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  • Norwich City: Europe's second worst strike force

    Norwich City: Europe's second worst strike force

  • Baled Out: an ode to Gareth

    Baled Out: an ode to Gareth

  • Bundesliga: the race for Europe

    Bundesliga: the race for Europe

  • Ten Games To Survival: The Canary that leads us to the end of the tunnel

    Ten Games To Survival: The Canary that leads us to the end of the tunnel

For any football fan watching their team in the FA Cup Semi Final, emotions and tensions run high. It’s the same from the top of the Premier League to the bottom of League One, but when your team has floundered the second half of the season and hasn’t won a trophy in 9 years, every kick of the ball is like a kick in the ribs.

Saturday’s game against Wigan for me was like fighting a war; we had correctly estimated our opponent and knew it was going to be a tough game, but still entered the battlefield with an arrogance that very nearly cost us the game and would have ensured the trophy drought dragged into a 10th year. But like with most wars, with more luck than judgement, we soldiered through to our first FA Cup final since winning the trophy in 2005. 

On the advent of Real Madrid facing up to a number of key fixtures without Cristiano Ronaldo while beginning to slip in the league, I made jokes about the core of their team having Tottenham DNA. But yesterday, words were dined upon as Real Madrid faced down their mortal enemies in both a Cup Final and (yet another) El Clasico and walked away with a trophy. But how, you might ask? How did they manage to prevail against the might of tiki-taka, heavy-pressing and The Best Player of Our Generation™ without their talismanic #7?

Bottom line? They got Baled out.

"Here we are talking about solutions for the club and maybe my way is not right. If I am the problem, it would be nice if somebody told me. I have got no problem with that", so said Gus Poyet, Sunderland manager.

“Well, bog off then”, so said me, disgruntled Sunderland fan.

That’s basically how I feel at this point.

Welcome to ten and out, a series in which I look at Sunderland’s last ten games of the season. I really mean out as well.

It's been a failure. Vicent Tan's bold and, in hindsight, reckless decision to relieve Malky Mackay of his managerial duties earlier in the season - replacing him with novice Ole Gunnar Solskjær - was a mistake. The Norweigan managerial rookie has secured just eight points from a possible 39 - a very poor return given he even had a transfer window to restructure some of the squad. He's not the man for the job, but unfortunately for the Bluebirds, another managerial change this late in the season will achieve little, they just have to stick with. Unless Solskjær pulls off a Roberto Martinez-style late season charge, Cardiff are gone and potentially, his job is, too.

  • Scouting Report: Memphis Depay (PSV)

    Scouting Report: Memphis Depay (PSV)

  • Scouting Report: Max Meyer (Schalke)

    Scouting Report: Max Meyer (Schalke)

  • Scouting Report: Viktor Fischer (Ajax)

    Scouting Report: Viktor Fischer (Ajax)

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