Phew. Barely been able to catch a breath this week we have all been so busy. Whilst we flop ourselves down into an armchair, finally giving the steam emanating from our keyboards a chance to disperse, why not have a peak at what we've been up to? 'It's too hard'... 'I hate scrolling through pages'... 'OH MY GOD there is just TOO much to know where to start'... 'my hangover is too severe to be able to think', you cry. Yes, adroit points, all well made. But fear not, reader, we hear you and are here to help.
Allow me to run through the week in handy bite-sized chunks, providing a completely free thought-reduction service. It was a week in which we ranted, raved, and rambled. A week in which David Boyle positively transcended the shame of failure and appeared to openly embrace and pursue it. A week in which Simon Walsh actually managed to squeeze in an early night, only to find himself totally negate the benefit by being up again and tweeting at 4am. This is, the Week That Was...
Looking back on last week's game with Aston Villa, there was only really one place to start, wasn't there? That's right, by Talking
Darren Bent Tactics. There we all were, turning up at the SoL for a fight with a cold-hearted mercenary in our sites and a game of football only went and broke out! Not really much of one, I grant you, but we got Chris Weatherspoon to dissect it for us anyway.
Monday also saw the start of a superb little mini-series from Sunderland fan, historian, and author Mark Metcalf. Last week, Mark took us through the great historic rivalry between Sunderland and Villa (which you can see HERE) and this week he shared memories of clashes with Manchester United spanning four decades. Well worth a bit of any Sunderland fan's time.
And what would a Monday be without a madman with a rhyme? Nothing. That's what. NOTHING. Well, that or an international week, but they pretty much amount to the same thing.
The last two weeks, David Boyle has been on a remarkable run of producing things that were actually, well, lets just say 'not as wrong as he usually is'. Naturally, as a compassionate and caring group of people, we were worried about his health, so we gave him the relevant tests. Turns out, he had spent the last fortnight drunk, hence the improvement in his work. Unfortunately, he decided to clean himself up this week for his Tuesday Top Ten in which he looked at Sunderland terrace chants. DISCLAIMER: The following is not recommended for fans of classics such as 'My Garden Shed', 'Ha'way The Lads', 'Gary Rowell World', or 'Super Kevin Phillips'. If you are a fan of atrocious Welsh full backs, however, then feast your eyes!
It is around this time of the week that we like to largely pretend to be one of those fancy credible general football blogs and have a look at what is going on elsewhere in the footballing world. Our resident francophile Dan Williams was in the hotseat this week, and he paid an ode to the totally unintentional genius of Mario Balotelli.
Next up it was my turn to have a go at this 'opinion' malarkey. I ventured into the dodgy ground of legality and morality by asking whether Titus Bramble's Sunderland days should be numbered immaterial of the outcome of his current difficulties.
It is a personal gripe of mine that so many involved with the Football blogging scene steadfastly refuse to produce anything original, instead trying to simply provide a cheap and obvious copy of something already available and established. That accusation can certainly not be made of the brilliantly unique Les Rosbifs, however, so we invited them to Drop The Gloves with us and tell us exactly what they think of Sunderland AFC.
Ah, Thursdays. The day that Arthur Dent never could quite get the hang of. Well, perhaps if he had the Roker Report Podcast in his life then he would have learned to love them as much as the rest of us do.
David Boyle has never shown a huge interest in convening with convention. Ask him to transport a few hundred thousand gallons of Oil, for example, and he will likely turn up in a 'massive yacht'. This week he stretched the words 'Cult' and 'Hero' to their very limit by profiling a young French scamp who promised so much yet delivered so little (and £3m of Manchester United's money). May be he wasn't so bad after all.
It can't have escaped the notice of many that through Roy Keane and Steve Bruce, Sunderland have enjoyed a very good relationship with Manchester United over the last few years. But has it been a fruitful one for us? Simon Walsh took a break from writing his upcoming literary hit 'The Brewsters Gambling Guide For People With Too Much Money' to explore that question.
As a Barnsley fan exiled in France and cursed with a Yorkshire accent, Dan Williams isn't accustomed to dealing with people's jealousy of him. But this week the rest of us shot envious glances his way as he had the privilege to have a chat with bonafide 1973 Sunderland legend Dennis Tueart, whilst Simon and I were stuck talking to David Boyle. For us, that was a low point, but it's not every day you get to hear from a FA Cup winner.
With all that goodness going on, it almost seems a shame to interrupt it with some actual football. But interrupt it we must, so Simon leapt into action to start the build-up. His first port of call, as ever, was an opposition fan to find out just how many goals they were expecting to beat us by. Keeps fine company though, does Mr Walsh (Roker Report team aside), so he sought out top Manchester United blog The Republik of Mancunia.
And the sun set on another Roker Report week in familiar fashion, with the standard preview containing the usual goodies.
Alas, that was all we could muster this week due to unreasonable EU-imposed time restrictions of only 24 hours being allowed in a day. Greece will probably have a referendum on it soon, though, so fingers crossed.
Let's see what our blogging brethren have been up to...
Well, no surprise that the rush-goalie specutacular down at Stamford Bridge last week which saw Arsenal beating Chelsea 5-3 was widely covered. But two pieces in particular stood out. Firstly, Zonal Marking took a detailed tactical look at just why it was so brilliantly open.
And, true to form, Surreal Football took a more lighthearted view by exploring the game through the medium of funny pictures.
Perhap's 'lighthearted' may be the wrong word to use to describe the next Surreal Football offering of the week, however, as they had a tasteful and harmless little giggle over Harry Redknapp's medical issues this week.
If you have any sense at all, then you no-doubt share my love of all things Brian Clough. The Swiss Ramble therefore served up a veritable feast of stuff when they did this in-depth look at Derby County, who have been the real surprise package in the Championship this season.
A special word must be saved, of course, for this week's opposition as they honour Sir Alex Ferguson's immense achievement of completing 25 years at Manchester United. FourFourTwo caught our eye by telling us exactly what Ferguson's present-day rivals were up to the day he walked into Old Trafford.
And having put 1400 words into this on a Friday night, I am going to shamelessly self-promote my own new weekly blog on North East football for footyplace.com. I'm not even sorry...
And that was The Week That Was in all its shiney glory. Rejoice, nurse those hangovers, and I'll see you all again next week.