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Andy’s Blues Blog



Our Blues blogger Andy Munro goes hobnobbing with the match sponsors and meets up with new members of the Blues board. There’s even a pre-match chat with Big Eck.

Much as I like my spot in the middle of the Tilton, an invite from BRMB (not from Tom Ross I hasten to add) to be one of their guests at the Sunderland match was too much for me to resist.

In traditional boardroom footie style,there was a dress code of ‘no jeans or trainers,’ I suppose it was a bit ‘Broad Street’ but I arrived suitably suited and booted at the Jasper Carrott Suite which was adorned predictably with a picture of Jasper from his ‘Funky Moped’ era.

First off was an excellent tour of the ground with the usual references to the gypsies’ curse, the history of the ground through to the more contemporary Melberg spot where his legendary throw took place.

I had my photo taken in the dugout ‘doing a McLeish’, and we also had a tour of the dressing rooms – shirts were hung up in twos so I knew that Jerome and Chucho were playing up front.

There was also a table stacked with Lucozade, energy tablets etc together with a crate of IrnBru presumably for Gary O’Connor, Barry Ferguson and McFaddie. (Okay I made the last bit up).

Whilst we were there,Sammy Yu appeared and I shook his hand and wished him all the best – he seemed a nice bloke as did the other members of the Board I met – polite, approachable and enthusiastic(are you listening Brady and Sullivan).

Finally we went around to the inappropriately named Main Stand where apparently the referee and the opposition have to walk through a real shabby corridor which would make the Burnley experience seem like Wembley.

Apparently, according to the excellent tour guide, the old Board spent £2 million merely bringing the Main Stand just up to H and S standards…what a waste of money.

The subsequent lunch was great with plates of Prawn Crackers followed by
Chicken Chow Mein and then Banana Fritters. (Okay, I made that up as well).

Actually it was a prawn starter (well I was in that brigade for the day!) followed by a rib of beef with veg and then a tarte aux pommes which I couldn’t quite finish. This was because BRMB were match sponsors and all those in their party were invited back into a room (next to the ‘away’ dressing room) to speak to Alex McLeish.

We almost had to shout our questions because next door in the away dressing room they had ‘The Irish Rover’ on at full blast – no doubt left over from the Keane era, although I would hardly think that it would be Darren Bent’s or Kenwynne Jones’ cup of tea.

Anyway despite the increasing amount of stick that he’s been getting, Alex came across as genuine and pragmatic in his approach.

Thankfully the match itself didn’t spoil the day although the size of the crowd was disappointing…if they’re true fans, some of those who have stayed away need to start returning and have a bit of faith.

I also found the standing ovation of Brucie a bit hypocritical. I well remember that when he left, many Blues fans thought that he had reached his sell by date. His generally poor judgement in the transfer market and Blues’ crude kick and rush football seems to have been conveniently forgotten.

Anyway the match had tension, drama and the sight of a well balanced Blues team playing with a real desire and confidence. The back four were magnificent with Roger Johnson awesome and Ridgewell setting a great example to his team mates despite being played completely out of position...his goal showed his commendable enthusiasm.

Joe Hart still remains a bit of an enigma ..great kicking,great shot stopper,quick off his line but woeful at crosses.

The midfield were faultless with Seb putting in the sort of shift that the Royal Mail management can currently only dream about. McFaddie was at his most mercurial with Ferguson and Bowyer hoovering everything up in the midfield.

Up front the two forwards (I’ll repeat that ‘the two forwards’)were always a packet of trouble to the Sunderland defence with their movement. McFaddie’s goal was sublime and I was just about to get out my pipe and slippers when the inevitable happened and Sunderland snatched an undeserved goal to set up the now familiar nail biting exercise as we hung on.

Thankfully we did and in the Jasper Carrott Suite, Chucho received his Man of the Match Award with the help of his interpreter. As part of the Match Sponsor package we also received a superb boxed pen and I couldn’t resist a quick ‘usted esta muy bueno’ to Chucho which was returned with a nod of acknowledgement and a grin.

As we left we were waved off by one of the new Board members who thanked us for our support…I couldn’t see Sully ever ‘humbling himself in the same way, could you?


Andy Munro would like to point out that 'my views are personal and not those of the City Council'


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