Soapbox: when a goalscoring Chelsea groin made us groan

When did we last sign a player from Inter Milan? That’s an easy one – never. We have now, with the arrival of Sulley Muntari from the San Siro. 

When did we last sign a player who had a Champions League Winners medal from the previous season? A tad harder that one.  

We have done it once, in 1981 with Ian Bowyer, so we must hope that Muntari’s stay on Wearside is altogether more successful than that of the ginger haired Forest midfielder, who had an awful time at Roker Park. 

The arrival of our third Ghanaian international was later supplemented by our first player from the West African state of Benin. Stephane Sessegnon joined from Paris St Germain for £5m, thereby making the journey from his first club, Sharks Of The Atlantic via Creteil, Le Mans and PSG, to the Black Cats of the North Sea. 

… I hope that there is a positive response from fans to Ellis Short and Niall Quinn using the cash received from Bent straight away.  

Crowds have been a little disappointing and it would be a boost for the owner to see in excess of 40,000 at the Chelsea game on Tuesday 

The first big crowd I saw at a Sunderland v Chelsea game was on May 18 1963, when we went into the last game of the season, sitting top of Division Two and needing a point from the third placed Blues to regain what we saw as our rightful place in the First.

We lost 1-0. 

This was my first experience of the bitter disappointment that automatically goes with being a Sunderland supporter. The crowd of 47,000 came to hail the Champions and instead went home wet and disappointed as a goal from Tommy Harmer (“Of his middle leg”, according to Stan Anderson) gave Chelsea and their young manager Tommy Docherty a win that broke Red and White hearts.


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