John McCormick writes: wasn’t it good to see Jordan Henderson picking up that trophy the other day? It wasn’t his first, either. Way back in 2011-12 he’d been on the winning side as Liverpool picked up the League cup. He’d also been a runner-up in a few competitions (FA Cup, Europa League, Champions League, Premiership and so on) had captained his country in the World Cup, and, generally, proven to be a bit of a canny player. Yet, not long after he left Sunderland, I remember listening to Liverpool fans explaining why he just wasn’t good enough for Liverpool and how he’d never replace Steven Gerrard [the sniping from sections of the Liverpool and England support has continued – Ed].
There were similar criticisms about his selection as an England player after he made his senior debut in 2010 and, indeed, it was a while before he earned another cap. Yet we knew all long, didn’t we? At least Stephen Goldsmith did. Here’s what he wrote just 7 years ago, on June 5th 2012, under his byline “Goldy’s Logic” and with the title:
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piece, slightly modified, on the subject has had an airing (so apologies if it feels a little familiar and pardon the outdated references to Sir Alex – the thrust of the article remains valid) …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 …
One of the most encouraging things about the live podcast last week was seeing many journo and editor types in the audience, writes Stephen Goldsmith. This was particularly pleasing as it meant I could remind them face to face about their assurances of featuring on the podcast.
James Hunter from the Evening Chronicle was one the recipients of this direct method and popped in to the studios to discuss all things SAFC. Being the Sunderland correspondent in a Newcastle paper, it was a change in environment for James, here he could witness Sunderland fans moaning instead of Newcastle fans goading over airports or housing estates that aren’t even in the same county. Gareth Barker and I were also joined by Craig Clark from over at Roker Report who sparked off a massive Phil Bardsley debate at the live pod last week. If he hadn’t have asked somebody else would have in all fairness.
After last week’s lapse with the podcast, not posted here until after the Fulham game, the lads have made no mistake this time. M Salut has just listened to it and it’s cracking stuff with the panel talking in front of, and to, a live audience. See the link below …
Mea culpa, penitent stool, abject apologies … guess what we clean forgot to post last week?
Our much-feted podcast duo, Stephen Goldsmith and Gareth Barker, meant to send Monsieur Salut the file but didn’t. M Salut, weighed down by work and domestic duty, neglected to chase them.
What’s the point, you may well now ask, of carefully bolting the stable door long after the horse has had time not only to bolt but to live out its life and end up in someone’s pure beef lasagne?
There has been a lot of transfer activity to reflect on already this summer, writes Stephen Goldsmith. We all expected a total overhaul, to be fair, and the appointments of Roberto De Fanti and Valentino Angeloni certainly suggested that we’d be generally looking abroad for our new a acquisitions. One potential signing in particular stands out in terms of quality, according to those in the know, while one potential outgoing transfer has me especially curious…
During Martin O’Neill’s final months as SAFC manager, it became increasingly hard to gather and comment on news for a Reflections piece for Salut! Sunderland, writes Stephen Goldsmith. It seems unlikely Di Canio’s reign will be similar. The end of season is generally a bit of a lull for bloggers and writers, who try their best to avoid getting carried away with bogus and erroneous transfer targets. There have been a couple of interesting developments in the last week, though, “that’s for sure” (Bruce: 2009/2010/2011).
And so another season draws to a close. It’s fair to say the contrast in the campaign’s two managers couldn’t be greater, in both playing styles and in their individual personalities writes Stephen Goldsmith. The overwhelming opinion of Di Canio appears to be that he is either going to be a resounding success or rip-roaring failure of an unparalleled kind. Football never gives you a respite from its uncertainty and excitement. That’s why we all love it, right? You do. You love it.
Gareth Barker joins myself in the studio as always, as we discuss the fall outs from the whole season. As I’ve mentioned previously here, the show always has a loose agenda to follow. The idea behind this is to just give it some direction and a focal point for people to comment on, which in turn, gives others the opportunity to divert away from. This week’s, however, was the most spontaneous and improvised yet. And it was great.
I’d like to thank all the guest that have appeared on the show in the three months it has aired. Without them and their enthusiasm and interest it would be a non starter. I can honestly say that the standard of guests has amazed me and I’m extremely grateful. Many’s former favourite Martin Smith was a highlight last week, as was speaking to his former team mate Darren Williams on the phone. Journalists Richard Mason and Gary Foster have
given up their time to help us out, as has writer Andy Dawson – yet all three also asked if they can return. Must be doing something right. The standard of guests we’ve had on the phone in representation of each of our opponent’s fans have been the most surprising, and nothing short of tremendous. Thanks to each and every one of them. Roker Report paid us the ultimate compliment by throwing their support behind the podcast and I can’t thank them enough for that, while Michael Graham was a great guest himself of course. This week we’ve had bloody rock stars on man, it’s a huge climb from Gareth and I sitting in a pub – having first laid eyes on each other – with a shared idea.
But I have to say that a special, special, special thanks goes out to Tom Lynn and Simon Patterson who have also given up their time and helped us out when we really needed it. Tom must have been sick of me texting him and hounding him those first few weeks. Both were excellent and will be back on next season if they so much as wish. Onwards and upwards, hopefully.
Back to this week’s podcast, we had:
- Gary Foster from Shields Gazette giving his thoughts to all the discussion points.
- Frankie and Michael from Frankie and the heartstrings, just one of a fine group of bands representing Sunderland in modern times. We hear their latest single Nothing our way.
- A debate on what went wrong for O’Neill, as we critique his playing style and question his signings.
- Speak about what we think the future holds with Di Canio and whether his ‘hand grenade’ approach is the right one.
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Stephen Goldsmith is not just a budding broadcast sports journalist, podcast wizard and Salut! Sunderland assistant editor. He also coaches children. In the latest of our end-of-season reviews – the series will end soon with Pete Sixsmith‘s calculations of how well spent his season ticket money was – Goldy says his young charges show more movement and pace than our midfield managed at times …