8
Aug

Wes Brown still saves his cereal box coupons for Legoland tickets

image

Even professional soccer players like to save a buck or two.

Sunderland’s Wes Brown earns over $2 million a year, but that hasn’t stopped him and his wife Leanne from collecting coupons off the back of cereal boxes in order to get a discount at Legoland.

While on vacation before the start of the new Premier League season, the spouse of the Black Cats defender revealed their money-saving ways on Twitter a couple days ago:

There’s no punch line here. We would’ve done the same thing.

H/T Daily Mail
Photo courtesy of Getty Images / FOX Sports Illustration
5
Apr

Man gets taped to Newcastle lamp post in Sunderland kit on stag night

Chances are, this is not how you would envision your bachelor night to go.

A groom-to-be was taped up to a lamppost by his friends in the middle of Newcastle this weekend, wearing, of all things, a full Sunderland kit. (The outfit was complemented by a cartoonish helicopter cap, a nice touch.)

The brave stag, who remains unidentified, thus spent his last night of “freedom” getting honked at and ridiculed by hundreds of strangers in Newcastle. Sounds fun!

H/T Pies

22
Jan

Sunderland eliminate Man United from League Cup after wacky PK shootout

It was a wild one at Old Trafford, to say the least.

With the Capital One Cup semifinal knotted at 2-2 on aggregate, Phil Bardsley scored in the final minute of extra time — thanks to a David De Gea howler — only for Javier Chicharito Hernandez to save United into the penalty shootout just a minute later.

That’s when all hell broke loose. Sunderland’s Craig Gardner stepped up first, and missed. And then Danny Welbeck missed. And then another. Really, all that was missing was the Benny Hill music in the background. (Come on, Internet, do your thing!)

It may have been the worst penalty shootout of all time, as seven of the ten PKs taken were either saved or woefully off target. In the end, Sunderland eked out a 2-1 shootout win, sending Man United out of the competition and into further despair.

Here are David Moyes’ thoughts on the game — or is his whole season thus far? — summed up in one Vine:

You kind of have to feel a bit for Moyes at this point, no? Even when some air of optimism finally returned to Old Trafford on Wednesday, thanks to the impending transfer of Juan Mata, it got immediately blown away by yet another gut-wrenching “defeat” at home.

Which makes you wonder how it can possibly get worse for United…

28
Dec

Did Cardiff owner Vincent Tan boo his club after draw vs. Sunderland?

image

Needless to say, Vincent Tan is not a popular figure in Cardiff, Wales at the moment.

Ever since the Malaysian self-made billionaire purchased a controlling share of the Welsh club in 2010, Tan has become a lighting-rod of controversy from the start; most-notably when he announced the club would be changing its club colors from blue to red, followed by his recent decision to relieve beloved manager Malky Mackay of his duties after a much-publicized ultimatum via email.

Fast forward to Saturday when Tan was caught by cameras appearing to boo his own players after Jack Colback scored a dramatic equalizer to help Sunderland draw Cardiff 2-2 in their Premier League clash. The Dragons’ owner gesture went viral on social media:

Tan’s latest act will surely not endear him to Cardiff CIty fans anytime soon. Earlier in the week, a group of 200 Cardiff supporters gathered outside Cardiff City Stadium before the Boxing Day 3-0 defeat against Southampton to protest against Tan.

image

image

Images courtesy of Action Images / Thomson Reuters.

H/T 101GG and USA Today.

12
Nov

#YouAreFootball video series highlights Sunderland community hero George Forster

Football is nothing without its fans.

That’s the message Barclays, the Premier League’s official sponsor, is reaffirming with a series of videos on their YouTube channel. The videos are dedicated to supporters all around the world and specifically some local heroes. Heroes such as George Forster.

Forster, 87, founded the Sunderland Supporters’ Association back in 1965 and dedicated the last 48 years of his life (and counting) to the Black Cats. Nothing short of a legend around the Stadium of Light, even the players have acknowledged his lengthy service: George is an honorary member of the Sunderland Former Players Association - the only non-player to hold such an honor, according to Barclays Football’s official Facebook page.

"People like George, they are football, they are the real fans, they are the football club” said his grandson, Lee Redford.

imageImage: Facebook/Barclays Football

There are stories like Forster’s all around the Premier League, and it’s important to show our appreciation to these men who dedicate their lives to their club, to their passion. Aptly labeled with the #YouAreFootball hashtag, we encourage you to watch the rest of the Premier League’s original videos on their YouTube channel!

27
Oct

Sunderland give Pope a jersey, get first win of season very next day

image

Image via BBC

Sunderland entered this weekend with just one point out of the season’s first eight games and a load of problems. They already sacked their manager and came in with the league’s worst offense and worst defense. Perhaps a little divine intervention was all they needed.

On Saturday, Pope Francis was given a personalized Black Cats shirt by Father Marc Lyden-Smith, Sunderland’s team chaplain. The next day, the team won its first match of the season, besting arch-rivals Newcastle 2-1 in the Ware-Tyne derby.

A miracle?

According to the BBC, Fr. Lyden-Smith was on a pilgrimage to Rome with about sixty people, and per the club’s request had taken a jersey along for His Holiness.

Lyden-Smith said:

"It was a bit of a miracle really. There were 120,000 people gathered in the square. We managed to get tickets up at the front and the pope was guided towards us.

"Some people from the North East managed to shake his hand and then I asked if he would accept the shirt and he took it and waved it in the air to cheers."

According to Lyden-Smith, Pope Francis was too “diplomatic” on Saturday to say that he would root for one team over another, but he didn’t need to reveal who he’d support — It’s pretty clear enough now!

23
Sep

Di Matteo early favorite for Sunderland vacancy

The dust has barely settled on the end of Paolo di Canio’s controversial reign at Sunderland and already thoughts have turned to the Italian’s successor. Di Canio was sacked on Sunday night in the fall-out from Saturday’s 3-0 defeat by West Brom in which some players apparently contacted the club’s hierarchy to complain about the Italian’s man-management skills. Former Chelsea boss Roberto di Matteo is making the early running to fill the post, with Gus Poyet second favorite. Click here for the latest transfer rumors from the UK press.

21
Sep

Paolo di Canio faces angry Sunderland fans after loss to West Brom

image

image

(Photos: Action Images)

Has Paolo di Canio taken a page out of Jose Mourinho’s notebook?

The embattled Sunderland boss walked back out onto the pitch for a quick “chat” with his supporters on Saturday after a 3-0 loss at West Brom, which left the Black Cats with just one point from their first five Premier League matches.

Heavily criticized by fans over his team’s awful start to the season, Di Canio curiously decided to face the music in similar fashion to what Mourinho had done last year. You may remember, the “Special One” walked out onto the Bernabeu pitch prior to a Real Madrid match to “offer” fans a chance to boo him personally, which they did.

Di Canio’s act, in comparison, came very much out of the blue. Instead of addressing his team in the locker room, he clearly felt he needed to give some attention to his agitated fan base. As you can see, it wasn’t particularly convincing. Di Canio shrugged his shoulders a few times and pointed to his chin, as if to say, “Keep your head up, lads”

Perhaps Di Canio should take his own advice. He may need to look around for a new job very soon.

1
Sep

Jozy Altidore’s absence creates cause for concern for US, Klinsmann

By Kyle McCarthy

The absence of Jozy Altidore from Sunderland’s 3-1 defeat at Crystal Palace on Saturday creates some cause for concern for United States coach Jurgen Klinsmann ahead of the upcoming qualifiers against Costa Rica and Mexico.

Sunderland announced Altidore missed the defeat at Selhurst Park with a hamstring injury on its official Twitter feed. The extent of the injury remains uncertain:

He is expected to link up with his American teammates in Miami and receive further evaluation by the U.S. medical staff, a U.S. Soccer spokesperson confirmed on Saturday.

Altidore’s importance to the side in recent months makes the diagnosis particularly influential. The former AZ striker has scored in each of his past five appearances, including a hat trick in the 4-3 victory at Bosnia-Herzegovina on Aug. 14. His recent form (he leads all scorers in the Hexagonal with three goals) and his status within the ranks leaves Klinsmann with a quandary if he is, for some reason, unable to feature.

Landon Donovan’s return to the ranks creates additional depth and flexibility in the attacking third, but Altidore plays a particularly vital role given his willingness to lead the line. Most of the players at Klinsmann’s disposal – including Donovan and captain Clint Dempsey – prefer to drift into dangerous areas from a variety of angles and operate in the space underneath a center forward. Altidore instead provides the touchstone required to allow other players to thrive. And there is no player in the current squad capable of replicating those exact contributions.

If Altidore cannot feature against Costa Rica or Klinsmann opts to hold him out to provide him with more recovery time (or sidestep a potential second booking), then the Americans must figure how to adapt without him.

There isn’t a simple answer to the quandary. Eddie Johnson probably presents the most natural swap – he isn’t a prototypical target player, but he does stave off defenders and surge behind the line – on a night when the Americans might have to soak up some pressure. Dempsey supplies the primary alternative given his dexterity and the potential opening created for Donovan, but a tethered position up front reduces his ability to influence the game in other ways. And Klinsmann – as evidenced by his willingness to deploy Johnson on the left side of midfield and use DaMarcus Beasley and Brad Evans at fullback – possesses the imagination to explore other options as well.

Klinsmann will certainly hope he does not have to pursue any of them. Altidore remains the firm first choice up front. But he will have to wait and see whether Altidore’s health will dispel any uncertainty in the coming days and permit him to take his usual place up front in San Jose on Friday night.

Images: Getty Images