With the much anticipated derby fast approaching I thought now would be a good time to get the views of a Sunderland fan in the latest edition of view from the away end.
Some of you may be aware that I come from a family with Sunderland fans present. My beloved father was a passionate Sunderland fan and he followed his team through thick and thin throughout the years. It’s always been either Newcastle or Sunderland in my family and if my Great Grandfather was still here he would have said something like, ‘Mark, at least you turned out alright’.
I grew up loving football and I made it clear from an early age that Newcastle United were my club of choice, a decision that went down just fine with my Dad. He was happy for me to make my choice and witnessed me being as dedicated and loyal to my club as he was to his. In fact if it wasn’t for my Dad, I wouldn’t have met Toonsy. It was my Dad who was a friend of Toonsy that asked if I could tag along to games with him.
From there on it was myself that introduced Toonsy to the Newcastle blogs, he then became a bit of an addict and eventually he set up this blog that your sat here reading right now. It’s crazy to think that a Sunderland fan is ultimately responsible for this blog existing. I’ll just finish on that note by saying Dad was a top man and by far the most knowledgeable football man I’ve ever met, incredible guy who is missed every day.
Derby days were and still are days in my family were there is a lot of banter and sometimes a bit of sulking from the losing side. Following the 5-1 I didn’t think I’d be allowed home ever again. Make no mistake about it, I’m a Newcastle supporter and there is nothing sweeter than getting one over the local rivals.
Today I speak to Kevin. I used to work with Kev and we always had decent footy banter and would supply each other with opinions and sometimes ridicule. When I asked Kevin to do this interview he said he would answer each question honestly. It would have been too easy to speak to a Sunderland fan with biased and stupid answers to spark reaction, but he has refrained from all that.
After all we all remember the Liverpool edition of view when Phil wound up a lot of our readers. I thought Phil raised fair points in places but also hypocritical and unfair opinion in other parts of the interview. Here’s what I asked Kevin:
What do you think of our fans?
Newcastle fans have their ups and downs. At the stadium they can create an incredible atmosphere and can be some of the most intimidating fans in the league. On web forums however the vast majority can sometimes come across as delusional and blind. But then again so can any fans of any team.
If you could have any Newcastle player at your club who would it be and why?
Has to be Cheik Tiote. The guy bosses the midfield and is far less of a loose cannon than Cattermole or former SAFC captain Cana.
Hmm, Cheick was the most booked player last season. Next question, who is your favourite Newcastle player of all time and why?
Has to be Alan Shearer. One of the greatest centre forwards of all time and it’s sad that we’ll never see his like in the game again. Top, top professional.
What do you think of St James’ Park?
It’s a fantastic ground steeped in history. The only thing letting it down is where it is in the city. The lack of space sort of hampers any plans for expansion if it’s ever needed.
What are your opinions of Mike Ashley?
Haha, it would be easy from our side to say we love him but he’s turning your club in to a joke. The man has no idea about football and his decision to sack Chris Hughton was one which verified everything that has ever been said about him.
What do you make of the Joey Barton situation?
Joey Barton is a funny one. Off the pitch and many moments on it, he’s a scum bag and it’s a wonder he is still a professional footballer. Saying that, the way the club has treated him for simply voicing a valid opinion is sickening and I hope I’d never see anything like that happen at our club.
How do you rate our business in the window so far? We have sold the man who scored 4 goals against you boys last season – Kevin Nolan. Mistake?
We’ll have to see on the signings you have brought in to see whether it’s shrewd from Pardew and Ashley. Selling Nolan was a huge mistake. The man took you up from the Championship with his passion and drive for the game, and the club kept you in the Premier League last season as well as almost taking you in to the top 10.
Steve Bruce grew up supporting NUFC. He has some what of less than a decent relationship with with NUFC fans these days… But what do you think of Alan Pardew?
Alan Pardew is a mercanary. He will go anywhere he is offered money to manage without much regard for the club or the fans. He also isn’t up to Premier League standards if you ask me, although he is better than Steve Kean hahaha.
Steve Kean is one of a kind eh?! 5-1 at St James’ last season. Can you reflect on that game and the result?
It was possibly the most embarrassing result I have suffered in my 15 years of supporting my club. We deserved it though. We went in to the game expecting to roll you lot over and we didn’t take it as seriously as we should have.
It’s often debated, but which of us are the bigger club in your honest opinion?
I think for a long time NUFC were the biggest club in the North East, without a doubt. However right now, with the investment made in SAFC by Ellis Short and Niall Quinn I think it’s fair to say the clubs are on an equal level.
Who will finish higher next season?
It’s hard to say, you can never count NUFC out in a season but from a completely biased point of view (and taking new players in to account) I think we’ll end up higher this season.
OK, final league positions?
Our place – 2-1. Could go either way. Depending on how new signings are fitting in for both clubs.
On Saturday? – 2-1 probably to Sunderland.
With Nolan gone, Shola will have to continue as our ‘mackem slayer’ next season. which of your boys should we look out for?
If the transfer goes through it has to be Niko Krancjar, but providing it doesn’t I’m gunna have to say Stephane Sessegnon. He really came in to his own playing off of Gyan at the end of the season and has found his goal scoring feet. Plus he is a rapid little bastard.
Lee Clark infamously wore a ‘SMB’ t-shirt whilst playing for Sunderland. What are your opinions on Clarky?
Ah he can piss off.
Finally lets discuss a couple of lads that represented both clubs….what are your thoughts… Bracewell.., Perez…, Waddle.., Bridges?
All great servants for both clubs. I mean Lionel Perez was one of SAFC’s hero’s for years and even though Mickey Bridges’ return to the club back in 2005 wasn’t to be, they all had their advantages.
Lionel Perez wasn’t one to remember for Newcastle. He blamed turning ‘bad’ on joining Newcastle. Lee Clark will always be loved on Tyneside, although I can understand why Sunderland fans may not be so keen haha.
So there you have it, the views of a Mackem. I was surprised that a Sunderland fan had something nice to say about Alan Shearer and to Kev’s credit he didn’t tip us for relegation like many would have. Decent interview, I’m even more fired up for Saturday. Toon Toon!! What do you guys think?