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Chris Pettitt
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I guess you wouldn't believe me if I said it was a predictive text error; or that it was a deliberate mistake and as the first person to spot it you will be the lucky recipient of a signed Ched Evans shirt that the Bramall Lane club shop are trying to knock out at 10% of the usual price. No, the truth is I made an honest mistake. My only defence is that it may have been some sort of a Freudian Slip, due to the fact that Mr Evans' future career prospects will probably not stretch any higher than League 2. Sincere apologies to all Sheffield United fans for my glaring error, although if you think about it, it's actually the club's fault for getting relegated in the first place. If that hadn't happened, lazy writers like me wouldn't look so foolish.
I was never denying that O’Neill was being anything other than genuine about being a Sunderland fan. And it wasn’t a case of not thoroughly researching whether he supported Sunderland or not. I believe that it wasn’t a widely known fact that Martin O’Neill was a Sunderland fan before the fevered coverage during his appointment, and so as it was such a key theme across the many reports and interviews in the wake of him accepting the job, it just jumped out to me that his overwhelming desire to get across his love of Sunderland was a little funny. Obviously I was wrong.
I WAS immensely peeved when Leicester were searching for a new manager, but that was more because I was strongly opposed to Sven’s sacking in the first place, and even more opposed to the return of the eventual choice Nigel Pearson. I wasn’t somebody who was clambering for O’Neill’s return and like you, had no genuine expectation that he would. Having said that, I would have welcomed him back with open arms. I think the appointment of O’Neill at Sunderland is a stupendous bit of business for Ellis Short, and I hope that he brings the same spirit, solidity and success that he has enjoyed in his career to date.
Again, it certainly wasn’t my intention to patronise anybody. The point I was trying to make about O’Neill being a Sunderland fan was simply that his love for the team became the main narrative amongst a lot of the coverage in the week building up to the game, and it just seemed to me to spring up from nowhere. As for Peter Reid, I was quoting him directly from Sky’s coverage and that is what he said. Of course you will have a better gauge on the Sunderland fans’ expectations and nowhere was I stating that what Reid said was gospel, in fact I was at pains to stress that he shouldn’t be listened to.
I sincerely apologise Tony if you feel I was being unreasonably scornful about Sunderland. I have to say that on balance I thought Blackburn came out of my piece a lot worse then Sunderland. Still I suppose all the Rovers fans are saving their venom for their manager. I’m not a bitter Villa fan, nor am I follower of Newcastle. I am in fact a Leicester City fan, and as such am more than acquainted with disappointment, bitterness and downright failure. Although of course, not during O’Neill’s tenure which is why I hold a special affection for him and any gentle joshing at his expense was just that. I’m afraid I am not a listener of TalkSport and consequently am not aware of Adrian Durham and his work, although if, as you say, he has a similar style to mine then I can only feel sorry for the poor chap because I fear he may not have a long career in the entertainment industry. Once again Tony, apologies if you thought I was conducting an anti-Sunderland tirade, I can certainly insist that it wasn’t my intention. I do hope that it hasn’t soured your SquareFootball experience and you continue to read the excellent articles written by our team of talented writers; and perhaps even take a peep at mine when enough time has passed. And to any Blackburn fans reading, I was being extremely rude about your team. Sorry about that too.
Thanks Fred, your kind words are gratefully received; I'm fairly sure the fact that you found my article entertaining is something of a fluke but please keep coming back to SquareFootball because I know there's some great stuff to come. Incidentally, you can read more of my ill-informed thoughts on all manner of subjects on my own website; Thanks once again, Chris
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Jul 21, 2011