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FF chat to SalutSunderland.com

Football Friends chat to SalutSunderland.com about their website and of course Football.

What made you start your website?

I'd been made redundant after hundreds of years as a journalist, was living in Paris and decided to stay in France. As well as freelancing (but in the south), I decided to launch salutsunderland.com as an offshoot of francesalut.com, my own version of a blog I'd written from Paris for my then employers (The Daily Telegraph).

How long have you been blogging on your website now?

That was the beginning of 2007, so we've passed our 10-year milestone. The aggregate of hits - well over 3m - seems impressive but there are days and days!

What are your favourite football topics to blog about?

I am proud of our Who are you? series, interviews with fans of our next opposing teams. I am prouder still of the fabulous contributions made by my lifelong pal Pete Sixsmith, whose matchday reports and features combine huge footballing knowledge, warmth and wit. He's a retired teacher but should have made his living as a writer.

How long have you supported Sunderland and when was your first game?

My first game was Middlesbrough 0-1 Sunderland, taken to Ayresome Park by my dad (a Londoner exiled in County Durham so, while quite liking Sunderland, no partisan interest). Brian Clough scored the winner and it was in March 1962. I was instantly hooked. And yes, that makes me a seriously old git.

Your favourite Sunderland player of all time and why?

I would be torn between Charlie Hurley, a wonderful old-fashioned centre-half, and Kevin Phillips for his extraordinary goalscoring feats, if I hadn't been a goalie at school and in the park. So I go for Jimmy Montgomery, yes for the Wembley heroics when we won the cup in 1973 but more for his week in/week out 9/10 and 10/10 performances. I treasure the memories.

Your greatest day as a Sunderland fan?

I couldn't get a ticket for May 5 1973 so great as the day was, it wasn't completely mine. I think I'd go for when we hammered Chelsea 4-1 (Dec 4 1999). They'd beaten us 4-0 on the first game of the season, prompting colleagues to taunt me with 'you're down already' messages. To see us deservedly four up at half time, with two apiece from Phillips and Niall Quinn, was sensational.

Your worst day as a Sunderland fan?

All confirmed relegations - I've known a few - but in terms of humiliation, seeing us lose 8-0 at Southampton on Oct 18 2014, my first game after coming back from France for the English half of my year.

Your thoughts and predictions for next season now you're in The Championship? Moyes to stay?

Just after I replied to these questions, Sunderland announced he had resigned.  I had offered qualified support to Moyes all season, but with increasing reserve. He lost the fans, or a large number of them, and there were players who didn't even want to turn out for him, crying injury, on the last game of the season (Chelsea). I welcomed his appointment, while wishing Big Sam hadn't gone, but his departure is frankly best for all concerned - unless he resigned because the club won't spend money to get back up.

Thank you again to Colin at SalutSunderland.com

   

FF chat to Easy2Coach.net

 Football Friends chat to Easy2Coach about  what they do. They provide leading online  football coaching software for coaches and  clubs in Germany, accessible online or  through our apps.  Easy2coach allows  coaches to  plan their seasons, communicate  with their team, shape their training days with  over 500 drills with graphics and animations,  as well as prepare and follow up  professionally on games.

   

FF chat to BluesMiddleEast.com

Football Friends chat to Blues Middle East about their website and of course Birmingham City. Basically though, they're the online website for all Birmingham City fans already out In The Middle East or over there on holiday. Please get in touch with them if you're in the area and looking to have a drink and watch some football.

   

FF chat to EvertoniansClub.com

Football Friends chat to EvertoniansClub.com about their website and of course Football.

What made you start your website?

A combination of things really. Social media at the time included a lot of very noisy groups of Everton fans with various strong opinions about how the club should be run prior to Moshiri arriving. I wanted to express my opinions about the club and were we were and pass the views to people so they could read my thoughts in more than 140-letter soundbites. As time's gone on it has become a hobby and, I guess, a way to throw my ongoing frustrations at the time onto a page. God knows what I'll do with it if we ever become successful!

How long have you been blogging on your website now?

I actually started it the year after Martinez arrived (two years ago). We'd done well in his first season but I was still suspicious of the way things were going. Unfortunately it turned out that his first season was as good as it got. Good luck Belgium!

What are your favourite football topics to blog about?

I guess the articles that flow the easiest aren't previews or match reviews, but opinion pieces. I can very quickly throw out 1,000 words without realising it when debating the merits of the way we play, or players causing us problems internally. I steer clear of the big political discussions about club ownership for example as other people blog about that with a hell of a lot more time to research the debates on offer. Plus we have no idea what is actually going on at a Boardroom level!

How long have you supported Everton and when was your first game at Goodison Park?

I've been a fan now since 1983 - and I was almost a fan of the 'other lot' by accident! We lived in Yorkshire at the time and my Dad decided to take the family to Liverpool for the weekend and wanted to get tickets to a game. We were at home so we went to a home game against Forest which ended in a 1-0 win. Adrian Heath got the winner and I decided they were the team for me. Looking back at the attendance there were only 23,000 fans there which proves how far we've come I guess. As the team kept winning during the 80s I was convinced that this would be how it would be for the rest of my Everton-supporting days. Turned out to be slightly different as you can imagine...

Your favourite Everton player of all time and why?

Hmm. Tricky. I was always a Lineker fan, although he wasn't with us for more than a season. Sheedy and Kanchelskis were also great favourites of mine in terms of attacking, exciting football. Randomly one player who I always thought gave 100% and scored some very important goals was Graham 'Diamond' Stuart. These days? Now that's a hard one. Leighton Baines has been great for years but is declining in quality unfortunately. Barkley has no footballing brain. Jagielka is a decent leader but not a great defender unfortunately. Nope, I'm awaiting my next favourite Everton player unfortunately. Any ideas?

Your greatest day as an Everton fan?

Has to be the FA Cup win in 1995. That might sound small-time compared to other fans, and be strange when I was around in the 80s, but I was in my late teens and old enough to really enjoy the day. The fact that we were such big underdogs made it even sweeter. Oh, and I had Rideout/1-0 in a double at 45-1 from Ladbrokes. Qualifying for the Champions League was great and unexpected but we knew we still had a qualifier to get cheated out of (not bitter).

Your worst day as an Everton fan?

Where do I start (and ignoring the local devastation of Hillsborough and us getting banned due to Heysel); I must admit to being pretty heartbroken following us being dumped out of the Champions League qualifiers to Villareal, but I think the FA Cup Final defeat by Chelsea took some beating. We had the best squad we'd had in years but as soon as Chelsea took the lead we knew we'd lost. It was just depressing to see, and the club took a real dive in terms of confidence. The next few years saw Moyes simply being negative and sulking, and we knew we'd missed a great opportunity to win something. Oh, and that semi-final defeat in the FA Cup to the worst Liverpool side in history a few years ago? AAAARGGGHHH!!!

Your thoughts and predictions for Everton ahead of the new season with Ronald Koeman now in charge?

I think if we'd just brought in Koeman without funds I'd be a little concerned. I think he's a good manager who will be able to motivate the players, but he'll need time. A lot of the players in our squad have been 'spoilt' by the Martinez era and need moving on and that will take time. The money angle means that he and Steve Walsh will be able to build a squad for the coming years and I hope the Everton fans realise this. I think finishing higher than last season (so, top 10) and a cup run would be okay. I expect more next season, although now every club is pretty rich we might have to be smarter with our cash.

Best football ground you've been to?

Apart from Goodison (obviously) I'd probably say somewhere like Fulham or Upton Park. These shiny new stadiums are very nice (and we need one ourselves to compete financially) but the older, more charming stadiums are much more fun. Lower-league grounds are always worth visiting so you can enjoy 'proper' football environments as opposed to corporate events.

The new Premier League season is nearly here, who do you think will win it?

Assuming that we might have to wait until next season for our title challenge... You know what, after last season I don't think I understand football at all. Leicester City winning it was a massive shock to us all so it will probably be the most organised team that will win it. Man Utd, City, Chelsea are still going through massive change, and these expensive superstars that are being bought are still to be proven in our league. Spurs could do well, as could Arsenal. Let's be honest though. Anyone but Liverpool.

Thank you again to Peter at EvertoniansClub.com

   

FF chat to BiggishMouthBlog.com

Football Friends chat to biggishmouthblog.com about their website and of course Football.

What made you start your website?

My mate suggested I should start one as I like a bit of a rant and opinion (controlled or otherwise). He set one up and the rest is history

How long have you been blogging on your website now?

Nearly 4 years – first one was in August 2012 - just after Fed beat Murray in the Wimby Final – I’ve read through again and scarily it still makes sense (well to me anyways).

What are your favourite sporting topics other than football to blog about?

I like a bit of Tennis, Cricket and Rugby Union

Do you support a specific team (you don't have to answer that) and what was the first game you ever went to?

Manchester United is my team, but first team I went to see was Altrincham back in the late 80s thanks to freebie tickets from school. First visit to OT was in 1990 against Norwich and then 3 days later managed to get myself chucked out for diving over to Stretford End via the Stretford end seats!!!!!!!!

Your favourite football player of all time and why?

Bryan Robson – reason I support United, memories of Spain 1982 – the goal v France after 27 seconds and an all round action man and United and England legend.

Your greatest day as an football fan?

May 1993 when United won the title for first time in 26 years. I was 17  – very strange feeling as done with an Oldham win over Villa, but after the pain of the previous season I was just so relieved it was done and dusted. Cheers Nicky Henry.

Your worst day as an football fan?

On an international noted - June 1996 – Euro 1996 – England v Germany semi-final – tear in my ear LLL - those pesky Germans!!!!!!!

On a club note, losing at Anfield in 1992 as I then resigned myself to losing the title - horrible that your 2 bitterest rivals stopped the team I support winning the title after such a long wait. Man City 2012 was painful, but nothing like that as won a lot of titles by that stage and despite it obviously being pretty gutting was not expecting it to even get to that situation at the start of play.

Your thoughts and predictions for the premier league season and the potential of all these new managerial changes?

All teams have money and it will be very interesting. As a red of Manchester, heart says United especially as hopefully we now have a manager who will not claim fan expectations are too high - then a title can be won, but plenty of challenges ahead for all teams. Impossible to say who will win it in my opinion at this stage. I’ve said for years anyone can beat anyone on their day in the Prem.

Best football game or ground you've been to?

Not been to that many grounds, so I will go for some stand out games:

Altrincham 2 Chester City 0 in the FA Cup in 1992 - a giant killing too, as Chester were in the third tier - the second goal got on goal of the season on Match of the Day.

Been to plenty of games at Old Trafford, a lot of them blur into one.

Unted 4 Everton 4 was a brilliant game despite the fact it was a very damaging result.

The atmosphere at 2 games stand out - both European. The draw 1-1 with Atletico Madrid in CWC 1991 trying to get back a 3-0 deficit, the early goal scored by United gave faint hope but felt like the whole ground shook once it went in. Also the defeat v Real Madrid in 2013 in the #whatacuneyt match - obvious the Nani sending off punctured this somewhat.

I was lucky enough to be at OT for Fergie’s final match thanks to a coin toss – match was nothing to write home about, though the trademark late winner from Rio brought a huge roar from the crowd.

Looking forward to Euro 2016, who do you think will win it?

Yes and France to win.

Thank you again to Phil at BiggishMouthBlog.com

   

FF chat to EvertonFanSite.co.uk

 

Football Friends chat to EvertonFanSite.co.uk about their website and of course Everton Football Club.

What made you start your website?

Just the love of Everton football club really. We'd spend so much time chatting before and after games, either in the pub on via text message we thought we'd get it written down as a blog for others to read.

How long have you been blogging on your website now?

About two years now and we're still going strong with regular blogs from myself and my friends, along with the odd guest post - which we always welcome.

What are your favourite football topics to blog about?

It has to be a review of our away days on the road, you just never know what can happen.

How long have you supported Everton and when was your first game at Goodison Park?

I've been a fan since about 1981/2. I grew up in East Anglia (where Everton supporters were few and far between) and it was my Uncle that first introduced me to football. He was a Liverpool supporter and tried to lead me down that dark path, but there was something about their arrogance and that red shirt that made me feel ill.  Everton on the other hand were a club that I was drawn to and luckily I side stepped the landmine and became a blue.

Your favourite Everton player of all time and why?

Without a doubt Neville Southall. In my opinion the best goalkeeper of any team in any country ever. As a former bin man rising through the part time leagues, he was just unbelievable through his whole career at Everton. Big Nev hated losing and would plough through anyone (including his own team) to get the ball in his area. What I always liked best was the look of disgust on his face if it did end up in the net, it was as if someone had tried to attack his mother.

Your greatest day as an Everton fan?

The 1995 FA Cup final. Because I started following Everton in the 80's during a period of success I never really appreciated it. By the time the 1995 cup final came around I'd seen some dark days so it felt a lot better. It was Southall's chance to relive some former glory, and the team being led out by legend Joe Royal was special too.  Also I was a student at the time and at the beginning of the season placed £20 on us to win the cup - the one and only time I ever did!

Your worst day as an Everton fan?

Losing to Liverpool always grates. '86 cup final, and '89 cup final are the two that stick in my memory.

Your thoughts and predictions for Everton ahead of the new season and the potential of Ronald Koeman now coming in?

Everton fans all believe we are due a lot more than maybe we are, so like many others I was unrealistically hoping for Simeone or Mourinho. I'm not sure about Koeman; his record at other teams isn't glowing and has a couple of failures under his belt. He did well in the Dutch league but so did Maclaren, and with Southampton he inherited the nucleus of a decent side in a very well run set up. Overall I'm excited for the future; a new ground, great young players coming through, and hopefully some professionalism at the top now too.  Also, anyone is better than Roberto Martinez - probably the worst Manager in my time (and that includes Mike Walker!).

Best football ground you've been to?

After Goodison? London Road.

Looking forward to Euro 2016, who do you think will win it?

I love the Euro's, and like every England fan I believe that if we are on our game and have a bit of luck then we can do it - but the reality is 1/4 finals at best. France are the obvious ones and of course Spain and Germany will be there or there about. It would be great to see someone different win the way Leicester won this years Premier League. I can't see that happening and even though people talk of Belgium having a chance, I don't think they have a hope. My tips for an outsider; I think I'd put my money on Italy to win and Northern Ireland to go further than expected.

Thank you again to Josh at EvertonFanSite.co.uk

   

Football Fan Rescued 7 Hours After Falling Asleep on Toilet

Yesterday was a tough day to be a Barnsley fan, but one had it worse than most. It was bad enough that his side slipped to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Fleetwood Town. Things got even worse for one supporter, believed to be in his early 20s, who fell asleep on a toilet at Oakwell Stadium.