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Roker Report’s Writers Predictions 19/20: How do we think Sunderland will do this season? (Pt2)

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What will be the ‘tinpot moment of the season’? Who is going to be promoted out of League One? How will the beautiful relationship between Steve Bruce and Newcastle end? And, what will Mike Ashley do to annoy their fans with next?

Tottenham Hotspur v Newcastle United - Premier League Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images

What is going to provide the prime ‘tinpot’ moment of the season?

Tom says...

On an unusually balmy September afternoon, Sunderland will travel to the UBOL to play everybody’s favourite crisis club Bolton Wanderers.

As a spirited performance from The Trotters has them 3-0 up within 25 minutes, courtesy of two goals from their physio, the efforts to regain a foothold in the game begins to take its toll on our players.

The Indian summer in Horwich causes mass perspiration and as the game continues the bumper sticker on the front of our jerseys begins to peel.

The ‘Children With Cancer’ sign melts away to reveal a faded ‘BETDAQ’ logo and we’re subsequently fined for carrying a sponsor not approved by the EFL.

Nottingham Forest v Bolton Wanderers - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Andrew Kearns - CameraSport via Getty Images

Graham says...

Don’t you just love it when you check Twitter after a cheeky 2-0 away win to find fans of *looks at league table* Rochdale tell the whole world how we “travel in numbers” but “don’t make much noise” despite the fact we’ve out sang all 200 hundred of them.

There’s nothing more tinpot then a salty home fan.

2018 FA Cup Football 5th Round Replay Tottenham Hotspur versus Rochdale Feb 28th Photo by John Patrick Fletcher/Action Plus via Getty Images

Mark says...

Attendances for the EFL Trophy and empty seats against Liverpool U23s!

Sunderland v AFC Bournemouth - Premier League - Stadium of Light Photo by Richard Sellers/PA Images via Getty Images

Jake says...

The disappointment of not being able to experience Bury away due to the EFL being an absolute disgrace.

Gigg Lane - Bury Football Club Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images

Phil says...

Being on a five-game unbeaten run as we head to Tranmere on a cold January evening.

Getting turned over 3-0 on an Accrington-style pitch - summed up with Mike Dean invading the pitch as... *fires up google* Paul Mullin nods home the third.

Tranmere Rovers v Newport County - Sky Bet League Two Play-off - Final - Wembley Stadium Photo by Steven Paston/EMPICS/PA Images via Getty Images

Chris says...

I’m feeling like a right miserable b***ard saying this, but it could well be contemplating a third season straight in League One as we enter the lottery that is the play-offs.

Soccer - Nationwide League Division One - Crewe Alexandra v Sunderland Photo by Barrington Coombs/EMPICS via Getty Images

Who’s going to be promoted from the absolute hellscape of League One?


Following the rapturous reception of Steve Bruce’s appointment at Newcastle, how and when will this beautiful relationship end?

Tom says...

This will never end. They’ve finally got one of their own in charge and he will deliver what Daddy Mike wants year after year. Thanks to that glistening 14th place finish, FA Cup 3rd round exit and annual bodying by Nottingham Forest in the League Cup, Brucey will provide just what Ashley craves.

The supporters will cry and moan as they spend £40 million plus on strikers from the Bundesliga and ignore others around them going bust due to financial mismanagement.

All the while, Bruce will be quietly making himself the best manager they’ve in their sad, little lives.

He will retire after a decade in charge with his head held high as he led them to eight consecutive 14th place finishes. He will be placed next to Bobby Robson and Alan Shearer outside St James’ Park, forever immortalised as a true Geordie legend.

Hibernian v Newcastle - Pre-Season Friendly
“Mike, yanow how ya sed ah’d gerra birra money?”
Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Graham says...

It’ll end in October when summer signing Ahmed Elmohamady scores a worldie of an own goal past the best goalkeeper in the world Martin Dubravka.

Mike Ashley will admit he “got it wrong”, whilst Steve Bruce admits his sacking “hurt him” but he’ll “roll his sleeves up and gow again” before muttering something about “Mackem roots”.

The scummers will rejoice for a week, before Alan Pardew makes a glorious return to the helm on an 18-year-contract.

AFC Wimbledon v Millwall - FA Cup Fifth Round Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images

Mark says...

Bruce may finish 12th, a place above Rafa achieved, just to annoy the CarToon Army in his first season. With fans still calling for a ‘world-class manager’ to replace him, Bruce will get them to 11th after smashing their transfer record on an unknown Argentinian U23 ‘sensation’.

Only then it will start to unravel and, after a poor start, Bruce will resign to force a move to Middlesbrough, claiming he always wanted to be the first to manage all three NE sides.

Without him, Newcastle will plummet to relegation after appointing ‘club legend’ Joey Barton on a five-year deal.

Fleetwood Town v Burnley - Pre-Season Friendly Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Jake says...

It’ll end after two successive 13th place finishes, performing to the levels of Rafa Benitez’s squads, because “Rafa would’ve done better.”

Sunderland v Liverpool - Premier League Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Phil says...

In 18 months time. They’ll finish 13th this year before he sells all of their best players, signs Cattermole and Elmohamady along with a load of other players from relegated clubs and is given the sack just before Christmas after getting beat by Wigan.

Or maybe I’m just having flashbacks.

Wigan Athletic v Sunderland - Premier League Photo by Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

Chris says...

He’ll do alright this year, around 14th, then do the same the season after...

...and then they’ll get the bedsheets out.

Newcastle United v Manchester City - Premier League Photo by MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

And finally, what wacky new scheme will Mike Ashley come up with to annoy Newcastle fans further?

Tom says...

As the Newcastle supporters at Easter Road howled about loving Rafa Benitez, it gave Mike Ashley a brilliant idea. What better way to ease the blow of losing one of the best managers in European (erm...) than with a range of Wor Rafa merchandise?

Soon the shops along Northumberland Street and beyond are kitted out with everything you could imagine with that lovable Spanish fella’s face on it. You name it, we’ve got it. Mirrors, figurines, hip flasks, towels and life-size cardboard of everybody’s favourite manager.

There will be skepticism on Tyneside but as we all know, how could Rafa give his permission to such inferior products when he “loves tha Toon” so much? So they will buy them in their droves and plop every single of their hard-earned pennies into Daddy Mike’s pocket.

He’ll organise a talk-in advertising “The Return of Rafa” at Shark Bar but it turns out to be just John Beresford and Keith Gillespie talking about a game in 1996 for the millionth time.

Southampton FC v Newcastle United - Premier League Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images

Graham says...

Big Mike is not that bad of a lad, is he?

Come on now - without ‘wacky’ Mike Newcastle wouldn’t have broken their transfer record twice in six months, their fans would have never even had Rafa Benitez nor a self sufficient football club.

But for sheer sh*ts and giggles I sincerely hope they start the season in supreme form, before Mike flogs every player that performs well in the opening few months - at a profit - before proceeding to keep all the money to buy ASDA, changes the stadium name to “Mike Ashley’s House of F***ing Pain” and signs Bilbo Baggins, instructing cushion face that he simply play him as a target man.

Why do I want them to start well?

Because it’ll be even funnier when the hope drains from their horrible little eyeballs.

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Newcastle United v Wigan Athletic - St James’ Park Photo by Owen Humphreys - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images

Mark says...

A loyalty scheme in his Sports Direct chain whereby each pound spent is a point, which all add up to the offer of a free season ticket for loyal customers.

Newcastle United v Leicester City - Premier League Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Jake says...

He’ll spend every penny they receive in transfer fees.

That’ll annoy them more than anything.

Newcastle United v Manchester City - Premier League Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images

Phil says...

He’ll donate money to Bury and Bolton to keep them afloat, before the fans and national media cry about how Newcastle and Arsenal actually have it much worse.

Sports Direct Boss Mike Ashley Attends High Court Over Alleged £15m Banker Deal Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images

Chris says...

Start selling ‘protest bedsheets’ in the club shop as well as Sports Direct outlets, along with a printing service to provide “only the best protest materials for fans of all ages”.