How many second chances
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distraction of the Euros is over, the one cloud obscuring the view of Sunderland’s transfer activity so far along with the make-up of our current squad has lifted and come into full view. As we’d finished dissecting last season on the end of season Roker Rapport Podcast following the Lincoln semi-final second leg in May, we moved on to briefly speculate how we thought the summer might pan out. My thoughts we that we’d have a completely different outlook in terms of the way Lee Johnson would want us to set up, and that to do this we would need ideally need to have at least the nucleus of his squad together as we began our planned pre-season friendlies. As it stands, we have at my count, 19 players who I’d consider to be part of a first-team squad - that includes Dan Neil, Benji Kimpioka plus one of Jacob Carney or Anthony Patterson as a second goalkeeper - who all aren’t expected to have a huge part to play this coming season...
The Suns, buoyed by a crazy loud home crowd, broke out of a 45-45 tie with a 20-7 run that soon ran up to a 33-17 run and a 16-point late-third lead on the visiting Bucks. The big three of Deandre Ayton, Chris Paul and Devin Booker dominated the game for the Suns, each putting their stamp on the game at different times. Suns win, 118-105, and (somehow) lead in an NBA Finals series for the first time in the franchise’s 54 year history. Neither of the prior two Finals appearances began well for the Valley. Chris Paul had a game-high 32 points plus dished 8 assists, while Devin Booker had 27 points, 6 assists and 3 steals and young center Deandre Ayton finished with 22 points and 19 rebounds against the Bucks mammoth front line. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
As soon as the dust settled on the disappointing 20/21 campaign, thoughts drew to next season and what it might bring. For the fourth summer in a row, Sunderland will be planning a team and squad with the hope of gaining promotion from League One. There’s nothing like a summer window to get the juices flowing among supporters. Speculation will go crazy in the next six weeks before the season starts. Anything and everything will be discussed from transfers to who the first fixture will be (we’ll find that out tomorrow).
After a controversial squad selection, positive Covid tests, vaccination wranglings and the creation of a parallel training bubble, finally getting their Euro 2020 campaign under way against Sweden in Seville on Monday will probably come as light relief for Luis Enrique and his Spanish side. Knowledgesight Everything seemed to be going to plan, with Spain following protocols to the letter, until they got unlucky. It all began when Sergio Busquets found out one of his relatives had tested positive for coronavirus. He had not been with that relative for five days beforehand but nonetheless was obliged to pass on the information to the appropriate authorities. He played against Portugal in a friendly and every single test he gave during that period was negative. Eventually, after six days he tested positive. This was then followed by another positive test for Diego Llorente, which turned out to be a false positive - he has now returned to the squad - but nonetheless created more unwelcome drama
Sunderland released Chris Maguire earlier in the week, with the playmaker’s spell at the Stadium of Light ending after three years. The 32-year-old departs with 124 appearances in all competitions for the club, scoring 28 times and providing 26 assists in those games. With his future up in the air, Oxford United manager Karl Robinson was asked about him possibly returning to a club where he played 79 times in a two year period but Robinson told the Oxford Mail that the Scottish international is not currently on his radar: DaIncrease
I was speaking to a smoggie fan and she told me there could be a Leadbitter-Cattermole switch has anyone else heard this or is it just another rumour?
Word of The Jozy-Dozer coup has been noted with interest in Nigeria. In a wonderful article (written in Nigerian Pidgin English for the locals) we hear how "...strika Jozy Altidore dey waka come bak..." Love it! Now these guys are relaxed.