Heart ruled head for O’Neill
Roker Rapport’s latest guest on the podcast just happens to be a Sunderland fan and former Sunderland manager Martin O’Neill, who stopped by to speak to our own Chris Wynn.
O’Neill has just released a fantastic new book, ‘On Days Like These’, and spoke to Chris about his career in the game, with an obvious emphasis on his time supporting and managing Sunderland.
During the podcast, he was asked whether his love of Sunderland clouded his judgement when it came to taking the hot seat at the Stadium of Light and would misgivings about the running of the club be a dealbreaker at any other club:
I know this for certain, I wouldn’t have done it. No, I wouldn’t have done it, it was the lure of Sunderland.
I had an opportunity - a possibility - to manage Sunderland sometime before that, it didn’t happen but this time I remember Niall Quinn saying to me “I think it’s your time, we could do with you coming up. We’re in a bit of trouble”, and genuinely I wanted to come, I wanted to manage the football club and it didn’t matter.
Heart ruling head as much as anything else.
While you’re here, we are again calling on #SAFC fans and our friends to help raise money for Sunderland Community Soup Kitchen, who are in need of our help so they can help the most vulnerable people on Wearside. If you can donate to or even share the appeal, it would mean a great deal to many people. For more information visit the fundraiser page here and thank you!
Hibs defender linked
Sunderland have been linked with a January move for Hibernian defender Ryan Porteous, according to reports.
The Scottish Sun say Sunderland are one of six clubs targeting the 23-year-old centre back after former Black Cats boss Lee Johnson admitted that the club will be looking to cash in on him.
Ryan isn’t signing a new contract. We have offered a fantastic contract, a really big one for the club and, in my eyes, one that should have been offered two-and-a-half years earlier for a player of that quality.
I’ve got no issue with Ryan at all. He turned down the best contact we could offer and, therefore, is seeking pastures new.
Potentially a January sale would be the best idea if we realise the fee, because at that point you can reinvest the money.
If I was a manager in the Championship, and I have been in the past, he is the exact type of player I would be looking at.
The reports claims that, along with Sunderland, Millwall, Norwich City, Stoke City, Watford and West Bromwich Albion are all tracking the player.
Giacc enriched by Sunderland experience
Former Sunderland midfielder Emanuele Giaccherini says he has no regrets about leaving Italian giants Juventus for Sunderland, saying the beautiful experience enriched him.
Speaking to Calciatori Ignoranti Originals on Twitch (via Napoli Magazine), the ex-Italian international only had positive things to say about his time on Wearside:
It was undoubtedly a beautiful experience. I remember that I was sorry to leave Juve, but I would do it again. Playing in England enriched me because it is a superior league, with a unique culture.
The first year was positive with 5 goals plus in the league and 2 in the cup, as well as many assists. I played 32 games, staying up with a super comeback and the League Cup final. In the second season, unfortunately, two injuries kept me out.
Sunderland thrash Liverpool
Sunderland u18s played away at Liverpool at the weekend, with the hosts fourth in the u18 Premier League and the young Black Cats flying high at the top of the table.
As such it should have been a keenly contested affair but Sunderland are a confident outfit right now and Liverpool were lucky to walk away with just a 0-4 defeat, thanks to goals by Henry Fieldson, Mason Cotcher and Ben Middlemas.
You can watch full highlights of the convincing win below, with Middlemas in particular shining, adding two assists to his goal, with the second in particular showing top class footwork to bamboozle the Liverpool defence.