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The Sunderland pitch is tilted and gives an unfair advantage

By Billy the Dog McGraw

This weekend Arsenal play away to Sunderland – the smallest village to have a team in the Premier League.  Beer is 1/3 a pint.

The Sunderland web site currently carries an article called “Behind Enemy Lines” which features an illustration of barbed wire in what appears to be a prisoner of war camp.  It is a good warning of just what life is like in the north, and what visiting fans can expect.  In keeping with this image there is a piece by a guy at the Chelsea supporting Evening Standard – which is a bit underhand really.  Beer in the region costs 7d a pint and the local concern is about the introduction of income tax to the area for the first time.

Sunderland have tried to steal a march on us by having a number of players injured for the game including Turner, Campbell (not that one), Meyler and Gordon, but as we know we are always ahead on the injury front with everyone injured all the time.  So, good try lads, but we’re ahead of you.

On their web site they have a bit called The Managers View, and to see the Managers View you have to click on a link – but unfortunately it didn’t work on the half dozen times I tried it.   But I have to say I have always thought S Bruce Esq a decent enough sort of cove, although this is probably mostly because a) he wrote some very silly fiction that was even worse than mine and b) because I once saw him sharing a joke with Van Persie with both of them subsequently roaring with laughter.

Anyway, on to the vital bit.  Beet is 1d per pint.  Here’s how to get there.

Sunderland is in the north, so shouldn’t be too hard to find although if you get lost the following might help.

The part of the country wherein Sunderland plays is known as one in which the inhabitants have a great sense of humour.  Indeed one of their biggest wheezes has been the invention of the story that there is a railway station in the village – thus leading to many thousand away supporters ending up in Newcastle.  Since Newcastle supporters deny that Sunderland actually exists this away fans are never able to find the stadium and end up spending the night with what the previous owner called a pack of dogs.   Upon returning south there is strict quarantine in place, so it is good to book in a couple of extra weeks off work.

The local foie gras is said to be rather tasty.

The stadium itself is in the centre of Sunderland village, and is known as the Stadium of Light, not (as the local press office would have you believe, because it has floodlights – that would be too silly) but because it is built on a gravitational anomaly.

This anomaly has resulted in the ground having a tendency to float upwards due to the interaction of an electromagnetic field (which houses a number of radiating cows) with the metal used to construct the stadium.  The stadium is in fact held down by a set of pulleys and levers which can be clearly seen from the outside of the ground, and there have been many complaints from visiting teams that the ground is deliberately tilted to give an advantage to the home side.  Many a supporter has left at half time feeling sea sick.  Beer is 5d a pint.

Sunderland itself is set underneath the river Sund, and there have been attempts to build ships in the area.  These have been used mostly to attack Norway and bring back oil for the local factories which make jute.  Unfortunately no one quite knows what jute is, or what it is used for, and so the local economy has in recent years ground to a halt.

The most famous inhabitant of the area of Lord Roker, an invertebrate gambler who once bet his entire fortune on Sunderland winning the league.  He was so distressed that they didn’t that he subsequently bribed the publishers of various footballing magazines to change their record of past winners, and the changes remain in situ to this day.

So far les chats preseque noir have drawn with Birmingham and Wigan, beaten Colchester and Man Arab, and lost to West Bromwich Wobbleyou.  They get about 38,000 for home games so it is best not to gather in large numbers in case the locals get frightened.

The Arsenal team will be

Almunia

Sagna, Vermaelen, Kos, Clichy

Song Wilshere Nasri Fabregas Denilson

Charmakh Arshavin Rosicky Vela

You may notice a certain problem with this line up in that it actually includes too many players, mostly because my focus has gone what with beer being 2d a pint.  I am hoping that due to the gravitational anomaly it is hoped that the ref won’t notice, and I have asked Walter not to point it out.

The match is on ESPN which means that the studio will be packed with ex Sunderland players and much of the game will have the cameras focussed on gentlemen of the older variety who played for the club in the 19th century.

The club is currently 10th in the table, above the mighty Tiny Totts, and superior to the RBS Bank club, having scored five and let in four (which is careless).

I predict we will win this one, unless of course it is a draw or we lose.  Beer is 3d a pint.  Do you know I predicted we would beat Braga 5-1.  Not bad eh?  This one we will ease up a little and win 3-1.  Goals by Charmakh, Arshavin, Rosicky and Vela

Arsenal/Braga, the Untold ref Walter Broeckx analysis of the ref’s performance

Wenger: has he done it again.  Walter Broeckx considers our defence after the Braga game.

Isn’t Carlos Vela a bit too old to be playing for Arsenal. Tony Attwood at the match

Have we really improved? An early comparison between seasons

Can Arsenal win the league with Almunia in goal

The comparison: If injuries are bad now, was it much better in the past?  90 years ago our keeper had to play at left back with a damaged wrist.  40,000 turned up to watch.

26 comments to The Sunderland pitch is tilted and gives an unfair advantage

  • t00farg0ne

    It’s a shame our game against sunderland falls during Cattermole’s suspension. If he’d been playing it would have been a perfect opportunity for us to play against 10-men for the 4th time this season.

  • kiwigooner

    Many, many years ago, the locals, known as the Sundered, learned to count. I use the term ‘many’ advisedly as numbers up to ‘many’ were counted off on the fingers, hence any number above 12 is considered by the Sundered as many.
    Inbreeding aside, the Sundered planted field upon field of Jute as it was the only plant that would thrive in the waterlogged, acidic soil of those parts.
    Jute has many uses as it is a fibrous plant and can be made into rope and string. The more canny local lads wove this fibre into cloth and the famous ‘sack’ shirt was born. Often given to the unfortunate manager of their leg-break team.
    The Sundered local leg-break team also uses this sackcloth in their kit, Shirt, shorts and smalls. This explains their constant state of discomfort and goes a long way to determine their poor attitude and general outlook of misery and discomfort.
    Jute is often mistaken for cannabis and consequently the aforementioned miserable outlook is magnified as the locals smoke themselves into oblivion seeking that chemical high.
    Unfortunately Jute has no hallucinogenic properties whatsoever adding to the already increasing burden of misery the locals have to bear, adding to their already aggressive tendencies.
    The local sport of ferret interfering has now been outlawed; leg-breaking is now the only pastime available to the great unwashed masses.
    Subsequently it is worthy of note they are not a dirty team of leg-breakers, they are genetically predisposed to this behaviour, you might say they have Leg-break DNA, as Sundered means to (v.tr ‘to break apart’).
    Yours Justin BURLAP

    Sundered Jute Admiration Society.

  • Wrenny

    It might also have been an opportunity for Cattermole to nobble one more of our players, his suspension is a blessing in my view. You can be sure he would be letting Cesc and Wilshere know “he’s there” in the style of Kevin Davies.

    This is another tough away game. We went there last season without RVP, Bendtner and Diaby, had very little presence up front and couldn’t hold the ball up, and lost 1-0. Funnily enough, we have those three missing once again! But with Chamakh we should have no such problems keeping possession higher up the pitch.

    I’ll be very happy with a scrappy 2-1, same as we got at Blackburn.

  • A Casual Observer

    I don’t like this fixture at all – the very high profile win mid-week will put the burden of ‘mug money’ firmly on our backs – added to this we are playing the last game of the day (otherwise known as the multiple breaker)… so we best hope that Man-U and/or Chelsea don’t win their games and the tilt of the pitch eases somewhat.

    Ref: Phil Dowd
    Lino’s: S Long and D Mohareb
    4th Official: Martin Atkinson

    Some would say that Phil likes it physical and Martin likes wedges of rubles – but they are all rather cynical types.

    If you were to ask me then I would say we have the quality and pluck to put this one out of reach and get all 3 points.

  • IMRAN GOONER cape town

    Q) Whats the difference between a Mackem lass and a Kitkat….

    A) Kitkat’s can only manage four fingers

  • Paul C.

    I have heard that the setting sun, and the rising moon, put a gravititational effect on the Sunderland pitch that tends to correct its tilting by up to 84% on sunny days, 58% on overcast days, and 35% on rainy days.

    Tony – is there any truth to this? And if so, what is the weather forecast for Saturday?

  • Good to be a GOONAH!!

    Fat Sam has lost his mind!!!

    “I’m not suited to Bolton or Blackburn, I would be more suited to Inter or Real Madrid,” Allardyce said. “It wouldn’t be a problem to me to go and manage those clubs because I would win the double or the league every time. Give me Manchester United or Chelsea and I would do the same, it wouldn’t be a problem. It’s not where I’m suited to, it’s just where I’ve been for most of the time.

  • rusty

    I thought Vermaelen wasn’t coming back until next week? Might be more Squillaci

  • A Casual Observer

    If fat sam said that I’ll eat my hat… oh – hang on, someone seems to have hacked google…

    ..Anyone got any hat sauce?

  • Paul C you are 100%. The weather forecast is brilliant sunshine throughout with regular drizzle.

  • Paul C.

    Wow, actually some sunshine forecast? So it isnt always grim up north?

  • Lmao Great post, if you haven’t seen our site yet check out LiveSportBars.Tv to find a local boozer showing the Arsenal. Cheers

  • A Casual Observer

    It’s all relative Paul – that far up north the sun is at such a low angle that it shines from the horizon i.e. under the rain clouds.. sunny days are only forcast on the rare occasions that the smog abates.

  • Telegraph’s team is

    Arsenal (Possible, 4-3-3):
    Almunia;
    Sagna, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Clichy;
    Song,
    Wilshere, Fabregas;
    Rosicky, Chamakh, Arshavin.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/competitions/premier-league/7943388/Sunderland-v-Arsenal-match-preview.html

    Plus an interesting bit on Allerdyce in which it looks like they are quoting Wenger, and then actually it turns out to be the slug

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/arsenal/8007792/Sam-Allardyces-anti-Wenger-rant-may-have-some-truth-but-I-know-who-Id-rather-watch.html

  • Rash

    Cattermole is a cunt. Period.

    The game against Sunderland will be a true test of our squad depth and quality to play under physical pressure and tiredness will kick in.

    Arsene should rotate a few players and winning he game is a MUST.
    Come on boys! Bolton + Blackburn down, Sunderland next and show the world we can win it physically 🙂

    I’ll go for 2-1 Arsenal win 🙂

  • Kiwi

    The local sport of ferret interfering has now been outlawed;

    Now that is something I really must tell Billy about when he wakes up. I think a solid piece of investigative journalism by The Dog is called for urgently.

  • Terence McGovern

    Not the easiest of games really. Cattermole being out should save us an injury or two. Pennant is gone so their dive potential is reduced.
    I would expect a physical game from them but in fairness to the man, Steve Bruce has footballing ambitions for his team so for the kost part they will try to pass and move.
    Darren Bent is a very dangerous if sometimes misfiring player and will need some constant shepherding.
    Overall 50% of what we showed Braga will do the job but we cannot take this game lightly.
    Thankfully the players also realise this from their recent comments.
    Fingers crossed and bring them on.

  • GOOONER

    Get the crossess in for Cham the man and we will be ok i reckon. The two boys at the back look so much more confident. Good defensive purchases at last. Found this site earlier that shows you whenever anything arsenal is on tv, even if Asharvin is on Question of Sport (which he was haha) heres the link

    http://www.locatetv.com/person/arsenal/351006

  • Score early and often, so the Mackems can’t do what they usually do, which is park the bus and hope that Darren Bent gets lucky. Those are the keys to victory, and if the Mackems ask, “Wheese keys are these?” we can tell them they are Arsenal’s keys, and we’re gonna lock up the title this season.

  • Ronnie Brown

    Sam Allardyce isn’t fit to speak Wenger’s name, not actually sure what his problem is or why he’s even talking…..

    Owen Coyle is a fool too, Arsene has consistently said Bolton are a good team, he just critised that tackle on Diaby which quite frankly I would of been disapointed if Arsene hadn’t of mentioned it, as many people said it could of been a 6 month to a year injury.

    Saw some of the Q&A too and it was a little disapointing seeing somebody who loves the club and works tirelessly for us kind of hounded like that, was a bit to constant…. I hope Arsene knows there are fans there that truly appreciate him and what he is doing too.

  • Aussie Jack

    My best and only memory of Sunderland was catching the train back to London in the early 1960`s.As a youngster I was used to playing on tilted grounds, infact I can`t remember one that wasn`t. I take it both teams are playing on the same pitch with the same ball? This being the case I don`t see it being a problem just expect a little ariel stuff from the home side when playing down hill.

  • RedGooner

    I remember 73 sunderland and leeds in the cup final a lots changed since then.
    If you think Alderdyce and Coyle are moaners wait till you see Pullis jumping on the band wagon today.
    I think they must have all got together and planned it maybe they can get Mick McCarthy to jump on the bandwagon next as his players are breaking legs also.

  • goonergerry

    This will be one tough game-we have not won in 9 of the last 12 visits to the North East and Sunderland have the kind of tall strikers who can damage us-We are going to have to defend well in the penalty box to get anything. Will be interesting to see who Arsene starts in midfield for us Wilshere ahead of Denilson or Rosicky? who should be rested and Nasri who has seldom played really well in 2 games so close together. If we can pass and finish as well as we did against Braga we should get a win this time.

  • AnonymousGun

    If we cant win with 14 players on the pitch .. I dont know what to say XD

  • Common Sensei

    I cannot even believe that NOBODY has used the term ‘Stadium Of Shite’ to describe their hallowed greenery.

    Put some effort in!! If they are going to be out breaing legs we need to at least make them feel bad about it 🙂

    Luckily for their paltry 38k strong crowd they may just have a few extra supporters; as I seem to remember some less well educated ‘fans’ saying how they don’t want beautiful football they want RESULTS (northern accent please). Lol and LOOOOL

  • Phil’s more complete analysis is now up on the site.