Tag: Sunderland

This Years Annual Poppy Fuss

Another year, then, brings another fuss about wearing poppies. This is perhaps unsurprising, when we consider modern professional footballs propensity towards being able to start a fight in an empty room when combined with the increasing hysteria that seems to manifest itself around this time every year. This time, in Premier League terms, the target of the tabloids has been James McClean, the Derry-born Sunderland winger who plays his international football for the Republic of Ireland, who opted not to wear a poppy on his shirt during Saturdays match at Goodison Park against Everton. The Mail on Sunday opted to describe McClean as “Controversial Sunderland winger James McClean” before stating that “Sunderland have distanced themselves from McClean’s decision.” The Sun, meanwhile, opted for a slightly different tack, describing his decision not to wear one as a “poppy snub” and highlighting the fact that “other players, including Everton rival Seamus Coleman, from Donegal” had worn a poppy on his shirt. Interestingly enough, The Sun may even have even hit upon the crux of this particular storm in a teacup whilst trying to suggest the exact opposite. As a Derry-born footballer who has chosen to represent the Republic of Ireland, it doesn’t seem unreasonable to hazard a guess as to what McCleans reasons were behind his decision not to wear a poppy last weekend. As it should be in any democracy,...

Read More

Match Of The Past: Sunderland

We continue our series of historical videos of the clubs of the Premier League this evening with Sunderland, kicking off with a trip to Old Trafford to play Manchester United. Next up is a pair of matches from one of the most famous seasons in the clubs history, the semi-final against Arsenal and the final against Leeds United from the 1973 FA Cup. Next up come two matches from the end of the next decade, against Middlesbrough in 1989 and against Manchester United the following year, and our final match is from the last day of the 1997/season, and a trip to Swindon Town, victory from which would guarantee the First Division Championship. You can follow Twohundredpercent on Twitter by clicking...

Read More

Match Of The Week: Sunderland 1-1 Middlesbrough

The tripartite nature of footballing rivalry in the north-east of England means that this afternoons FA Cup Fourth Round match between Sunderland and Middlesbrough has a hint of being a local derby about it without fully appearing to be the real thing. Still, supporters of both of these clubs have cause to give a wry smile this afternoon. Newcastle United, the third part of this particular triumvirate, made a long journey south to play Brighton & Hove Albion yesterday and returned chastened after a single goal defeat which means that the winners of this tie will be the regions final representative in this years competition, at the last sixteen stage. A hint of tension has, however, been brought to proceedings by Sunderland’s somewhat odd decision to only allocate Middlesbrough 3,000 tickets for what has been described as “health & safety reasons.” In addition to this, both of the clubs playing this afternoon have cause to be looking forward with greater optimism than of late. Sunderland have stabilised under new manager Martin O’Neill. It’s twenty years since they last managed to get to an FA Cup final and almost twice that long since Ian Porterfield and Jim Montgomery upset the Leeds United apple-cart at Wembley. A run to the latter stages of this competition this year would be a reasonable barometer of the speedy progress made under their new manager....

Read More

Steve Bruce “Wins” The Premier League’s Managerial Sack Race

As one wag put it on Twitter last night, “Steve Kean is so incompetent that he can’t even win the sack race”. It was, however, another Steve who did manage to stumble over this unwanted finishing line ahead of the perpetually embattled Blackburn Rovers manager. Steve Bruce became the first Premier League manager to lose his job for this season following his departure from Sunderland late yesterday afternoon, and recent events meant that this was no great surprise. The knives had been drawn for Bruce since before his side’s defeat in the League Cup at the hands of Brighton & Hove Albion in September, but the et tu Bruté moment didn’t come until last weekend, with the club’s home defeat in the Premier League at the hands of the previously jettisoned Wigan Athletic. The writing was on the wall for Bruce with the testy comments of the club’s owner, Ellis Short, after the Wigan match. Short suggested that we would know more about Bruce’s fate within forty-eight hours. It is, perhaps, proper that a decision as game-shifting as that of whether to replace the manager or not should be taken after a period of consultation, but it seemed from that moment on as Bruce’s days in the Premier League could only be numbered and the question of why or how he hung on for that extra couple of days is a curious one. Sunderland supporters have become...

Read More

Match Of The Week: Norwich City 2-1 Sunderland

What a difference a couple of weeks can make. Fifteen days ago, there was a tangible feeling of gloom around Carrow Road as Norwich City lost by a single goal to a West Bromwich Albion team which had hitherto hardly been setting the Premier League itself. This, we might have rationalise, was exactly the sort of match that Paul Lambert’s team needed to be winning if it is to have much of a chance of keeping itself above the dotted line come the end of the season, and it was an opportunity lost. Since then, though, the tables have turned and Norwich City are starting to look like a Premier League club in many senses. Last weekend, they came away from a trip to The Reebok Stadium – a venue from which more illustrious names have returned empty-handed – with three points, and this evening they took another three points from a match against another well-established Premier Club which means that Norwich City will begin October in a very healthy looking ninth position in the table. For Sunderland, meanwhile, disquiet has seldom been far from the surface so far this season. Defeat at Brighton in the League Cup was followed up by an insipid goalless draw at Swansea City and, while a home defeat at the hands Chelsea might have been expected, their win against Stoke City last week...

Read More