Sunderland F.C are yet to win a single game at home this season, whilst DEM BLADES are yet to pick up a point haway. Whatever the outcome, one of these records will be broken on Saturday.


Why the ‘Black Cats’?

When Sunderland moved to the Stadium of Light in 1997, they gave fans the chance to propose a new nickname. Twenty years ago in the Geordie heartland, the fax was rare and texting rarer, so fans emailed suggestions by post.

The image below is thought to be the entry which swayed the poll, made by an anonymous Sunderland fan, Smogzy aged 39. Touching the hearts, minds and dustbin within the Stadium of Light boardroom, it darkly depicts other football clubs (including DEM BLADES) in a mausoleum.

(Nicked from Roker Road, which offers a questionable and divergent account of the nickname origin story.)


Twenty years on the Black Cats are in the Championship. In Simon Grayson, they have a manager and that is a good start, unlike their opening five games: one win, two draws and two losses. Last time out the Black Cats’  match ended in 0-3 defeat by Barnsley.

Form (for those who didn’t trust their eyes a second ago)

The Black Cats’ previous match ended in 0-3 defeat by Barnsley. Not scoring against Barnsley is like going to your parents for Sunday Dinner to discover a roast is not on the menu. Losing to Barnsley is like going to your parents for Sunday Dinner and realising that a Friday-night frisson with MasterChef has inspired them to create a lapsang souchong-infused seafood crumble, with minted peas.

Let’s hope that DEM BLADES ensure that the Sunday dinner dining tables of Sunderland Geordie Mackems everywhere, are not achatter with self-congratulation. It’s a big opportunity for DEM BLADES and one, which I feel, requires a deliciously boring opening twenty minutes.


DEM BLADES haven’t taken three points from Sunderland since Paul Shaw scored this absolute ‘worldy’ or in common parlance, a world class goal (see 00:20). Andy Gray and Gary Breen were sent off in the 38th minute of that game, incidentally, by the 38th minute of the Black Cats’ previous match, they were 0-2 down to Barnsley.


New signings have arrived. Clayton, Donald’s son, has a goals-to-game ratio that striker-pervert and desperately-forward, Neil Warnock would relish: 0.36-per-game. Whilst I don’t expect fellow deadline-day signing, Ben Heneghan, to start, I do expect and hope that DEM BLADES fans will eventually deliver him the muppets-tune chant that he deserves (Ben-Heneghan-du-du-de-du-du, Ben-Heneghan-du-du-de-du).




Paul Coutts


In other news…

In a bizarre turn of events, DEM BLADES deadline-day target, Jerome Sinclair, has been convinced by his agent to work in the Watford ticket office throughout the next four months until the January transfer window opens. As an agency member of staff, Sinclair does not enjoy the same rights of many of his colleagues and, despite his protestations that the deadline-day bleacher documentary was not wholly representative, sometimes you just have to be sympathetic to those people who have, ironically, very little agency.


Poor Jerome.







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