Sunderland: The revealing footage that makes you wince

I WAS relatively late to the excellent series, Sunderland ‘Til I Die, largely because I am naturally cynical about carefully-scripted documentaries that supposedly tell the inside story of a club or institution. However, having watched the entire two-series offering, I not only feel I know Sunderland a little better, but the revealing content confirmed conventional […]

Sunderland: A confusing time to be a Black Cat

SUNDERLAND’s financial report for 2018-19 reflects, to a certain degree, a club that remains one of English football’s great enigmas – an institution with a strong heritage, fanatical support but a barren trophy cabinet. Sunderland, since 1970, have been promoted eight times and relegated on 10 occasions. After the disastrous double relegation of 2017 and […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]