Gareth Roberts*, editor of the ‘leading independent voice on Liverpool FC’, The Anfield Wrap, comes up with a scoreline prediction none of us will thank him for. But he also answers our questions with an informed and informative manner, defending Jurgen Klopp in his spats with the media, acclaiming the two Jordans, doubting Mignolet’s Anfield future and, naturally, going for Liverpool to win the title …
We’ve already had Pete Sixsmith’s words of wisdom on the Sam Allardyce affair. Here, Salut! Sunderland’s deputy editor Malcolm Dawson considers the issues that arise but also what it means to us, supporters of Sunderland …
“Being slightly paranoid is like being slightly pregnant. It tends to get worse.”
It would be easy to become paranoid as a Sunderland supporter. Every time we seem to be on the up, something comes along to kick us in the teeth.
This is turning into one of the great modern stories: how a plucky little nation, scorned by the rest of Europe, lost to Iceland in Euro 16.
— George Caulkin (@CaulkinTheTimes) June 27, 2016
Bravo George Caulkin, self-described ‘chronicler of misery for The Times (North East football, mainly)’, for that clever piece of gallows humour tweeting. And now over to Pete Sixsmith, our own chronicler of doom punctuated by the odd shaft of light. Watching England was indeed like watching Sunderland for the first 30 games of most seasons. Sixer rises from his sick bed after a week of pain and discomfort to carry out his own Ofsted inspection ..
Win a trip to the Euros … read on
Roy Hodgson has probably worked out where Sunderland is on the map but not clearly enough to make him select an in-form striker, who grabbed an astonishing tally of 15 Premier League goals despite playing for a team that spent most of the season in the bottom three.
So no room for Jermain Defoe at the Euros 2016 in France. Roy did include in his provisional squad a well-known Championship player, Andros Townsend, and a man who doesn’t quite match Jermain’s standards of clean living, Jack Wilshere.
And SAFC fans who turn out at the Stadium of Light on Friday may well see Jordan Henderson, long lost to us as a player but still a fan, in the England friendly vs Australia. Since Roy’s a linguist, this link helping him find our ground is in French.
When the question was first raised, Monsieur Salut’s instinctive response was along the lines of ‘Hodgson doesn’t really know where Sunderland is, so is unlikely to see Jermain Defoe play unless we’re away to and being beaten soundly by a London side containing one or more of his favourites’. But the questioner persisted with the result that we have now a guest article, from Mark Smith, a sports writer based in Prague, weighing up the pros and cons of Defoe’s case for an England recall …
John McCormick writes: Jeremy Robson has been busy lately but managed to catch up with the World Cup and pass on his thoughts. His considered appraisal of England’s performance and the reasons for it are well worth reading, be you fan, player, owner or member of the FA council. And, if you’re one of the latter, in the words of the one-year king, “something must be done”.
Few serious followers of the national team were under any illusions about our prospects at this year’s World Cup, Firstly, we rarely do well and secondly, this is possibly the weakest squad to go to a World Cup in living memory.
The Daily Mail football writer Matt Lawton began his report on Jordan Henderson’s call-up to the England squad for Euro 2012 with these words:
Such nights don’t come along too often. We’d won promotion and clinched the title, the team were out celebrating with …