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England v Sweden: Semi Final - UEFA Women’s EURO 2022

Roker Ramble: It’s back - and the new season is nearly upon us!

Yet it’s the same old culprits... Well, Richard Keys, actually. Also this week, England’s women show us how to do it both on and off the pitch, and football is clamping down on fans who decide to get coked-up pre-match.

Photo by James Whitehead/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The Ramble is back! Did you miss it?

Look, the RR mailbag has been full of concerned people asking just where has it gone? Is everything okay? Can someone check on the Ramble?

Fear not. I simply put it into cold storage as I spent the entire summer trying to get through airport security. I absolutely definitely did not go into hiding because that mag who waved all the money at the Norwich fans offered me out in the RR DMs. Can’t remember who he was now.

It’s been a summer dominated by Tory party cannibalisation and, on a sporting level, cryptocurrency fruitcakes inserting themselves into the Tweets of ex-sportsmen who are too thick or dull to know better. Master Owen, see me after class. You too, Botham.

But now the action is about to start, and we’d better kick this baby back into action. For our Newcastle United supporting friends/complainants out there this year will be different - I have good news! RR will be featuring even MORE magbaiting. The Ramble: Now with 50% more Mag-based banter. Look, if you can’t take it, just don’t be owned by a bunch of... just kidding, I have better material this year.

England mash Swedes to reach the final

How is it that this headline hasn’t been used more?

Anyway, congratulations to the Lionesses, who whupped Sweden 4-0 to reach the final of the Euros on Sunday. A superb performance that has revived memories of summer 2021, this time with less cocaine abuse, violent ticketless fans, and the insertion of flares up bottoms.

Perhaps the best thing about the Euros is the new breed of supporter that has emerged. Time and again, we are hearing of family-friendly atmospheres, kids being enthused by what they are seeing and people just generally having a good time at the game. Not the hostile atmosphere you far too often get at men’s football.

England v Sweden: Semi Final - UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 Photo by James Whitehead/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

One thing is for sure – the first match I take my daughter to will be a women’s game and not the massive gamble that would be a furious, sweary, racist Sunderland match.

It’s worth thinking about where we go with Sunderland, really isn’t it. Over the last few seasons, things have got angrier and angrier at football. Half the crowd are now wearing the expression of a 6’4” nightclub doorman that you’ve just spilled a vodka Redbull on.

See more of this below, but for now, let’s just enjoy the fact that we have an England team and support that is making headlines for all the right reasons.

It’s a bad week for Richard Keys

I think we can all agree that Sky’s hairiest ex-employee is about as appealing as a pickled dog turd in a jar, which is about to be removed and inserted into a hearty Italian roll for you to chow down on.

He is, without doubt, the arsehole’s arsehole. From this video of him describing a woman in the most sexist of terms, to this one of him and Andy Gray laughing at women’s football to this one making comments about Sian Massey, it’s fair to say that he should perhaps reappraise his attitude to women.

Sadly for him, he’s had a pretty bad week. From this video of England women doing pretty well in the old football stakes, there’s this Twitter exchange with Gabby Agbonlahor.

“I didn’t realise Gabby Agbonlahor was on the radio.” He bleated. “His broadcasting career is obviously as insignificant as his playing career. Described to me today by a Villa staff member as ‘the most unprofessional he’d ever worked with’. Apps 351. Gls 76. Is he still at Watford?” Christ Richard, it’s only Monday afternoon.

Bit uncalled for if you ask me. Had you had a liquid lunch? Or did Gabby nick your wife? Oh no wait... that was your daughter’s best friend.

Still, Agbonlahor replied with a forehand winner...

Funnily enough, both of them have form for winding up Newcastle fans to the nth degree. Maybe they should realise they have more in common than they think?

Pyros, drugs, Pitch invaders = banned

Not really much to argue about there, is there really?

In a joint agreement between the Premier League, EFL and Football Association, anyone found bringing pyros, being under the influence of drugs, seen chucking shit or invading the pitch will be banned.

You can probably assume this will cover all sorts of encroacher - from the pissed up helmet to the environmental activist making their point. It’s unlikely to have an impact on the latter though, you’d think.

Just stop invading the pitch
Photo by ANTHONY DEVLIN/AFP via Getty Images

All of this is initially in response to increasing levels of disorder at the Euros. It wasn’t just that: last season coins totaling £67.42 were thrown at players during the course of the campaign.

It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that drugs are having an increasing influence on the terraces, and particularly at away games. And it needs to have heavy policing from the authorities as well as the clubs.

However the expectation that our club will do anything about it is not high - at least not from my point of view, which is based on past experience. During the Rotherham match last season some knacker behind me was spouting absolute bile the entire 90 minutes, including at the end of the match, racist abuse towards Rotherham’s Chiedoze Ogbene.

He was challenged at the time - but three reports, which provided the seat number and photo of the dick in question, and there’s still no response from the club. Kick it out - who have responded - have also informed them.

So while these are warm words from the authorities, those in charge of taking action really do need to buck their ideas up.

Mind you, from what I’m hearing they can’t even mail out season cards to the right person.

News in Brief

Yaya Toure is set to be appointed as a coach at Spurs. Bet that one went down well in the Arsenal half of north London.

In an attempt to raise awareness of how we’re turning planet earth into a greenhouse, Reading have put stripes on the sleeves of their shirts changing from blue to red. According to the club, they track climate change in the Berkshire town across the years.

And talking of shirts, if you’re wondering where your football top you purchased for the bairn for £250 is, it’s been delayed because of factory shutdowns in Asia. It’s not just that though, Puma say 15% of an order has been lost at a UK port. Fallen off the back of a lorry, no doubt.


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The kids are... alright?

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