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Roker Ramble: Well, I suppose it could be worse than having Lewis Hamilton as club owner...

We discuss Lewis Hamilton’s Uncle Terry, Luke Edwards biting back and Man Utd’s recent masterplan compared to the treatment of chicks... it’s time once again for the Roker Ramble.

Photo by Clay Cross ATPImages/Getty Images

Hamilton wants to buy Chelsea

On seeing the headline that Lewis Hamilton was interested in buying a stake in Chelsea, you kind of suspected which way his quotes were going.

Look, the guy is successful in his own field, but you knew fine well that he’s of the “Well I used to support X but now I follow Y” brigade. Not as bad as Tim “come on Fulham, no wait, Chelsea” Lovejoy. But not far off.

Discussing his footballing upbringing, Hamilton said “I used to play football with all the kids... the kids all supported someone different.” Okay, bit of a weird start there, mate. He continued: “One was Tottenham, one was Man United. I remember switching between these teams when I was younger and getting home and my sister Sam punching me several times in the arm, she basically beat me and said I had to support Arsenal.” Which is exactly the sort of quote a non-footballing PR person would hand to Hamilton when he asked, wild-eyed, what he should say when asked about his interest in the beautiful game.

God imagine being beaten into supporting Arsenal?

But hold on... he’s involved in the purchase of their not-too-friendly rivals. I know, I know it’s not Sunderland vs Newcastle - there’s less horse punching in the streets and more throwing goats cheese paninis at each other or something but it’s still a rivalry.

F1 Grand Prix of Emilia Romagna - Final Practice
Come on your blues, score some kick goals
Photo by Lars Baron - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images

Not to matter, Hamilton justified his interest by continuing “My Uncle Terry is a big Blues fan so I’ve been to so many games with him to watch Arsenal and Chelsea play. Ultimately I’m a sporting fan. When I heard about this opportunity I thought: ‘Wow, this is one of the greatest opportunities to be part of something so great.’”

Great.

I’d have more respect for this venture if he was investing in a team like, I don’t know, Forest Green Rovers. But he’s not, it’s Chelsea and everyone hates them.

But good luck in the Formula One Lewis! I used to drive with all the kids when I was young.


Ten Hag steps into the firing line

I was once sent a video by a group of animal rights activists looking to highlight what they felt was barbaric treatment of newly hatched male - and therefore useless - chicks. The details of the video isn’t something you would call pre-watershed, suffice to say it involved a mincer, and a factory worker with a good aim.

It feels very much like the process Manchester United go through when appointing managers and signing players. Once successful men, who collectively have won many trophies are sent to their very own footballing mincer. Mourinho, Van Gaal, Moyes, Pogba, Maguire, Martial, Fred, Matic, Varane, De Beek. The list goes on and on of those Manchester United have, frankly, broken beyond repair.

The latest contender to be cut down to size is Erik Ten Hag. The Ajax manager, who until 2017 was very much of the “who?” category of manager has inked a deal until 2025. But in reality we all know that means the natives will be restless when the Red Devils win one of their first five matches at the start of next season, including stuttering to a home draw against Fulham on the opening day.

PSV Eindhoven v Ajax - KNVB Cup Final
Is it too late to change my mind?
Photo by NESImages/vi/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Interestingly on the radio this week Ten Hag was described as “awkward” and “weird” by one of his former players, when they first met him - so it’ll be fascinating to see what the squad makes of him when he walks through the door.

Maybe it’s simply that United had it far too good for far too long and this is simply their status quo. Whatever it is, their supporters should be thankful they’re not Sunderland fans.


Luke Edwards has a long, hot sportswash

If you’re a fan of Sunderland, and a user of Twitter, then you’re probably not a fan of Luke Edwards. Yes, this is the man who is one of the Sunder-who? brigade of sports journalists up here in the north east. Of which there are, sadly, too many.

Apparently the division you’re in which means more than the size of your fan base - and therefore your audience - to many of these people. And Edwards is no exception.

He’ll claim to have tried to interview KLD and co by sending in half-arsed interview requests over the last 15-months. Yes, he’s bemoaned the fact the club doesn’t want to talk to a man who doesn’t give a shit about them; the fella might as well have sent his request via smoke signal or morse code for the amount of good it would have done.

Look I’m not just giving him a kicking for kicking’s sake. No, it’s because he hasn’t been very nice to people on Twitter this week. He’s actually been pretty rude and obnoxious.

It all stemmed from his cack-handed and poorly executed attempt at justifying the Saudi regime’s ownership of the cartoon army. Which I find surprising from someone who is a journalist, and should always be aware that because a bunch of murdering toerags own that football club, then the issue should always be at the very top of his in-tray.

So he’s proceeded to slag off anyone who dared criticise him on his feed. My favourite jibe was to a chap called Michael Cox: “When I want your opinion on anything Michael I’ll ask. The fact I’ve never asked should be enough to say I’ve got zero interest in anything you say or indeed write” he farted back to him after copping some criticism which he was spectacularly unable to take.

“Getting a little sick and tired of people within my industry, in particular, trying to tell me what I should be thinking and writing about #nufc and that somehow everything should point to how awful Saudi owners are.” Well yes, Luke, it should. Because you’ve done precisely nothing to meaningfully address this in the however long those turds have been in control of the club.

It’s not just history that will judge you harshly for this, it’s the present too. Mind you, those Saudi scythes will make short work of that thin skin of yours.

Newcastle United v Crystal Palace - Premier League
Hahahahahaha look how we’ve turned your club into a rotten, soulless, husk
Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

In a wider sense, just what is it about Newcastle United? They’re like a larger version of Royston Vasey. Staveley is Tubbs, Ghodoussi is Edward, Luke is the trans taxi driver and Eddie Howe is that butcher who sells the “special stuff” which gives everyone nosebleeds. Probably.

“Going somewhere local?” Yes, I’m off to a beheading actually.


News In Brief

  • Crawley Town make it a Ramble double as they make their second appearance on these pages of late. Their manager John Yems has been suspended following allegations of discriminatory language, therefore giving their new owners a headache they didn’t want in their first month in charge.
  • Declan Rice has turned down his third contract offer from West Ham, leaving the possibility of a transfer very much on the cards. Get yourself up to Whitburn, Declan. Lovely at this time of year. As long as he doesn’t go to Man Utd.
  • Barcelona broke their own world record attendance as 91,648 turned out for the semi-final of the Women’s Champions League semi-final, where the home side beat Wolfsburg 5-1. The attendance is all the more interesting given the FA’s choice of stadia for the forthcoming Euros, in which some teams - including Iceland - will be playing at Manchester City’s 4,000 capacity training ground. Tickets have, unsurprisingly, sold out.
Aitana Bonmati (C) of FC Barcelona, Kathrin-Julia Hendrich (... Photo by Thiago Prudencio/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

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