As the dust settles on the epic battle/brutal thuggery that was Sunday’s Tyne –Wear derby, Pete Sixsmith thinks it is time to move on. Or at least he does until tonight.
It’s Wednesday now, and important things are happening all around the world that have little to do with Lee Cattermole, Cheick Tiote, Alan Pardew or Martin O’Neill.
Across the Atlantic, the Republican Party are torn between the delights of Mitt Romnet, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich in their increasingly desperate attempts to find somebody to stand against Barack Obama. Look at those names again – the political equivalent of a midfield of Shaun Cunnington, Paul Lemon and Jeff Whitley.
Here, we have had the excellent news that Nissan is taking on extra workers at its Sunderland plant to build its new compact car, to be known as the Sessegnon – quick, nippy and low maintenance. They might have called it the Tiote, but they didn’t want a car that rolled when it hit the ground.
In football, we saw the sacking of the Chelsea manager, Andreas Villas-Boas after eight months in charge and with no replacement lined up. The Chelsea owner, Roman Abramovic, hires and fires managers at will and still can’t get it right. The news that Rafa Benitez is angling for the job almost makes me hope that the man I consider to be the worst manager in living history gets the job and takes Chelsea back into the nether regions of the league, where a club as charmless and graceless belongs.
I do like to dip into non-league football and on Saturday I visited Peterborough Northern Star of the United Counties League, in order to watch their FA Vase quarter final tie with Dunston UTS.
I travelled by train in the company of the Arsenal-supporting Northern League chairman Mike Amos and met up with various chums in the Fenland city pre-game, including the estimable Clive Adams, a follower of Watford, who told me Nyron has steadied the ship at Vicarage Road and is already a hero, despite his Mohican cut.
Football was discussed over several pints in the excellent Coalheavers Arms, a spit and a throw from the scene of our third round triumph in January, and we arrived at Northern Star’s ground in good spirits.
We got a really exciting game, which the Tyneside team won by the odd goal in 7 (that’s 4-3 for those who are mathematically challenged) after extra time, the winner coming two minutes from the end from the prolific Andrew Bulford. That, coupled with the news of West Auckland winning 2-0 at Bournemouth, sent Mr Amos into paroxysms of delight, unequalled anywhere since the day Ji Dong-won slipped that winner in against Abu Dhabi Rovers.
In the semi-final draw on Monday, the Northern League clubs were kept apart, which leaves me with a possible dilemma, for which your assistance is required.
Should one (particularly West Auckland) or both get to the final at Wembley, should I go? The problem is that the game takes place on Sunday May 13, the same day that we play Manchester United in the final game of the season.
I don’t imagine that we will be in any danger of relegation that day, although United may well be in with a chance of clinching the league title. It could be a dead game with nothing at stake, in which case you might well say “go to Wembley”.
But this season is the first, and probably only, time in my life that I will do every game. I have had seasons when I have missed a handful of games, but I have never done the full set. Should I miss that last game in order to watch what could be West Auckland’s greatest day since Tim Healey appeared in the village WMC and swore his undying love for the fragrant Denise Welsh? (No, you belong at Sunderland – M Salut).
Finally, well done to all of those who spotted the deliberate mistake. Craig Gardner is not suspended for the Liverpool game and has not reached the magic number of 10. He is still three behind Captain Cattermole in the race to see who gets the most this year.
Oh and finally, finally, for those who have nothing better to do, I am representing all that is good and red and white on the BBC Radio Newcastle Fans’ Forum tonight between 6 and 7.30pm, with me nipping off a bit earlier to watch North Shields play Northallerton Town. It’s a good show, hosted by Simon Pryde with Marco and John Anderson and I just hope I don’t drag it down to the level of the Three Legends.