ESPN Soccernet - Correspondents - Sunderland
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Posted by Lars Knutsen on 04/27/2012

The game vs. Aston Villa on Saturday was a solid performance from Sunderland. Aside from the first 10 minutes the team rarely looked like conceding, and the goal by Bendtner that was disallowed for offside would have been given on most other days. I also felt that James McLean has been off colour recently, and he was also wasting chances in this crucial match. There is no doubt that Martin O’Neill’s comments after the game were right on the money, and we should have won the game.

I feel sorry for Villa, and sympathise with the situation they are in. They have had to sell some very good players such as Ashley Young and Stuart Downing. The injury to key players Darren Bent was devastating for them, and I do not blame them for signing our top striker. I still blame him for walking, though. The Petrov situation is obviously also hanging over them.

All football events this week have been overshadowed by the quite amazing Barcelona vs. Chelsea game on Tuesday. It was truly incredible and showed how British grit, no little talent and decent tactics won over the neutrals, and more importantly won the game for Chelsea.

The team was not all British, of course, and John Terry made sure by his silliness that only Cole and Lampard represented our home country…but the style of football was British by a group of 'Anglicised" players, gutsy and to quote Bobby Robson, of the Terry Butcher blood-stained headband game, the Chelsea team had the “they shall not pass” mentality. It was one of the great footballing moments, like Man. Utd beating Bayern Munich in the 1998/99 final, Arsenal winning 2-0 at Anfield, etc., etc.

This led into the main news of the week for Sunderland fans: the chance that a 4th place finish may well not enough for Newc**tle to get into the Champions’ League next season. There are two reasons for this:

The first is that Newcastle is something that Sunderland fans have suspected for some time: Newcastle is in Scotland. I took the train each day for 10 years across Hadrian’s Wall to attend school in the city, so I often had that feeling.

The Northern Echo has reported “A CONFUSED holiday company in the South of England is insisting that Newcastle is in Scotland. Bemused Jamie O'Neill e-mailed - based at Gatwick Airport in West Sussex - to point out their geographical error.

The 24-year-old, of Cumbernauld, near Glasgow, had been searching for holiday deals on the company's website for airports north of the border - but the results kept including Newcastle. "I only emailed with the subject heading 'Newcastle isn't in Scotland', didn't expect a reply."
But he was left astounded when Rajesh Bangera from the firm's customer services department did reply and insisted: "Newcastle is indeed located in Scotland. It is a city, not a capital. Please feel free to call us for further assistance." See: - this is priceless.

For Sunderland fans, being North of the Tyne often feels like foreign territory. And Newc**tle fans never go to Sunderland unless they really have to.

Secondly, if Chelsea win over Bayern Munich, and who will bet against them after this week’s events, Newc**tle finishing 4th in the Premiership will mean that they end up in the Europa League. What a let-down that would be, but having said that, Toon have had a great season.

Their fans will obviously still gloat, but I presume that Robbie Savage will save money by not having to buy that taxi…
©Lars J.S. Knutsen

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Posted by MICHAELHODG@HOTMAIL.CO.UK on 04/27/2012


Posted by spoorsy on 04/27/2012

So funny, think your clutching at straws m8 we in fact would be very happy to be in the Europa league, Champions League would be unbelievable but we will happily settle for the Europa thank you very much. I think the let down is with yourselves and Martin O'Neil, what would you give to be in our funny

Posted by Jim on 04/27/2012

well if newcastle is in scotland so is that pile of shit scumberland :)and the flee ridden followers

Posted by JP on 04/27/2012

Two things:
1 - why would anyone want to go to sunderland? There's nothing there.
2 - even if Newcastle don't get a champions league place for coming 4th, at least they came in 4th and not mid-table.

Posted by Badger on 04/27/2012

So, educated in Newcastle, took advantage of the city and its hospitality. Yet you can't bring yourself to spell the name correctly and feel the need to crap on the city. What an disrepectful person turd you must be. Could Sunderland have offered you this type of education ?

Posted by Matt on 04/28/2012

Typical mackem....

Posted by Jamie charlton on 04/28/2012

Jealously gets you nowhere 5under1and

Posted by Gary on 04/28/2012

You SMB get a life. Your team is a joke, you cannot fill your Stadium and your Captain is a thug. Yes he is on the Police Pub Watch list and banned from the pubs of Middlesbrough as well as just been found guilty of criminal damage in court.

Posted by Anonymous on 04/28/2012

My god, all you have to say is Newcastle is in Scotland!! Get a grip man. Just because your team is pathetic! I live more north than Newcastle and I don't live in Scotland! Sad, absolute dad.

Posted by stephen on 04/28/2012

Yes a massive let down you are right. You know at the start of the season id have given my left nut to finish in the top 8. Anything now is a bonus it really is but im pleased for your sake that if we finish 4th and don't qualify for Europe that you will at least have something to celebrate lol!

Posted by brett on 04/28/2012

The only good thing about sunderland is that there is absolutely no reason to go there. Unfortunately for newcastle, mackems need to come here for flights, ferries, decent shops, nice houses (ask the sunderland players) etc.

Posted by Anonymous on 04/28/2012

You say that Bendtners goal would have been given on most days, your deluded man it was a yard offside and if it was given it would have been wrong because it was offside and McLean is not off colour he's just crap.

Posted by Northernlight on 04/28/2012

This kind of ignorance and contempt from the south is exactly why ALL northerners should be rooting for Newcastle to finish 3rd. It would piss off the southerners to no end. And whilst they speak of Newcastle being in Scotland, I would hazard a guess that they would claim to never even have heard of Sunderland. I say the north has to stick together in the overall competition domestically and abroad, and save the hatred for when they meet.

Posted by Alan on 04/28/2012

Hang on, was the bet not about Newcastle finishing in the top 4 places, regardless if we qualify for champions league, if we do finish 4th then a bet is a bet, as for ranjesh bangera, the customer service guy, well he really does sound like a true Brit that knows what he's talking about. You must know him infact, ya's both are full of @&"£. SMB.

Posted by Porciestreet on 04/28/2012

The one and only good thing about Blunderland is the road that goes to Newcastle. You've known it all along.

Well beat today by a bunch of guys that were well up for it. Every pass, every tackle they were there first. Took their chances when they arrived and just kept going. If we had taken our chances and scored 4, they would have got two more. Well done on a great performance and good look for next season.

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Lars Knutsen Lars Knutsen was born in Sunderland of Norwegian parents across the Wear from the SSOL back when shipbuilding not car manufacture was the city’s main industry. His first game was in 1968 and he has followed the Black Cats since then, with great memories of the 1973 FA Cup. He hopes the “yo-yo” days are over and defines supporting a team by whether the result affects your mood (but maybe not in the way portrayed in the book “Fever Pitch”!) so has been cheerful recently. He endured school in Newc**tle, has a Ph.D. in Chemistry, a Professorship at Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia, and works in the Pharma industry as a consultant Medicinal Chemist.

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