Di Canio needs to heal Sunderland's scars from previous season

12:26pm Friday 3rd May 2013

IF HISTORY has taught Sunderland fans anything – the younger generation at least – then it is nothing comes easy. Or, just as fittingly, that bad follows the good just as readily.

The case for Connor Wickham

5:03pm Friday 21st October 2011

DESPERATION is in the air at the Stadium of Light.

Back to the bread and butter – at last

10:00am Friday 14th October 2011

Thankfully, another international break weekend is over and we can get back to some proper football, or as close to proper football as Sunderland AFC can play anyway. At least normality will be resumed anyway.

Changes at the top testament to Quinn's success

10:00am Friday 7th October 2011

Sitting watching Shane Long waltz through the Sunderland defence unopposed to fire West Bromwich Albion into an early two goal lead last week, I can't have been alone in believing that a change in the leadership of the club was surely imminent.

It’s time to face up to reality

12:45pm Friday 30th September 2011

BEFORE I get down to business here, let me make a couple of things clear. None of this is borne out of a knee-jerk reaction, I am not a doom-monger, and I don't enjoy Sunderland AFC doing poorly. I gain no pleasure in being negative about them, but frankly, at the moment, they are leaving me little choice.

Bruce proves a point or three

9:00am Friday 23rd September 2011

SUNDAY afternoon's three points couldn't have come quick enough for both Steve Bruce and the Sunderland fans.

Cats’ malaise deepens as Gyan goes

5:49pm Friday 16th September 2011

AT THIS stage last week, we were looking ahead to the visit of Chelsea with cautious optimism.

Good things come to those who wait

10:00am Friday 9th September 2011

IT IS a sign of how far Sunderland have come in recent times that fans are currently bemoaning their slow start to the season.

Bruce needs to build a team

Durham Times: Roker Report

9:00am Friday 2nd September 2011

IT HAS certainly been a testing start of the season for Sunderland fans. Hopes were high over the summer of achieving some derby dominance and a credible Carling Cup run, yet both have evaporated just 4 games into the campaign amidst a crippling inability to transform positive passages of play into goals.

Few positives, but progress made

7:00pm Thursday 19th May 2011

THOSE who have read this column from its embryonic beginnings, almost four years ago now, will have gone on a journey with me.

Sunderland heading for the beach - but there is much to cheer

6:00pm Thursday 12th May 2011

AFTER the storm comes the calm.

Bruce's prudence is called into question

6:30pm Thursday 5th May 2011

IN THE detached world of the Premier League, money is thrown about with any real accountability or concern.

Sunderland away kit revealed

Durham Times: John Mensah models the new kit

8:40am Friday 1st April 2011

SUNDERLAND'S new away kit has been revealed – and there’s a heavy Ghana influence.

Capello's comments insult both Bent and Sunderland

Durham Times: Capello's comments insult both Bent and Sunderland

5:17pm Friday 11th February 2011

REWRITING history is a very dangerous thing indeed.

Wrong battle at the wrong time

4:43pm Friday 4th February 2011

I’m making this apology to Niall Quinn primarily, not that he reads these words. I’m not saying he should read them. But I read his column in the match programme every fortnight so he should at least return the favour.

Too many losers in transfer mayhem

10:36am Monday 31st January 2011

I MAY have touched on the issue in the past, but let me be perfectly clear on this - I truly despise the transfer window.

Let’s just enjoy the football

Durham Times: DARK DAY: Hopefully, Sunderland can avoid repeating these scenes from Hallowe’en, where the Black Cats were beaten 5-1 at St James’ Park

6:28pm Friday 14th January 2011

FOR the first time in a North- East derby, Sunday’s game features metal barriers designed to segregate the two sets of supporters.

At least two reasons to be cheerful

Durham Times: Jordan Henderson

5:41pm Friday 10th December 2010

PART OF the frustration of being a Sunderland supporter is that regardless of your own club’s success, Newcastle United always seems to be bigger news.

Bad boy Cattermole steals Gyan's limelight

11:40am Friday 17th September 2010

BEFORE I sit down to a lunch of eating my words after writing off Asamoah Gyan last week, Lee Cattermole is a subject that needs to be discussed.

Getting shirty about the constant kit change

10:14am Friday 30th July 2010

THERE were a few nasty images on show during Sunderland's 2-0 defeat to Benfica in pre-season.

Progress made

Durham Times: Darren Bent

12:45pm Friday 14th May 2010

SO, another season over. What could have been a decent tenth-place finish fizzled out into a slightly-disappointing 13th. But 13th is progress. And if you want one word to sum this season up, progress would be it.

Man City, and Fulop's part in their downfall

12:00pm Friday 7th May 2010

A BROKEN watch is correct twice a day, goes the old saying.

Enemies to be made in Manchester this weekend

Durham Times: Morrissey was hit by a bottle of beer thrown from the crowd at the Echo Arena in Liverpool

1:20pm Friday 30th April 2010

WHEN Manchester band The Smiths exclaimed Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now* in 1984, they had good reason.

It's all about the dirty cash nowadays

3:14pm Friday 23rd April 2010

FANS of 1990s house music will be well-versed with the work of The Adventures of Stevie V, namely their biggest hit Dirty Cash - which opined that money talks.

Playing away still fails to light Black Cats’ fire

10:40am Friday 16th April 2010

WITH Sunderland’s Premier League status seemingly secure, and the chances of tenth place becoming slimmer by the week, Black Cats supporters are in the curious position of having nothing to fear and nothing to aim for at this stage of the season.

Bent's brace, Bolo's belter - bloomin' brilliant

Durham Times: OUT TO IMPRESS: Former Spurs pair Darren Bent and Fraizer Campbell

12:50pm Friday 9th April 2010

SINCE Sunderland do all their scoring in the first half nowadays, we North Standers are deprived of the real action.

A push for Europe is too little, too late

Durham Times: EARLY STRIKE: Fraizer Campbell (centre) celebrates with Darren Bent after scoring the opener at Villa Park

12:20pm Friday 26th March 2010

IF THIS season was a sandwich, it would probably be something like anchovies and lemon curd, between two slices of freshly-baked farmhouse loaf. Brilliance, either side of a rancid mess.

Bargain basement buy denies moneybags City

10:28am Friday 19th March 2010

SUNDAY saw two of the summer's big spenders come together - in the reverse fixture to the match that ended Mark Hughes' career and saw Sunderland score three goals away from home, yet still end up on the losing side.

Winter of discontent finally over?

Durham Times: NUMBER THREE: Darren Bent (second right) celebrates his hat-trick with team-mates

10:53am Friday 12th March 2010

SUNDERLAND: An apology.

Club's charm offensive is a tricky task

Durham Times: Steve Bruce

11:03am Friday 5th March 2010

The club may as well have slapped a big banner on their website this week simply reading: "AT LEAST WE'RE NOT PORTSMOUTH, EH?"

Lady Luck, smile on Sunderland again

Durham Times: MISMATCH: McCartney v Walcott

1:13pm Friday 26th February 2010

I’M AS shocked as you are. I sat here, calling on Steve Bruce to play to Sunderland’s strengths and go 4-3-3 at Arsenal, fully expecting him to ignore those calls and stick to his tried and tested 4-4-2.

Henderson’s just the tonic

Durham Times: TONIC: Jordan Henderson

1:15pm Friday 26th February 2010

SUNDERLAND’S bid to avoid another relegation battle has been aided by the return of this season’s success story, Jordan Henderson, who has announced that he will be fit for the final eight games of the campaign.

Bruce's roots nothing to do with rot

8:40am Friday 19th February 2010

IT was almost inevitable that, as soon as Sunderland's season showed signs of faltering, that questions would be asked about Steve Bruce and his 'roots'.

Outside influences wrecking Cats' campaign

Durham Times: Anger: Darren Bent

10:33am Friday 12th February 2010

SUNDERLAND'S drop down the Premier League is accelerating quicker than a dodgy Toyota, but everyone thought that Tuesday night at Portsmouth was the ideal opportunity to put the brakes on that.

The winners and losers in the transfer window

Durham Times: Benjani has moved to Sunderland

10:56am Friday 5th February 2010

STEVE Bruce's Transfer Radar - a one-week feature which, apparently, I'm never allowed to repeat - went into overdrive last week as the transfer window slammed shut.

Travel-sick Sunderland need to arrest the slide

Durham Times: Steve Bruce

10:50am Friday 29th January 2010

SOME call it a rollercoaster. Niall Quinn preferred to call it a magic carpet.

Cats fans easy targets for banter merchants

Durham Times: BACK OF THE NET: Michael Ballack heads home Chelsea’s fifth goal

10:59am Friday 22nd January 2010

SMUG people have been slinking up to my desk with the sole intention of annoying me this week.

Thanks for taking that decision for me

Durham Times: Morse actor John Thaw

10:02am Friday 15th January 2010

I, FOR one, am thankful that the decision to postpone last Saturday's game was taken with my safety in mind.

Won't somebody think of Gary Lineker?

Durham Times: Frozen pitch

12:23pm Friday 8th January 2010

THE likely postponement of Sunderland's clash with Bolton on Saturday fills me with great frustration.

Hughes a welcome distraction for Cats

Durham Times: CLOSING DOWN: Jordan Henderson and Zoltan Gera

1:33pm Tuesday 22nd December 2009

SUNDERLAND'S defeat to Manchester City played second fiddle to the news that Mark Hughes' contract was terminated within minutes of the full-time whistle at Eastlands.

Fight or flight for faltering Cats

Durham Times: NET RESULT: Kieran Richardson ends up in the net after equalising for Sunderland

9:41am Friday 18th December 2009

I THINK we've pretty much established that Steve Bruce's honeymoon is well and truly over now.

Should SAFC take the BA Baracus approach to travel?

Durham Times: A-TEAM PLAYER? Steve Bruce needs a solution to Sunderland's travelling blues

10:58am Friday 11th December 2009

Give them all a swig of sedative-laden milk, stick them all on a plane and once they awake from their slumber, convince them we're playing at home, and Bob's your uncle.

Nice pies, shame about the performance

Durham Times: DUAL ROLE: Lorik Cana

10:03am Friday 4th December 2009

AS A dejected Sunderland team trudged off the pitch at the DW Stadium, the catcalls of the 5,500 army of supporters who travelled down in coaches and cars rung loud in the players' ears.

McCartney's boasts are ill-advised

Durham Times: CONFIDENT: McCartney

12:14pm Friday 27th November 2009

YOU would be forgiven for thinking tomorrow's trip to Wigan is a foregone conclusion, considering recent events.

Why Steve Bruce should pay no attention to Dave Whelan

2:08pm Tuesday 24th November 2009

DAVE Whelan's always had a reputation for speaking his mind. But as these quotes show, he doesn't always engage his brain before spouting off.

Bent's worthy of England spot

9:47am Friday 13th November 2009

SOME national football writers, who swan about press boxes with hats at jaunty angles and profess to know diddly-squat about anything outside of the Premier League, have declared this weekend's friendly game between England and Brazil as a 'reserve game'.

Who needs Sandra, we've got Darren Bent

9:58am Friday 6th November 2009

ONE of the first cars I ever bought was an ugly green Vauxhall Astra. It didn't steer right, the sunroof leaked, and when I touched the brakes my seat used to tip forward.

Sunderland's season hits a Brum note

11:13am Friday 30th October 2009

THIS week has given me two fresh reasons to dislike Birmingham.

Life's a beach for Reds

10:44am Friday 23rd October 2009

I'VE never seen the point of football fans bringing props into the ground in order for the them to enhance their own experience of a match.

Seven-year itch for Sunderland's England recognition

4:20pm Tuesday 20th October 2009

IT WAS a cold night in February, 2002, in Amsterdam, that marked a significant event in world football.

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