Salut! Sunderland casts its net far and wide in search of interesting candidates for the Who are You? series. For today’s return to Premier action – Sunderland v Liverpool – we found Mick Quinn, who grew up on the Kop but had to play his football at downtrodden stadiums in places like Newcastle and Portsmouth. Mick has fully recovered from such adversity and now works for TalkSport, covering football and horseracing. And he was a cracking interviewee. The full Q&A can be seen here but , for those in a hurry who missed it first time round, one or two extracts follow …
Salut! Sunderland In the end, was it right – for Liverpool too – that Torres went?
Yes, I think so. Don’t get me wrong: he is a top quality striker who on the top of his game is the best in the world for me. Just look at some of the goals he has scored. And I have never changed my opinion on that. But for one reason or another, and there were those three ops in 18 months, he was sulking like a big kid because he felt he’d been promised quite a bit by Hodgson on the players he’d bring in but then didn’t. But we’ve brought in two quality strikers so that is a good bit of business in the end.
What do you make of the Sunderland decline from the good position we were in at the start of the year?
Well I think one of the best away performances of any time this season had to be Sundeland at Chelsea. They thoroughly deserved to win. It was three and could have been seven or eight. I know a lot of Sunderland fans were disappointed Bent went but you have Gyan who is a top quality striker, Kieran Richardson is showing us he’s the good player we knew he was and you just need to be a lot more consistent. It is a youngish team with time on its side. I spoke to Niall Quinn about this a while ago when the away form was the big worry, but you’ve now lost a couple at home. The important thing is to improve on last season and I believe you are ahead in that regard.
Did your time in the North East, not being from there, leave you with a bit of affection for Sunderland too?
No! I certainly do not have any soft spot for Sunderland. That was drummed into me in three-and-half years at Newcastle; and I am black and white through and through as far as that’s concerned and have never mellowed since I left. You have to remember also that my time there gave me my most prolific years as a goalscorer (59 in 119 games -ed) and I was proud to wear the Newcastle No 9 shirt.
That said I do like big Niall but I know Steve Bruce is a Geordie at heart and deep down wants to manage Newcastle.
You’re beginning to sound more like a Newcastle supporter than Liverpool. How divided are your loyalties when they play each other?
Hand on heart, can you say you never dived as a player?
I don’t think I was that kind of player. You needed a bulldozer to knock me over and a crane to get me back up again. I was a hustle bustle sort of striker, perhaps too honest in some ways, but I put it around and liked defendes to know they were going to get a hard time from me. I was the archetypal aggressive centre forward and defenders could never relax around me. If I’d tried to dive, I’d have looked a right Jessie.
Will you get to the game? How will it go?
I won’t be there as I have my show on TalkSport from 8am to noon on Saturday and Sunday. I’ll get to liste or watch somewhere though and I will say SAFC 0 Liverpool 2, one each from Carroll and Suarez. Get in!
Interview: Colin Randall