Friday, 17 June 2011

Interview 92 - Sunderland AFC

Sunderland AFC, Sunderland, Tyne & Wear
Arch-Rivals: Newcastle United
Nickname: The Black Cats
Founded: 1879


The quickfire interview was done with Matty, @MJWsafc on Twitter. Follow his blog

Q1.What do you think of the loss of Henderson?  

Sad to see the lad go as he was a major asset to us, however he's worked hard for a big move and who are we to stand in his way - he deserves it. It's good money too, especially for a player that may not be as big of a success as the early signs suggest. He gets the very best of luck from me and the majority of other Sunderland fans; he's moved because he's an ambitious lad that wants to win things, that's the correct attitude in football.

Q2. What expectations do you have of your club this year? 

Realistically I think another top 10 would be a good season, as I still don't think we're ready to launch a real challenge for Europe, our squad doesn't have enough quality, despite our team probably being capable. I'm not sure Bruce is the right man to take us there either, but you never know, we'll have to wait and see.

Q3. Which match defined your team last season?

There are a few, however Aston Villa away stands out for me. Meyler and Welbeck were both stretchered off, and this would typify our season, being plagued with injuries. However despite that we won the match 0-1, which symbolises our top 10 finish - grit and determination got us there in the end.  

Q4. Who do you tip for relegation from your league?  

Tough one, I can't see Wigan staying up again, I also think Swansea will fall short of the mark required in the Premier League. Not too sure on the other team, I'm going to say Blackburn though - I really don't think Steve Kean is the right man for the job and they were still involved in a battle up until the last couple of games of last season. They've also lost Chris Samba and Phil Jones to Arsenal and Man United respectively, a lot depends on how well he replaces them two.

Q5. Which player would you realistically like to sign?  

We need about 10! If I had to say one though, I'd say Charles N'Zogbia. I know we need 3 strikers, but I'm not sure on who specifically I'd like us to sign in that area. We've been after Zog for a while, and I think he's exactly what we're missing from the midfield - somebody that can run and beat his man and then whipping a good, quality cross in. He chips in with a goal or two, too.

Q6. Which of your players will have a point to prove this season? 

Asamoah Gyan needs to prove his price tag after a just above average season last season, Phil Bardsley needs to prove that his outstanding season last season wasn't just a fluke, Gordon needs to earn a new contract, Meyler needs to win his place back in the squad after injury, as does Fraizer Campbell. Obviously any new signing will need to prove their worth too. 

Q7. Who are you most looking forward to playing? 

Newcastle, after the thrashing at Sid. James' last season and the poor result at the SoL last season, we'll be well and truly out for revenge next time around. 

Q8. What team do you hate playing?  

Newcastle! Love and hate derbies at the same time, they can be the best days in the world, but on the flip side, they can be the absolute worst too. 

Q9. What ground do you look forward to playing at most. (Away league games only!)  

I'm quite looking forward to Swansea, I've never been to The Liberty Stadium - we've not played them in my life time.

Q10. Do you look out for any other teams in the league? If so, which one(s)? 

In the Premier League I look out for Wolves. I follow Athletic Bilbao, Forfar Athletic and Celtic in other leagues, too.

Q11. Do you have any match superstitions? 

Alcohol consumption!

Q12. Sum up Sunderland AFC in three words. 

Frustrating. Addictive. Frustrating.

Q13. Favourite Sunderland player of all time?  

It has to be Super Kev. Nobody really comes close, to be honest. There doesn't really need to be an explanation - 113 goals in 208 games. He's my favourite player, although I love Niall Quinn too - admittedly though that's more to do with him saving us later on! 

Q14. How will you fare in the cup competitions? 

We'll not get past the first stage, we never do. We'll lose away to Kettering Town or summit.

Q15. Name three things you could improve to do with Sunderland. (Money excluded!) 

Hmmm....Not so much an improvement as sorts, but I would like us to have a decent cup run. The last time we did anything of note in the cup was 2005 when we lost to Milwall in the Semi Final of the FA Cup. The FA Cup is a magical trophy that is losing it's appeal, sadly. I'd like us and every other team to take it as serious as it once was. On a lighter but equally as serious note, I'd like us to get the contract for Pukka Pies back. The meat:pastry ratio on the current ones is not acceptable in my book. Sort it out Quinny! The third improvement I'd like to see in the next few years is an extension of the upper tier - at the moment it only goes round half of the ground and looks a bit unfinished. Thing is, it would be quite unnecessary, but it would look better. 

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