Soccer City: Sunderland – the weight of history

SUNDERLAND have been “big” for many years. That big means two things; big history and big support. It doesn’t mean a reflection of size in the same way that Manchester United or Arsenal are described, because Sunderland are not a successful club in the modern football era. The club’s historic success was mostly accumulated between the late 19th and the early 20th centuries. Of Sunderland’s … Continue reading Soccer City: Sunderland – the weight of history

Through the turnstiles: Southampton v Sunderland

EAVESDROPPING on trains is something you cannot avoid, so for my entire journey from London to Southampton I was able to listen  to a young wannabee trying to impress a couple of Sunderland supporters about his exploits as a “journalist” – a “youtuber” with an obsession for “selfies” of the animated kind. Oh well, if it makes him happy. “I am living the dream,” he … Continue reading Through the turnstiles: Southampton v Sunderland

The King may be dead, but he’s not forgotten

One day in January 1993, my telephone rang at work. “Hello, mate, it’s Peter Osgood here.” I hesitated, gasped and was a little nervous with my reply. “I used to have a poster of you on my bedroom wall,” I uttered. “I hope you still haven’t got it up,” he quipped. Here was my boyhood hero,  Peter Leslie Osgood, born Windsor, February 20 1947, 6ft … Continue reading The King may be dead, but he’s not forgotten

Hotbed? No, the North-East is a tepid pool of mediocrity

Sunderland’s dismissal of Martin O’Neill has prompted the usual cries that “The North-East is a footballing hotbed”. How often have we heard this comment? Probably ever since the region did have some credible claim to be an area of sporting excellence. Scratching my head, I wonder when exactly was that, and also, what criteria has to be met in order for an area to be … Continue reading Hotbed? No, the North-East is a tepid pool of mediocrity

Di Canio experiment may be doomed – regardless of which side of the political pitch he stands

The hotbed of soccer has got its own hot head now in the form of new Sunderland manager Paulo Di Canio. This may have been a strange choice, but now it has become a controversial decision after the Democratic Republic of British Football raised its concerns about one of its clubs hiring a man who – eight years ago – said he was a fascist. … Continue reading Di Canio experiment may be doomed – regardless of which side of the political pitch he stands