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VIEW FROM THE ENEMY: Sunderland Fan On Keano, Our Ticket Allocation and Evans

The best part of the season is upon us, squeaky bum time, with United needing to pick up all three points away to Sunderland on Sunday. The Liverpool Chelsea game will finish 45 minutes before our kick-off and the implications of what this weekend could mean to our season are massive.

Collin Randal from the popular Mackem blog, Salut! Sunderland, has take a few minutes out to answer some questions ahead of the big game.

Scott the Red: Sunderland are currently six places higher than where they finished last season. Which player has been your best in helping you achieve that?

Colin Randall: Simply no contest. Without Darren Bent’s goals we’d be in trouble. No opponents, however grand, can rely on him not to score and to say, as some do, that he has no game beyond scoring goals is to overlook the function of the striker.

STR: Well, he’s in for a good shout of the golden boot, particularly given that both Wayne Rooney and Didier Drogba might not play again this season. He’s already doubled his league goal tally of last season so some might see his form as a surprise, but which player has surprised you most this season?

CR: Spending a lot of my time in France, I worried about John Mensah, having followed his unpromising progress at Lyon. But when he’s played, he’s been a rock. If only he could remain fit, he’d be one of the best centre backs in the Premier League.

STR: One of your players has been in the news a bit following the injury to Shay Given. Are you happy for Fulop, who said it would be an “honour” to play for a club with “such a great history”, to join City on loan for the last two games?

CR: Yes. He makes utterly crucial saves but is now some way behind Craig Gordon – who we really must keep – and cannot be blamed for wanting to try his luck at a smaller club with pots more money.

STR: On the contrary, City are a massive club. They’re not in the top four but Kenwyne Jones is certainly looking for a move up. Is he good enough for the best clubs in the league?

CR: I value Kenwyne. But to me, is finishing is too poor, too often for him to expect to play regularly at top four level. Steve Bruce is right. On his day, he’s worth £20m. On too many other days, he seems lazy and incompetent.

STR: What did you make of Hutton’s red card?

CR: Technically comprehensible, I suppose, and he could not have complained about a yellow. But it meant a silly gesture was regarded as being on a par with a full-blown assault; I’d say the one-match ban therefore shows a bit of belated common sense.

STR: What do you hope to achieve next season?

CR: We cannot finish higher than 9th, lower than 13th, this season. The realist in me would settle for an improvement on ninth next season.

STR: Now on to your United links. Given how many former United players have been at your club recently – Keano, Yorke, Cole, Bruce, Richardson, Bardsley and Campbell to name but a few, do you feel any connection to United?

CR: I’ve always quite liked United. Old enough to remember my mother breaking news of Munich to me as a kid, mature enough to recognise quality and appreciate great football from a team that isn’t mine. But no, I don’t feel a special connection and am just furious with you for not letting us have Jonny Evans back.

STR: Having bought so many former reds, if you could have any of our current squad, apart from the obvious Rooney, who would you go for?

CR: Jonny Evans but often, in the last two or three years, I’ve harboured hopes that Giggs or Scholes might suddenly regard Wearside as a decent place to end their careers.

STR: Sorry, they’re one club men, although they are an interesting choice. They have been central to all our success over recent years, with Roy Keane as their captain. What do you think of Keano?

CR: No one can take from him the achievement of turning a demoralised team that had lost its first four games in the Championship into champions. Despite having money to spend, he couldn’t then cut it as a Premier League manager. And his dark side grew darker. But I remain grateful for the good things he did and am delighted that he managed to salvage Ipswich’s season.

STR: Has Bruce done a good job?

CR: A qualified yes. I overcame tribal misgivings and welcomed the appointment. He had money to spend and some of his purchases have proved spot on. Then the long, winless run made us look good candidates for relegation. But if we blame him for that, as I do, then we have to applaud him for the revival that has given us a good chance of a top 10 finish. I’d stick with him.

STR: Whilst I expect Bruce to be a total professional, I’m sure it won’t break his heart to see us win knowing that it could help us win the league. However, only 1,000 or so United fans (officially!) would join him in seeing the win. What do you make of the decision to restrict our tickets?

CR: Salut! Sunderland is split on this. Pete Sixsmith, who reports on just about every match, thinks your fans have brought it on themselves. I disagree and have written twice at the site, and once at yours, in opposition to what I regard as a petty, unnecessary and potentially counter-productive decision. Pete argues that our travelling fans stand only at grounds where it is permitted, but I have to say I am not so sure.

STR: United could almost wrap up the title this weekend if we beat you and Liverpool take any points off Chelsea, although that puts the scousers in quite a predicament. Would you want Sunderland to win their last home game of the season even if it meant Newcastle winning the league?

CR: Thing is, I always want Sunderland to win and that desire would always triumph over my dismay that it would help Newcastle gain promotion, avoid relegation or – not very unlikely – win a trophy.

STR: Who do you want to win the league?

CR: Heart would say United but head knows Chelsea have done more to deserve it.

STR: And finally, what are your predictions for the game?

CR: The last time I saw us beat you, we were relegated. We can’t go down now so a carefree 2-1 would be sublime, even though I fear the worst as usual.

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

View all posts by Scott »



  1. stretfordender says:

    As always with these type of articles, an enjoyable read.

  2. Mic says:

    Seems a top guy, straight to the point, no beating around the bush, let’s hope he’s wrong and Chelsea slip up and we take advantage.

  3. FloridaManc says:

    “I’m pretty sure they have wiped me from their history and I have wiped them from mine, so I have no interest whatsoever,” he blasted.

    What the hell is going on with Keano?? Does he not realise we still sing his name at the matches?? He’s obviously holding alot of resentment about his last days at the club.

  4. Mic says:

    FloridaManc, 2 things, one, jealous you’re in Florida! Must be ace. Second, I agree! I fucking loved Keane and still do, he’s a legend, his play, his bust ups, everything, he’ll never disappear, yet there he’s saying shit like that, breaks my heart to hear him say shit like that ‘cuz we all love him.

  5. REDEDGE says:

    @ Mic – couldnt agree with you more. Was going to post on the Keane comments myself. I really dont understand why he would even feel the need to say those things. Perhaps its a way of maintaining his ‘bad man’ image, or trying to highlight how he is only focussed on Ipswich at the moment, either way its extremely disappointing hearing a Legend talk about his time with us like that.

  6. Costas says:

    I love Keano to death, but if he doesn’t stop being so bitter, he will be miserable for the rest of his life. No matter what happened between him and Fergie, comparing his time at United to the time he had at his other clubs, is petty.

  7. GTull says:

    That’s the funny thing about Roy, he tends to say things for the sake of being controversial.

    Sometimes I think the media act on it as they know he’ll say something thats worth printing.

    The guy’s a legend but there’s no doubt he’s a weirdo too.

  8. Fred says:

    Fair play to the Mackem lads. Wanna give a shout out to the “Ready To Go” forums too, the best rival forum I’ve been on. Seem to be a decent bunch, not like the deluded mongs on Blue Moon and RAWK.

  9. Muggaz says:

    Spot on GTull. As much as I love Keano for what he did, the man is an utter c’unt – but if truth be told, that is one of the reasons I love him! He honestly doesn’t care what people think, ever the fans that love him most, and in a superficial world, that is an admirable quality.

    I loved it when he told the Irish they were pathetic for complaining about Henry’s handball, and that they should have won the game in the first 90 minutes! Classic Keano.

  10. willierednut says:

    So we all loved Keane, when he spoke his mind, while still at the club. Did you think he was gonna change when the left the club. As Muggaz said, thats we loved him, he tells as it is and we all loved him for it.

  11. Che Guevarist says:

    Off topic:
    Ok lads I have a question. You know how now, since 2005, the rules have changed so that if an English club outside the top 4 win the Champions league, the club in 4th spot does not qualify for the CL the following season?

    How about in Europa League? If Fulham do win the trophy this year, I guess they’ll qualify automatically for next year’s competition, so does that mean UEFA will not offer a qualification spot to the 7th ranked club (aka Liverpool)? Just wondering about that. I would think that just as in the Cl, a certain country cannot have more than a certain number of reps. If it’s the case, then Liverpool have actually a lot to play for against the Rent Boys.

  12. parryheid says:

    good read.Its not Bent that worries me on Sunday its their goalkeeper Gordon he will take some beating and that’s why Arsenal have their eyes on him.I would hate to go into this game with an advantage over Chelsea worrying if the team has had enough time to adapt to our new Main man system.

  13. NotoriousRedDevil says:

    I just think Keane is getting fed up on constantly being asked about United all the time, hes trying to win those muppets from Ipswich over which is fair enough. The thing is he was our most successful Captain ever and should only be asked United questions rarely not every week as is happening at the moment.

  14. willierednut says:

    The FSW complaining about the fixtures, yawn.

  15. NotoriousRedDevil says:

    I’d gladly play first if it meant dippers were going to try vs chelski, but they won’t either way. He’s making excuses already and the game hasn’t even kicked off let alone finished.

  16. willierednut says:

    NRD – Thats what it sounds like, excuses already. Of course, it’s nothing to do with his bad management.

  17. Costas says:

    Well, for this one, the FSW has a valid point. Why can’t they play on Monday? Or even Tuesday next week?

  18. willierednut says:

    Costas – Are you backing up the FSW? You’re not a real United fan lol.

  19. Costas says:


    Don’t test me! :D What can you do though? We are depending on him!

    I don’t feel too sorry for him. We were in their position when they came to OT and won 4-1. He didn’t mind then. The truth is that unless Sky stop interfering with the fixture schedule, teams are going to get fucked over all the time.

  20. asite says:

    roy was a fantastic player back then at utd, but y the bitter talks?

  21. willierednut says:

    Costas – I don’t mind them getting fooked over lol. On the game, I’m relaxed about Sunday. Even if Chelsea win, we’ve still got to do our job and get the 3 points. If we don’t over – take the dippers this season, we’ll do it next season.

  22. King Eric says:

    Actually agree with the fat waiter. It is a fucking outrage playing a potential title decider barely 2 days after a European Semi. Lunchtime as well.

  23. willierednut says:

    Didn’t hear SAF complaining about United having 5 tough away games after champions league midweek games, just excuses from Wafa.

  24. Tony Starks says:

    the further you get in Europe the more it harms your chances domestically… seems totally unfair but there is nothing anyone can do about it…

  25. redscot says:

    Great one on one interview,I like these a lot interesting to note how Collin regards Jonny Evans as the player he wishes most at his club.

  26. Fze123 says:

    I can understand why Keano made that comment. Why should he harp on about Utd if his job is not secure at Ipswich. Honestly, I don’t blame him for not caring about who wins the title – why should he? What Keano said was harsh considering we used to worship him when he was ours but no matter what he says, I’ll never forget his great service to the club, even though he is a bitter cunt. He will always be a legend.

    Enjoyed this article. An OG from Rio’s brother would be nice, especially if it wins us the game.

  27. Costas says:

    I don’t hold out much hope for a Wigan favour, but I think we must take it to the final way. Martinez today talked about his side playing a role in the title race. So I don’t think they will approach that game like Stoke did.

  28. willierednut says:

    Costas – I don’t think Wigan will do anything against Chelsea mate, there shocking at the back.

  29. giggs11gerrard0 says:

    I have just read Keano’s supposed comments in the Mirror! With it being the mirror I cant believe this to be true as this is the biggest ABU rag out there!

    I have heard Keano talk about United on many occasions and he has always had just positives to say about United.

    I was coaching out in LA in 2003 when United played Club America from Mexico, my boys won a tournament and got to watch United train and meet them! Keano was a top guy that day and spoke to my boys and signed all the shirts!

    I would give anything to go back in time and have Keano back at Old Trafford running through Viera, Shearer, Haaland!!!!!

    I will never forget watching Keano in 1999 in Turin, he was the catalyst for the European cup.

  30. Costas says:


    They are. What I am counting on is that Wigan will play without any nerves whereas Chelsea will have plenty of them. Plus, you become famous if you stop a team from winning the league. Wets Ham for example.

    That being said, I’d much rather depend on the dippers.

  31. willierednut says:

    I have to say, wouldn’t it be funny if the rentboys, after beating Liverpoo, blew it against Wigan.

  32. Costas says:

    Yeah it would be funny and disastrous for them. But, it would be equally disastrous if Chelsea dropped points on Sunday and we didn’t beat Sunderland.

  33. King Eric says:

    willirednut – They were outstanding at the back against the dippers at the JJB. Coldwell and Bramble were top drawer that night.

  34. willierednut says:

    King Eric – That was Liverpoo though lol.

  35. King Eric says:

    willirednut – Very true my friend.

  36. NotoriousRedDevil says:

    Also it was at the JJB can’t see Wigan bringing more than 120 fans to chelski.

  37. vidic will get ya 15 says:

    1000? i feel honoured, just got a new phone al post sme pictures on your wall scott.

  38. salut says:

    Freudian slip. this reply should have read …

    CR: Thing is, I always want Sunderland to win and that desire would always triumph over my dismay that it would help Newcastle gain promotion, avoid relegation or – not very likely – win a trophy.


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