Greetings, fellow Sunderland AFC enthusiasts. Fear not, for the international week is over and proper football is back! Rejoice.
It is that time again when we tell you what we have been up to and make it easy for you to relive the magic, or offer redemption to those who missed it the first time around. So since we of all people know that there literally are sometimes not enough words to go round during international breaks, lets just dive right into it.
It won't surprise those who attended Niall Quinn's talk-ins last season, but the very first act during the reign of our Texan overlord as chairman has been to basically shove the away fans neatly out of view of the TV cameras. That means that the South Stand is up for dibs and the club wanted to know what we, the fans, wanted doing with it. Our own evil overlord, Simon Walsh, had an opinion or two of his own to offer.
When feeling a little starved of relevant football, I tend to go a little mental and there is only so much you can wind-up a pregnant wife before you start risking becoming the victim of some very serious and utterly remorseless violence. So with my survival instinct kicking in, I took solace in statistics. Want to know just how bad our start to the season has been compared to other seasons since promotion? Then this is for you.
David Boyle was back with a Top Ten after a week's hiatus for the feature, and back with a bit of a bang. It has come to my attention that some think I am mean to the empty headed buffoon with the moronic cheesy grin, so I am going to make a real effort to be nice to him here - I have seen him produce far greater lunacy than this. Anyway, Sunderland's Top Ten home kits were...
With all the alleged racism in the game going on, Blatter-gate, blog-gate, and plenty other stuff this week, Chris Weatherspoon was spoilt for choice about what to have his Roker ramble about. That he chose this week to lament the continued and further intrusion of commercialism into our game following recent events up the road is, therefore, testament to just how strongly he feels regarding this issue. A Roker Ramble not to be missed.
Although it is two weeks since Sunderland's last game, plenty of Sunderland players have been dotted all over the world playing football. Simon Walsh kept an eye on them and tells us how they got on in his international round up.
Wednesday is also Captain's Blog day, but I decided to take a hard-earned break from ranting and inflicting my opinions upon what was once an unsuspecting public. Instead, I got my research groove on and decided to try and inform instead. I took a look at what influence Financial Fair Play is having on Sunderland AFC in the here and now as clubs across Europe scramble to meet the requirements.
Another Thursday was then upon us so it was time once again to do our Podcasting thing. This week, I joined Simon and Chris to explore all things Sunderland AFC. We were so comprehensive that we even discussed Matthew Kilgallon. Remember him? No? Ah well, best have a listen then!
With Roker Report's big debut in A Love Supreme approaching, we gave away a little snippet of what you can expect, along with all the information you need on how to feast your grateful eyes on the whole thing.
Then we realised that the horror was almost over and an actual Sunderland game was approaching, so your usual grand masters of build-up sprung into action. That meant that David Boyle needed a Cult Hero, and whilst Simon and I were happily condemning his lack of imagination in the Roker Report podcast studio, David hatched his nefarious plan to make us both look completely stupid by throwing us a curve-ball neither of us saw coming. This week's Cult Hero is Kevin Ball.
If Simon Walsh is as good at getting Mrs Walsh 'in the mood' for things as he is at getting us in the mood for a Sunderland game, then it is no wonder she continues to tolerate his ridiculously heavy Roker Report schedule. His usual build-up started with a chat with Fulham blog Hammy End to get the opposition perspective.
Then came his match preview with music, betting tips, predictions and much more. What did I absolutely LOVE about this piece? The fact he recommended you all spend your money on backing Wes Brown to open the scoring before predicting a Bendtner brace in a 2-0 win himself! Classic Walsh!
(SW - Sometimes what you think will might happen isn't a great money-maker. Enjoy your heavy workload next week MG ;-) )
And that was that. The more eagle-eyed of you will have noticed that Roker Report favourite Dan Williams had a quiet one this week. But don't worry Dan-fans, for he is fine. He has been beavering away at The Football Project, however, and produced an interesting piece about former Sunderland player Lee Clark and his unbeaten Huddersfield.
From one Roker Report favourite to another. As you will have no doubt seen on Roker Report, Jonathan Wilson has a new biography of Brian Clough out in the shops. He talked all things Clough with The Sports Book Shelf.
And finally, have you ever, like me, gazed dreamily up at the stars through a rain-lashed window and wondered whatever became of Mini-loving Spaniard Arnau Riera? What am I even asking for? Of course you have. Anyway, all your questions are answered here.
And that is it for another week. Now for some actual football! Be safe.