View from the Opposition – Sunderland

A bit about you:

Name: Guy Riddell

Current home town:  Glossop (Peak District)

Birthplace: Durham

How long have you supported your team? Always been Sunderland, and never understood anyone not supporting their local team, just seems obvious to me, and it helps that we’ve always had local lads come through the ranks to give that sense of connection to the community.

Overview of your club:

Favourite thing about your home ground: To be honest I preferred Roker Park, because while modern grounds are safer and all fans get a good view, the old stadium had character and history running though it which you just don’t get at the new grounds.  That said the Stadium of Light is a cracking venue and great for visiting fans. There’s a new footbridge being built too, which will make it a much shorter trip to/from the ground from city centre pubs.

Favourite match played by your team & why: The one that stands out was when we beat Chelsea 4-1 in the PL back in Dec 99 – 2 goals for Niall Quinn & Kevin Phillips against at the time one of the top teams in the country.  Was a great time to support the club and full of optimism with the new millennium upon us.

Favourite player of all time who played for your club: Michael Gray.  I was a full back myself so watched Gray more closely than most of the team, outstanding & consistent performer who really deserved more than the handful of England caps he got.

About our forthcoming match against you:

Your favourite current player in your squad and why? Luke O’Nien – hard to believe he’s not from Sunderland, just so committed to the team and loves to get stuck in, my kind of player.

Player in your squad we should most fear and why? Jack Clarke – he’s likely to play in the Premier League next season if not sooner. Great direct attacking style and has started to be a consistent finisher too, growing in confidence and benefitting from the freedom Mowbray’s system allows him.

Player in our squad you most fear and why? Most of them to be honest, cracking team with players who clearly belong in the top division. If I had to pick one it would be Dewsbury-Hall, looks real quality.

Up and coming prospect in your squad? Jobe Bellingham – just turned 18 and already starting to show some glimpses of the raw, natural talent he shares with his big brother.  If he continues to improve and adds some consistency, there’ll be no stopping him.

Where do you think you’ll finish this season? Probably sneak into the play-offs and lose in the final.

How do you think you’ll do against us?  Can’t see us doing well this time. Leicester playing well and Sunderland inconsistent.  We are more dangerous away and can hurt teams on the counter-attack but I’d probably go for a City win with us giving you a scare or two along the way.

Any other comments? Just to say how much I enjoyed you winning the Premier League, just gives a glimmer of hope for other teams – and lets face it, most of the time hope is what keeps us going.

(Note from the Foxes Trust – Guy stands alongside Steve Cram as a notable runner and fan of the Black Cats – we are grateful to him for providing this immediately after completing a 50 mile training run for charity)