Well, hasn't this all been a little tumultuous?
For the observant among you, you'll have noticed we here at Roker Report have had a little bit of a reshuffle. I, having apparently gone AWOL last week – I was actually just resting my weary typing fingers, you sods – found myself entrusted with the weekly 'Top Ten' feature, while David Boyle took over the 'previewing' reigns.
Dan Williams served up what may be his final rhyme for a while, and Michael Graham gave up his 'Captain's Blog' spot for a while, handing over the weekly opinions column to whoever fancied it. Actually, no, he just got himself in a tizz over something, went into dictator mode and steadfastly refused to let go of his sacred rant-space. We'll take it off him next week, I guess.
And Simon Walsh? He didn't do anything anyway, did he? (Yep – I'll get bollocked for that one).
Oh aye, with regards to the club we all spend hours writing about, they sacked their manager and look to have secured a new one – not sure if you'd heard about that. Anyway, the combination of us rejigging stuff, and Sunderland chucking themselves into the national frame once more, meant we've had a literal stack of stuff to sink our teeth into.
So, if you missed any of it, come on in and join us. This is 'The Week That Was'...
One of the merits of writing for the Roker Report these days means we have the odd opportunity to spout rubbish on a wider stage than this mere little website we've got going. One of the downfalls of such an opportunity is that gives us a greater audience to make tits of ourselves on. Lo and behold, this week – well, technically it's now last week, but anyhoo – it was my turn. Writing for the Durham Times, I preached optimism and faith in Steve Bruce. Then we lost to Wigan and the entire piece became redundant. But Simon still made me publish it online on Sunday. The bastard.
DON'T click here to read From The Durham Times
Moving swiftly on, the fallout from that Wigan defeat began in earnest. Dan Williams did our reputation with Ofcom no favours whatsoever, turning away from the dictionary and instead delving deep into the 'Father Jack Hackett Book of Phrases' for his poem 'Well Ain't That Some Sh*t?' And yes, I do realise that's the second time we've made a Father Jack reference in this column in as many weeks. No, I don't care that I'm being unoriginal. Feck off.
Click here to read Roker Rhymes
Straight after that on Sunday, things got a little bit silly. Michael Graham, baffled by the previous day's showing against the Latics, convinced himself that Steve Bruce actually wasn't a football manager at all. Never one to miss an opportunity to right about his convictions, Michael proceeded to serve up an assessment of just what Mr Bruce might be instead. If you didn't already think our resident Captain was a bit of fruitloop, some of the choices he suggests here should shore that up for you.
Click here to read 'OK, So Steve Bruce Is Clearly Not A Football Manager - But What IS He?'
Not having tired himself out with that, Michael then took over MY TALKING TACTICS FEATURE, HOW DARE HE THE FUC...okay, actually, I wasn't that fussed. It's hard to write about Sunderland's "tactics" when they're rubbish, and we've been rubbish quite a lot lately. So rubbish in fact, that Michael saw fit to serve up our shortest ever article. Nine words. Yep. Nine.
Click here to read perhaps the most agreeable nine words in history
Next, we set your fashion juices flowing with our weekly competition. Ha, yeah right. We're much too greedy to do these things weekly. But we did do one this week, and if you fancy yourself a Savile Rogue Cashmere SAFC scarf – ooooh – the competition is still open!
Click here to get the chance to warm yer neck up
Ah finally, a post of some quality. Actually, a few posts! Sometimes we at Roker Report acknowledge our failings. Not very often mind you, but it happens. Anyway, this week was one of those times, and we recruited in the excellent SAFC historian, Mark Metcalf. Mark has written for us before, to good reception, so this week we welcomed him back, as he regaled us with a chapter from his book on Charlie Hurley. This has added importance actually, since (apparently) Martin O'Neill was a huge Hurley fan...
Click here for part one of Mark Metcalf's Charlie Hurley extravaganza
Next up, on Tuesday, it was my turn. With Brucey's departure looking ever more imminent – just call me Mystic Chris – I saw fit to suss out just what were the ten best Sunderland performances under our now former manager.
Uh oh. Someone's riled him again. Yes, as mentioned, Michael Graham was unwilling to relieve himself of his 'Captain's Blog' – this week getting all annoyed over the media's treatment of Sunderland fans recently. In fairness, he was probably right.
Bloody hell, this Michael Graham fella's been busy this week hasn't he? Here, he teamed up with Simon Walsh as the two looked at the differing arguments for the keeping/removing of Steve Bruce. Published a mere six hours before Bruce's sacking was announced, it seems certain that this article helped make Ellis Short's mind up. Maybe.
Click here for Should He Stay Or Should He Go?
Keeping up the Bruce exit-related theme, we were quick off the mark immediately following the termination of his contract. Just moments after the news was announced, Simon Walsh managed to knock up some rather lucid thoughts on Bruce's past two and a bit years at the helm.
Click here to read Reflections on Steve Bruce's Time at Sunderland
Onto Thursday then and, since we record it on Tuesdays, the publication of a fairly redundant podcast? Hmm, actually, not quite. This week myself, David Boyle and Simon Walsh – okay, I guess he is fairly busy - teamed up, with managerial comings and goings the main topic of the day. Though Bruce was still in charge at the time of
writing talking, we pretty much saw it as an issue of sooner rather than later. Thus we devoted an inordinate amount of time discussing possible replacements. And said 'no' to Martin O'Neill. Oops...
Click here for this week's Podcast
How much sodding stuff have we done this week? I'm not doing this column again. Following that podcast, Simon Walsh gave us a look through the contenders for Brucey's job. Quite an extensive run through, at that.
Click here for Next Sunderland Manager: Runners and Riders
Then we had a blast from our Wolves-related past, ahead of this Sunday's Molineux showdown. Actually, let's rephrase that. 'Showdown' suggests an intriguing, entertaining tussle. Let's go for 'damp squib'. Anyway, he wrote about Paul Butler, the big fat git (Paul, that is – we don't know how fat David is).
And breathe. Nearly done. Next we had some Wolves fan opinions. Or rather, a Wolves fan's opinion. Adam Bate it was, who charitably offered us his musings, on behalf of the quite wonderful blog – Ghost Goal.
Finally we reach the end. That's eighteen articles in a week from us. I think we need lives. Anyway, rounding things up, David Boyle was entrusted with previewing tomorrow's damp squib. He did a fairly okay job – as well as David himself could ever manage I guess.
Click here for our Wolves Preview
Right, usually after this, we chuck some links your way for stuff we've enjoyed around the footballing Internetz. However, just as Michael shirked such a task last week, I'm doing the same.
Why, you ask? Well: (a) I've not read anything all week, (b) I forgot to ask my veritable team-mates what they'd read and enjoyed, and (c) I can't be arsed.
What I can be arsed to do, however, is promote us RR-ers a bit more! Sorry, but hey, this is my column for once, so I'm making the most of it.
First up, I might as well go with myself. When I'm not throwing away my student loan on cheap cider, pot noodles and shit clubs, I tend to write a lot. Rarely for my degree. This week, despite being camped in the library for an excruciating all-nighter on Wednesday evening/Thursday morning, I saw fit to send The Student Journals (read them regularly, they're dead good 'n' all that) my thoughts on Steve Bruce's departure.
Click here to read Many May Lament...
Michael Graham, meanwhile, offered his views on much the same topic. He also, though, focused on who might be next for the Black Cats managerial post, as he carried on his 'North East Matters' column for the excellent footyplace.
Click here to read Who Next For Cats?
And, when he's not sitting around RRHQ doing bugger all – chortle – Simon Walsh enjoys slutting himself to national corporations. I already knew this, so wasn't at all surprised when I saw his name and thoughts popped up in a recent BBC article. If you didn't, check it out.
Click here for Simon being a slut
And I belieeeeeeeve that about wraps it up. As far as I'm aware, neither Dan nor David have played for any away teams this week. But don't worry, Dan is usually never too far away from something about the failings of Barnsley – sorry Dan – while rumours abound that David is close to finishing his thesis on the Roswell Incident and why it just had to be real.
I'll shut up now.