Defoe discusses derby day
Jermain Defoe was a guest on The Greatest Game podcast this week and told host Jamie Carragher about what it was like to score in the Wear-Tyne derby.
The Rangers striker revealed that he had fired himself up so much in the build up to the game that he had ignored Dick Advocaat’s instructions to manage his workload and as a result had nothing left in his legs by the end of the first half.
With that tiredness, he decided the best option was to have a go from Steven Fletcher’s flick on, which resulted in his memorable goal and his emotional celebration:
It was a left-foot volley, I played left of a three that game.
Before derbies I was so fired up, I remember saying to someone before the game that I was fired up. I dunno if it was an early kick off but I remember waking up really early and I was just buzzing. I was so fired up, I remember going for a walk with the lads and saying I just can’t wait for kick off.
I remember playing left of the three and Dick Advocaat saying to me, “manage your running but I want you to stay closer to Fletcher”. But because I was so fired up for the game I was chasing back, tackling, completely different to what you’ve seen me do before in any game.
I was tackling, smashing people and then I remember looking at the clock and thinking my legs were gone. It was a hot day and my legs were gone, the goalkeeper [Costel Pantilimon] has kicked it and I thought I’m just gonna try and gamble and get on the end of this.
Fletcher has flicked it and initially I was going to bring it down but my legs were gone and I thought I’m just going to hit this and as I’ve hit it I just thought ‘oh my god’. It was an unbelievable feeling.
I remember celebrating and crying. I remember running off and I was on the floor and the noise and I just started crying. The whistle went and I remember walking down the tunnel and I remember Tim Krul who was in goal for Newcastle come up to me and said “what a goal, you’ve done me there.” I remember just sitting down in the changing room and thinking ‘wow’ and he [Krul] got stick after that.
The fans were killing him but he come up to me and said “you’ve done me there”. But it’s definitely one of the best goals I’ve scored, the only reason I volleyed it was because I was knackered. I couldn’t bring it down, I just thought I’m too tired, I’ve got to hit it and see where it goes. Bang.
It’s so important and especially that game, that week leading up to that game, that’s all they talk about. Anywhere you go, it’s all they talk about. ‘Make sure you win on the weekend’, ‘we have to beat them’ and that sort of stuff. It was my first start in a Derby against Newcastle and to score like that, even if I scored a tap-in I don’t care, but to score a goal like that and to win 1-0 was mad.
You can listen to the full Greatest Game podcast with Jermain Defoe by pressing play on the link below:
Ex-Black Cats on the move
Ji Dong-Won has ended his 10-year European adventure by signing for K-League side FC Seoul.
Now 30, Ji moved to Europe when he signed for Sunderland in the summer of 2011 and spent three years in the North East before spending seven years in Germany with the likes of Borussia Dortmund, Augsburg and Mainz 05.
Mostly remembered for a dramatic last-gasp winner against Manchester City, Ji will join another former Sunderland player at Seoul as their captain is former loanee Ki Sung-yueng.
Sunderland academy product Trevor Carson had been linked with a return to Hartlepool United in recent weeks but the Northern Ireland international has instead penned a two-year deal with Dundee United.
Speaking to the Scottish Premiership outfit’s official website, Carson confirmed there was a chance to return to England but it was a ‘no brainer’ to sign for the Tangerines once he heard what they had to say:
There was talk of me moving back down to England for family reasons, but once Dundee United came in for me and I spoke to the gaffer and Sporting Director Tony Asghar it was a no brainer to come here.
✍️ Welcome Trevor Carson!— Dundee United FC (@dundeeunitedfc) July 8, 2021
"It was a no brainer to come here. It's such a great club with a great history, I'm so excited to be part of it."#UnitedTogether
Another Sunderland academy product was on the move in more controversial circumstances yesterday, as Derry City announced the pre-contract re-signing of Patrick McEleney from Dundalk.
The 28-year-old will sign for his hometown club on a deal until at least 2023 but the move was criticised by Dundalk manager Vinny Perth in the Irish Independent as Derry announced the deal as McEleney was playing for his current side in a Europa Conference League game against Newtown:
I think it’s a complete and utter lack of respect for this football club.
The wording of it is disgraceful and it’s trying to unsettle this football team and I won’t let anyone unsettle the football team that I’m working with. I just think it’s completely disrespectful.
CITY CONFIRM MCELENEY PRE-CONTRACT DEAL ✍️— Derry City FC (@derrycityfc) July 8, 2021
Derry City FC can confirm that Patrick McEleney has agreed a pre-contract at the club which will see the midfielder return home when his current deal at Dundalk expires.https://t.co/03WmURcOfC pic.twitter.com/lDDhDr7bOO