Welcome to The Week That Was, the feature where we wrap up our weekly little bundle of content in one easy to store box.
As if it was managed by Steve Bruce and his medical staff, our little blogging team has been short on numbers this week, so it has all been a little frantic here at Roker Report Towers. But we trudged on regardless and churned out the usual weekly dose of opinions, nostalgia, analysis, and more. So lets get cracking with the build up to the crucial WBA game...
- Cult Heroes - David Boyle's cult hero this week was a player who in many ways was a Sunderland AFC trail-blazer. By that I mean he was the first player at the club who dwindled in the imperious shadow of Niall Quinn - Danny Dichio. A worthy read, as ever, and it can be found HERE.
- Preview - And David was back again to step into Simon's shoes to preview the game. He offered the usual predictions, second-guessing of Bruce's tactics and team selection, and a song to sum-up the feeling going into the game. But can David break the gaffer's long betting tip losing streak? Find out what he went for HERE.
- Fan Focus - The popular feature where we seek out the perspective of the opposition going into the match. This week we were privileged to welcome Chris Lepkowski to Roker Report. Chris covers Albion for the Birmingham mail and was in engaging mood as he looked at the game and offered some thoughts on the under-fire Sunderland manager. Read it HERE.
- Podcast - With our usual host and evil overlord away, a plague-ridden Dan Williams bravely stepped into the hosting chair for a lively discussion with myself and David. Catch up with it HERE.
So What else did we throw ourselves into this week?
Monday was matchday this week, so David Boyle's Top Ten was bumped up the batting order to open the innings. This week, he bravely fought through the emotion with which we were all wrestling upon hearing the news of Marcos Angeleri's potential season-ending injury to bring us an esteemed list of our favourite sicknote players.
We keep on getting told that there is a wider footballing world out there that stretches well beyond the goings on at Sunderland AFC. At first we were skeptical, but it turns out that it is true so we decided to have a little weekly look at it. In this week's Roker Ramble, I explored the evolution of the traditional English game and rejoiced in the fact that there now appears to be a place within it for the smaller, more technical, players.
It was at this point that Sunderland decided to snatch back the Roker Report limelight in annoying familiar fashion - with a demoralising defeat that was largely inexcusable. Then, in what can only be described as a flagrant abuse of power, I forced Dan to relive it to write a match report.
Karma is, however, a b*tch, and if you'd asked me that night, I'd have told you that Chris Weatherspoon was one too! Our regular tactical guru was away exploring the big apple of New York City, so I stepped in to try and make some sense of the Carrow Road debacle.
Here at Roker Report we have a sweepstake running on just how many times one man can describe moral-crushing defeats through the medium of Rhyme. I am sure you all have one too at your various work places etc. Did Dan WIlliams finally buckle under the pressure and pull "an Arnold Rimmer" writing simply "I am a fish" 500 times, or does he have a smidgen of resolve let yet?
Some things never seem to change, like a hobo's underpants, for example, and Sunderland specifically not threatening the opposition's goalkeeper with anything resembling work is fast becoming one of them. This week's Captain's Blog tried to ascertain what we are doing wrong and how we can put it right.
Not content with just looking at Sunderland AFC from one perspective, we are fascinated with how the club is received outside of the region and through the eyes of those with no association at all to cloud their judgement. This week, Manchester City fan and noted Back Page Football blogger, Neil Sherwin, gave his views.
To round off our week, Dan submitted his second contribution to Roker Report's Durham Times weekly column, and implored Steve Bruce to get his head out of the sand and start facing up to reality as a necessary precursor for getting us back on the right track.
Click here to read Dan in The Durham Times or pick yourself up a hard copy of the paper from your local newsagents.
And that was pretty much that for this week on this site. Lets hope for a great result this weekend and a hugely positive week next week.
At this point we usually throw in a few other goodies from around the interweb that we enjoyed and recommend, but we are not doing that this week. That is to honour a piece written by the brilliant Jonathan Wilson (@jonawils) about his own emotional connections with Sunderland AFC which can surely strike a chord with the vast majority of us. This is our version of a standing ovation.
And that is The Week That Was. If you like Roker Report and appreciate the time and effort that all the contributors put into providing a daily Sunderland AFC presence in the blogging community, then please feel free to nominate us for some awards.