Howdy there, it's about time we got our "The Week That Was" thing on, where you'll find some top notch build-up to the FA Cup 4th Round game with Middlesborough this weekend, and a whole lots more besides. I'm not going to bother wasting any more time with waffle, here's the links you need to get you in the mood. For football.
- Preview: We have our own preview thing here, coming at you on the Friday before any game, and this week was no different. David Boyle manning things and providing you the latest team news, some predictions, some betting, some tunes and a bit of history on the fixture. Have a read by CLICKING HERE.
- Fan Focus: We also like to find out what's happening with the opposition, and this week Simon Walsh spoke to Evening Gazette writer and big 'Boro fan Anthony Vickers. To read that, CLICK HERE.
- Podcast: David Boyle and Chris Weatherspoon joined regular host Simon Walsh this week to discuss my enormous brain. Oh, there was also some stuff about Sunderland AFC too. Should mention that. Have a listen, or subscribe on iTunes when you CLICK HERE.
- Cult Heroes: There was heartbreak and dissension at Roker Report Towers over Cult Heroes this week. Julio Arca fetishist Simon Walsh was inconsolable when he realised the Argentine had already been featured. Meanwhile, I take this opportunity to publicly vow revenge on David Boyle for not profiling Brian Clough. There will be consequences... Anyway, who WAS our Cult Hero this week? You'll just have to CLICK HERE and find out.
Now... lets see what else we have been up to!
Chris Weatherspoon got us rolling with our Swansea retrospective by delivering a Talking Tactics resplendant in pictoral splendor. The rest of us got a telling off from him for liking it. We are still trying to figure that one out, but whilst we do - and we may be a while - why not take a peek for yourself.
Click here to read Talking Tactics
Dan Williams then picked up the baton and took the attention from pretty pictures to pretty words. Caution: Feature contains the rhyming ramblings of a misery-guts.
Click here to read Roker Rhymes
Since it isn't often that we get treated to a second FA Cup game of a season, we decided to mark the occasion with something a little different and plucked a few Trivia Tidbits from somewhere about Sunderland's long history in the oldest cup competition in the world. Impress your friends! (then tell them to come to Roker Report themselves)
Click here to read our FA Cup Trivia Tidbits
We recently recruited a new member of the Roker Report team as Mr Karl Jones was assigned the suspiciously Nutella-smeared desk opposite David Boyle's that no one else dared get within 100 feet of. After easing him in last week, we thought it was time to give him a proper initiation. We gave him a Top Ten of players to play for both Sunderland and Middlesbrough to compose and then sat back and watched him take the traditional flak for it. Good times!
Wednesday was a glorious occasion for aficionados of generally ill-considered and poorly constructed opinion as Captain's Blog returned. This week, I got a little ranty about Brendan Rodgers' frankly cringeworthy pomposity following his team's rather meek defeat at the Stadium of Light last week.
Click here to read Captain's Blog
Fortunately there was a little something for those who like proper opinion too, and Karl Jones took his first stab at a Roker Ramble. The topic this week was whether or not Tottenham's title challenge was genuine and sustainable.
Click here to read The Roker Ramble
Plenty of other stuff going on around the interwebby. Shall we?
This Irish Post article on James McClean really caught our eye. Did Newcastle scout him when he was at Derry City before deciding he wasn't up to it? Just who was it that brought him to Sunderland and how much did Steve Bruce know about it? Which three Sunderland players approached Bruce and pleaded with him to give McClean a chance in the first team earlier this season? All of those questions and more answered here.
Click here to read The Irish Post's article of the rise of James McClean
Speaking of McClean, David Boyle proved just how dangerously close he is getting to total idleness by unearthing a musical tribute to the young Irishman on YouTube.
Click here to marvel at this musical wonder
SInce the FA Cup draw, a debate has raged about whether or not the game with Middlesbrough is actually a derby or not. I myself ventured an opinion on the matter over on Footy Place.
Click here to read about how the game is NOT a derby
10 football writers picking from a pool of any player to ever kick a ball in an American sports style draft to each create a super-squad. That sounds fun, right?
Click here to go to The Ultimate Soccer draft
And that, as they say, is the week that was. See you next week for an especially busy one!