Jump to content

Forget the Far East: why not try moving to the North East


Guest sicko2ndbest
 Share

Recommended Posts

Guest sicko2ndbest

Forget the Far East: why not try moving to the North East

 

Daily Mail

Last updated at 9:06 PM on 24th July 2008

 

 

Younes Kaboul's agent caused quite a stir in my Durham local last weekend. Rudy Raba has presumably never been to Sunderland and he would be well advised to keep it that way, judging by his outrageous slight on the city as he addressed the prospect of his client moving to Wearside for £8million.

 

 

'Younes wouldn't join Sunderland even if there was an earthquake,' said Raba, speaking from the safety of France. 'We have more interesting options than Sunderland. Don't even think about it.'

 

How wrong he was. Roy Keane is sensible enough to know that Raba's comments, while unhelpful, can be easily ignored. The Sunderland manager didn't trust agents enough to have one throughout his playing career and he certainly doesn't see the need for them now.

 

 

However, Raba's observations were greeted with delight and some amusement by Newcastle supporters among our group on Sunday.

 

 

One could hardly contain his glee. 'I don't know what the problem is,' he said. 'Sunderland is the only place I know which would improve after an earthquake!'

 

 

Kaboul duly put on his hard hat and travelled up to Sunderland on Saturday morning along with daring Tottenham team-mates Pascal Chimbonda, Steed Malbranque and Teemu Tainio to meet Keane.

 

 

As it turned out, they were so impressed with what he had to offer that by Thursday night only Malbranque's future was in doubt, with Kaboul, Tainio and Chimbonda all at varying stages of a move to Sunderland.

 

 

Which begs the question: what were they expecting to find? If it was a town and a club still in the dark ages they will have been disappointed.

 

 

Less than a decade ago, when Peter Reid was trying to build on two successive seventh place finishes in the Premier League, Sunderland were still training at the windswept Charlie Hurley Centre near the coast, changing in cabins and playing indoor head tennis in a tiny wooden hut.

 

 

The club may still be struggling to provide an indoor gym, due to planning restrictions, but the rest of the facilities at the Academy of Light are among the best in the League and therefore Europe.

 

 

Like Middlesbrough and Newcastle, Sunderland did their homework across the Continent before building their training ground and now their manager and chairman can present a picture of professionalism and top-flight football at the Stadium of Light to excite any player.

 

 

The previous Sunderland board were reluctant to disrupt a strict wage structure to attract bigger names. But with the club's new Irish owners and Niall Quinn in charge, they can offer big wages. The onus is now on Keane to persuade his targets to move to his club.

 

 

He certainly ticks all the right boxes as a forward-thinking young manager willing to provide everything for his players. Like Newcastle boss Kevin Keegan and Boro's Gareth Southgate, he has a player's respect before they have even shaken hands.

 

 

But, as Keane lamented last year, that counts for little in the eyes of the WAGs. 'We had a player who didn't even ring us back because his wife wanted to move to London,' he said. 'And, yes, shopping was mentioned.

 

 

'If a player decides he doesn't want to come because his wife wants to go shopping in London then it's a sad state of affairs. It tells me the player is weak and his wife runs his life.

 

 

'Your football has to be your priority and you don't have to live in London or Monaco to be happy. You don't need to be surrounded by expensive shops or fancy cafes.'

 

 

While there is no doubt the area lacks the bright lights of the capital, surely the same could be said of Manchester, Liverpool or Birmingham. And for those who buy the old line that it's a smoggy industrial jungle inhabited by neanderthals, they are forgetting one thing. Joey Barton won't be getting out for a few weeks yet.

 

 

In fact the WAGs couldn't have been more wrong in the assumption that there are no boutiques up here. Sportsmail visited some in the wake of Keane's outburst and the majority are still thriving a year later despite the credit crunch.

 

 

And with a failing housing market, it will be no surprise to hear that the North East still represents terrific value. For the price of a bijou broom cupboard in central London, you could buy half of the East Durham coast, complete with your own beach and lifeguard.

 

 

That is what Middlesbrough players have done for years. The likes of Fabrizio Ravanelli, Juninho and Paul Merson may have only visited the town on match day, but they fell in love with the North Yorkshire countryside south of the town.

 

 

The hidden gems of the Cleveland Hills are not the only unexpected attractions on the doorstep. Durham is a popular destination for footballing househunters, just as north Newcastle and Northumberland are a magnet for tourists and the game's millionaires.

 

 

It may have seemed more like a morgue in recent times, with Newcastle, Middlesbrough and Sunderland winning just two major trophies between them in 35 years. But the area still prides itself on the 'hotbed of football' reputation with the clubs pulling in more than 100,000 season ticket holders.

 

 

Just imagine the noise if they had something to really shout about. Earthquake wouldn't begin to cover it. And if Kaboul and his Tottenham buddies are prepared to give it a chance, they might just find out

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sunderand town centre is still a shithole though, in fact most of that wearside area around the 'city' is. Durham is in contrast a beautiful city and Newcastle of course has a huge amount to offer. It's a shame about the weather because on a nice day Northumberland is simply spectactular.

 

The sad part for the dirty mackems is that selling the area is very easy as long as they don't take them into Sunderland :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

sunderland is an absolute hole man, any way you look at it.  Obviously the reason the 4 spuds went there was 'cos they can offer a big paddling pool, which god's city can't.

 

and while I'm on, coming from Chester-le-Street, I'm fucking sick of mackems telling me that I'm in sunderland.  Am I fuck?  Do I give a shit about town boundaries from about 200 years ago?  I apply for my student loan from DURHAM county council. not sunderland town (apparantly city) council.

Link to post
Share on other sites

If throwing money at players is how they convince them to go to Sunderland then that's up to them. They don't have to live anywhere near Sunderland city itself tbh.

 

We've paid way over the odds for ordinary players in the past so we aren't really in a position to have a pop now. Whether they'll be a success and be 'value for money' is another matter entirely.

Link to post
Share on other sites

It's ironic that they are doing this now yet absolutely slated us for it, but totally ignore the fact they are doing it now. f***ing piss kidneys the lot of them.

:clap:

 

told a mackem I'd read that they were tripling Tainio's wages and he said "so?"

 

The same one that has spent the past 3 years obsessing that we pay Owen 80/100/120* grand a week

 

 

 

* delete as to what figure you actually believe.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Guest Heneage

I've heard mixed responses some are for it if it puts them on par with us.

 

Others are blind and still call us "THICK MAGS".

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been to Sunderland and it's a small, drab place which feels like it has nothing going on. No kind of buzz at all.

 

Liverpool, Manc and Birmingham feel like big cities and have lots of good architecture, shops, restaurants, clubs, things to do etc. They might not be London but they're still a world away from Sunderland.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Guest Jawesome

I've been to Sunderland and it's a small, drab place which feels like it has nothing going on. No kind of buzz at all.

 

Liverpool, Manc and Birmingham feel like big cities and have lots of good architecture, shops, restaurants, clubs, things to do etc. They might not be London but they're still a world away from Sunderland.

 

This.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The mackems' management aren't daft.  They'll have taken these gormless players to the toon and told them it's Sunderland.

 

"So this is Sunderland?"

 

"Aye, aye, it's Sunlan, aye.  Just a quick look round and off to the ground to sign the contract."

 

"Is nice.  But why so many Noocarsel fans here in Sunderland?"

 

"Whey, Newcastle's a shithole man, they all come here for their shopping.  Right let's get off then"

Link to post
Share on other sites

sunderland has quite possibly the worst city centre i've ever been to

 

can think of worse town centres i've been to but not many city centres...still sunderlands a fucking town when alls said and done ain't it?

 

and yeah, it's horrific

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been to Sunderland and it's a small, drab place which feels like it has nothing going on. No kind of buzz at all.

 

Liverpool, Manc and Birmingham feel like big cities and have lots of good architecture, shops, restaurants, clubs, things to do etc. They might not be London but they're still a world away from Sunderland.

 

The thing is though, they don't have to go anywhere near Sunderland except for training and on matchdays. Arca & Yorke off the top of my head just commuted from Newcastle Quayside.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd been to Sunderland cricket club a few weeks ago and had to walk through the city centre to get a bus replacement home. Probably one of the worst cities i've ever been in, smack heads all over walking up to random people offering them a fight. People slumped on the streets in Sunderland shirts  :lol: You were scared to look at anyone

Link to post
Share on other sites

Guest Stephen927

It's ironic that they are doing this now yet absolutely slated us for it, but totally ignore the fact they are doing it now. f***ing piss kidneys the lot of them.

 

Agreed.

 

 

Don't think its hard to think of the reasons why Tainio et al want large wage packets to play for them.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd been to Sunderland cricket club a few weeks ago and had to walk through the city centre to get a bus replacement home. Probably one of the worst cities i've ever been in, smack heads all over walking up to random people offering them a fight. People slumped on the streets in Sunderland shirts  :lol: You were scared to look at anyone

 

Had the misfortune of going out down there last night. Got dragged into a place called Porterfield's Bar...which is a sh*t version of Shearer's. Did find it amusing however that the walls in the toilets in there are tiled black & white. :lol:

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd been to Sunderland cricket club a few weeks ago and had to walk through the city centre to get a bus replacement home. Probably one of the worst cities i've ever been in, smack heads all over walking up to random people offering them a fight. People slumped on the streets in Sunderland shirts  :lol: You were scared to look at anyone

 

Gateshead town centre's not much better like. ;)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...