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Preview Sunderland v Spurs, 10.11.02

Here is Brian Judson's preview of the game

See the full record below, and my additional comments here

Full Record of Spurs -v- Sunderland

Premier       Pl   W   D   L    For-Ag  Pts
Home           4   4   0   0     9 - 3  12
Away           4   3   0   1    10 - 5   9
Total(Prem)    8   7   0   1    19 - 8  21
Football Lge
Home (Div 1)  37  14  12  11    57 -45  42
Away (Div 1)  37   8  11  18    31 -60  29
Total(Div 1)  74  22  23  31    88-105  71
Football Lge
Home (Div 2)   1   0   0   1     2 - 3   0
Away (Div 2)   1   1   0   0     2 - 1   2
Total(Div 2)   2   1   0   1     4 - 4   2
Total(Prem)    8   7   0   1    19 - 8  21
Total(Div 1)  74  22  23  31    88 -105 71
Total(Div 2)   2   1   0   1     4 - 4   2
Grand Total   84  30  23  33   111-117  94

As you can see from the foregoing, we have won 12 out of 42 trips to the North East, which is just over one in every three games. This is quite a good record for our away travels, compared with (say) Liverpool or Manchester United.

Sunderland, of course, are not the team they once were. Their best days were pre WW1 when they won the League 5 times before the competition closed down in 1915. They have only won the championship once since then but, between the Wars, were always there or thereabouts in the final shake-up.

In the FA Cup, Sunderland have won the competition twice, in 1937 and 1973. In the latter Final, they were appearing whilst in the Second Division. Leeds were heavily backed to retain the FA Cup but were beaten by an Ian Porterfield goal in the first half and a double save by Montgomery, their goalkeeper, from Lorimer and Cherry. Only Newcastle United and Tottenham (twice) have won the FA Cup in successive seasons since WW2.

The nadir of Sunderland's fortunes was the single season they spent in the old Third Division in season 1987-88. They won the Championship after dropping as low as 12th position in the table. But once they gained their second wind, they stormed away with the championship.

With Newcastle United and Middlesbrough both riding high in the championship, Sunderland are desperate to survive in the Premiership. They recently sacked Peter Reid, their long serving manager, and appointed Howard Wilkinson as his replacement with Steve Cotterill as his assistant. I presume the idea is to groom Cotterill for the manager's job as he has no experience at this level. Wilkinson is not known as an imaginative coach.

All who follow our fortunes in the white and blue half of North London will have had hysterics over Arsenal's collapse against Sunderland the same night as we lost to Burnley. At least, we were away from home and had some excuse.

I have never travelled to Roker Park (Ed: They play at The Stadium of Light these days!)but remember very well the FA Cup tie we played against them in season 1994-95 when 2 goals, one a penalty, by Klinsmann, Mabbutt and Sheringham, gave us a 4-1 win on a raw Sunday afternoon. That was the year we went on to the Semi-Final and crashed to Everton ....

Most of my memories are of home games including the game on September 27th 1969 when Stevie Perryman made his debut in a game where Mike England headed an own goal. And, of course, our 3-2 home defeat in 1977-78 that so nearly blew us off course for promotion. It's the defeats rather than the victories that stick out in my mind because we should have won them both by a cricket score.

I have one other memory of Sunderland and that is of Geoff Hurst scoring six against them on 19th October 1968. Brooking scored a rare goal and Moore an even rarer goal against a very poor Sunderland side that was eventually finished 17th.

So to Sunday's match. Obviously, Sunderland will be feeling confident after beating the Gooners whilst we will probably be without key players. I think I'll be happy to settle for a point but if we play anything like our (reasonably) first choice team, I would hope we could nick the points with a very late strike.


Cheers, Brian

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