen as a football fan, and I highly doubt it will happen this season if Sunderland face the inevitable.’
After reading Dale’s replies, which I generally found thoughtful and knowledgeable, I asked him: ‘… was it more petty to do it, or more petty to take it seriously?’ He generously allowed for ‘a bit of both maybe’
But what better, I thought, with no football until Boxing Day, than to offer you once again Stephen Goldsmith‘s thoughts on the subject. Stephen, you may recall, once graced these pages, which he also used with Gareth Barker to promote and develop the Wise Men Say podcast until they Poznaned off to the brighter lights of ALS. He’s fondly remembered all the same and this is probably the third time his piece, slightly modified, on the subject has had an airing (so apologies if it feels a little familiar and pardon the outdated references to Sir Alex – the thrust of the article remains valid) …
Stephen Goldsmith, fondly remembered from this parish, unwittingly kicks off a series of Summer Madness retrospectives, good reads that deserve another airing.
The choice of Goldy’s article from 2012 was prompted by a tweet from a MUFC fan explaining his jibe about Sunderland being relegated next May. It reflected his lingering anger at the Poznan done by some SAFC fans when they beat us in the final game and thought themselves champions until Man City scored in stoppage time to break their hearts. See the Twitter exchange below (I cannot quite work out how to avoid repeating each tweet before the reply). But first, have another look at Goldy’s amusing piece …
Scott the Red, the driving force behind the Republik of Mancunia website certainly provoked reaction from the Sunderland faithful with his reaction to last season’s Poznan. Pete Sixsmith is perhaps less provocative when reciprocating with his responses to the questions put to him for publication on their site. What follows is the set of questions and Sixer’s answers.
1. Why have Sunderland been so poor this season?
We have never got going. The first home game was postponed, there were two international weekends, the new players (Johnson in particular) took time to settle in, some of the others had a poor pre-season and have not found form. There is no single reason. Most of the players are good enough and the manager is as good as anyone a club like ours can get. Hopefully, we are on the up now – just in time to meet the league leaders.
2. How highly do you rate, O’Shea, Brown and Campbell?
Campbell has been very unfortunate with injuries and will be leaving at the end of the season when his contract ends. Brown has been out for 12 months and is, apparently, close to a come back. Hmmm. O’Shea is a good player but his distribution is awful and is reminiscent of the central defenders that Mick McCarthy brought to the club. There is always room to hide at Manchester United; there is nowhere to hide at Sunderland – we don’t have the players who can cover up any deficiencies.
3. Were you sad to see Richardson leave?
Like O’Shea, he was a good player, but had a tendency to flatter to deceive. He will never be forgotten for rattling home a free kick that beat the Mags four years ago.
4. What do you make of Sunderland fans celebrating City winning the league on the last game of last season?
I saw it as quite funny. I am sure that you know that MUFC is not universally loved and that the manager, although admired, does annoy many opposition fans. The reaction was as much to the incredible turn of events as anything else.
On a serious note, I spent the last 10 minutes of that game watching Paul Scholes, who stopped playing and wandered around, finding it hard to believe that he was likely to win a League Championship medal after coming out of retirement.
And remember, we did take 4 points (should have been 6) off your “noisy neighbours”. I mean, if you can’t win at Wigan…………
5. If you could have any United player at Sunderland, who would it be an why?
Where to start. A fully fit Vidic would settle us down at the back, where we have started to give away silly goals. He is a beast of a player. I can’t think of any supporter who wouldn’t love to have van Persie. If Steve Bruce were still manager, he would probably sign Bebe.
6. What would realistically make this season a success for Sunderland?
The ideal position for me would be 17th with Newcastle United 18th by a point – we sneaked one off them in October thanks to Demba Ba deflecting a John O’Shea header into the net. Even better if they had Shearer back as manager. An old man can dream………
7. Prediction for the weekend.
I saw us win at Old Trafford 2-1 in 1968, the day that City last won the title prior to 2012. We nearly did it a couple of years ago and the chances of doing it this year are about as good as those of Sooty failing to cover Harry Corbett in ink or water. I am pretty sure you will win, but I travel in hope.
Bye bye everybody. Bye bye.
See the MUFC v SAFC ‘Who are You?’: https://safc.blog/2012/12/the-manchester-united-who-are-you-go-down-sunderland-for-poznan-stunt/
See also: Monsieur Salut talks all things Sunderland at ESPN FC: http://soccernet.espn.go.com/blog/_/name/sunderland?cc=5739