Tag Archives: passion

Montenegro stick boot into England over long balls and weak defence

England are SCARED of us! You complain about the pitch when you play long ball. You should forget about our fans and worry about your 'weak' defence instead, blast Montenegro

qualifier against England in Podgorica in 2011″ class=”blkBorder” />

Passion: Montenegro fans react after the Euro 2012 qualifier against England in Podgorica in 2011

Passion: Montenegro fans react after the Euro 2012 qualifier against England in Podgorica in 2011

Meanwhile, the president of Montenegro’s football association has begged his own supporters to behave during England’s crunch World Cup qualifier tomorrow night.

Dejan Savicevic awarded Mirko Vucinic with the Montenegro Player of the Year award at Podgorica but took the opportunity to appeal for good behaviour from his own fans.

The Montenegro FA were fined 30,000 for a pitch invasion the last time England visited Montenegro.

He said: ‘I would like our journalists in Montenegro to appeal to our fans to cheer on the team in a sporting manner.

‘During
the last year and a half, our association has to pay penalties for up
to 90,000 Euros we had to bear for the behaviour of our supporters on
this ground.’

Vucinic
himself said he did not believe there would be any crowd trouble
tomorrow night, saying: ‘I expect a beautiful, wonderful atmosphere.

'Our
audience is great and they lift us and carry us on their wings like a
12th player. I am only sorry the stadium is not larger.’

Asked
whether Montenegro will try to play on Rooney’s temperament and wind
him up to get him sent off, Vucinic said: ‘It will not be our tactics to
make him lose his temper.

‘It
will be in our favour if he is given a red card but we will not be
doing anything to provoke him or make him lose his temper.’

Doubts: Joleon Lescott is expected to marshal the England defence alongside Chris Smalling

Doubts: Joleon Lescott (above) is expected to marshal the England defence alongside Chris Smalling (below)

Doubts: Joleon Lescott is expected to marshal the England defence alongside Chris Smalling

Doubts: Joleon Lescott is expected to marshal the England defence alongside Chris Smalling

Vucinic added: ‘We feel well considering we played a difficult game in Moldova which we won with 10 men. This victory inspires us with self-confidence and hope against strong opponents like England who we are not scared of at all.

‘From the moment I run onto the field I think of victory. That is my way of thinking when I play in Italy and this is the way I think now. What I can say about tomorrow evening is that we keep fingers crossed for Montenegro to win but what we can say is that it will not be as big a thing as it will be if England fail.

'If England fail, it will cost them more. If I’m not wrong, they will be five points behind if they lose tomorrow.’

Jamie Carragher can stand alongside Tony Adams and John Terry – Jamie Redknapp

I wasn't sure about Carra at first. In training, we all wanted to face him… but he's turned into a great player and can stand alongside Adams and Terry as a defensive giant

– it will almost certainly be his last domestic trophy” class=”blkBorder” />

Silver lining: Jamie Carragher lifted the League Cup in 2012 – it will almost certainly be his last domestic trophy

Warrior: A brave defender, Carragher would put his body on the line for Liverpool

Warrior: A brave defender, Carragher would always put his body on the line for Liverpool

Of all of my team-mates, nobody has worked harder than Carra to become the player he is. He deserves everything he has achieved in an age when young players are too quick to leave the training ground and shy away from the work required to master their art.

When he first came into the Liverpool squad, I wasn't sure. In training, Gerard Houllier would set us up one-on-ones – attack versus defence – and we all wanted to face Carra.

Passion: Carragher in action against Manchester United's Wayne Rooney

Passion: Carragher in action against Manchester United's Wayne Rooney

Strength: Carragher was a regular for England during his earlier years

Strength: Carragher was a regular for England during his peak

But after one summer, he came back with a
different approach – and began to stop everyone who tried to go past
him. He was fitter, faster, stronger. Since then, he has enjoyed a
wonderful career and can stand alongside Tony Adams and John Terry as a
defensive giant.

I would advise any young defender to travel to Liverpool and watch him play while you still can. The way he leads, the way he reads the game, the way he defends.

In quieter moments at a packed Anfield, you can hear his voice as he organises and manages on the pitch. In a time when players move from club to club like mercenaries chasing the money, Carragher has stayed loyal to one club.

Tony Adams

John Terry

Leaders: Carragher can claim to be among defensive greats such as Tony Adams (left) and John Terry

He could have finished in America or China, but it means more to him to be a one-club man for Liverpool than it does to grab a few more quid from the game.

He's a funny man, a magnificent defender and a great friend.

Stan Kroenke has been accused of having no passion for the club by former shareholder Lady Bracewell-Smith

'Why he wanted to be part of Arsenal I do not know': Stan Kroenke accused of having no passion for the club

|

UPDATED:

00:29 GMT, 14 December 2012

Former Arsenal director Lady Bracewell-Smith has accused the club`s majority shareholder, Stan Kroenke, of having no passion for the club.

The Gunners are currently attracting unwanted headlines for their on-field performances, while manager Arsene Wenger and the club`s board are feeling the heat from supporters regarding their transfer policies.

It is more than seven years since Arsenal won a trophy and questions are being asked about when that drought will end.

Accused: Former Arsenal shareholder Lady Bracewell-Smith took to twitter and accused majority shareholder, Stan Kroenke (pictured), of having no passion for the club

Accused: Former Arsenal shareholder Lady Bracewell-Smith took to twitter to accuse majority shareholder, Stan Kroenke (pictured), of having no passion for the club

Arsene Wenger and Stan Kroenke

Bracewell-Smith, who sold her shares in Arsenal to Kroenke last year but remains an honorary vice president, tonight took to Twitter to criticise the American amid the gloom that is surrounding the club.

'If making money was the motivating factor, surely there are better ways,' she wrote.

'Football is a business of passion and SK has no passion for AFC.

'(Kroenke) shows he cares very little. Why he wanted to be part of AFC I do not know.'

Arsenal were humiliated on Tuesday when they were beaten by Bradford in the Capital One Cup. During that match, Bracewell-Smith tweeted about striker Gervinho, calling him a 'flop'.

David Weir interview: You have to be quite scary, give evil stares, says Paralympic gold medal hero

EXCLUSIVE: You have to be quite scary, give evil stares and tell them to get out of my way, says… the Weirwolf of London!

|

UPDATED:

23:01 GMT, 10 December 2012

The man known as the 'Animal' of wheelchair racing, who won four gold medals at the Paralympic Games in London, is sitting in a cafe in Richmond Park, south-west London, sipping a coffee.

David Weir is quiet, humble and softly spoken, smiling tiredly as he talks about his 10-week-old daughter, Tillia Grace London. He still seems overawed by the scale of his achievements and how his life has changed since that glorious summer.

But when the conversation turns to sport — and, specifically, competition — Weir is transformed. His blue eyes become piercing and intense as he explains, with passion verging on venom, what it means to him to race in a British vest and the ruthlessness it takes to succeed.

Animal passion: David Weir wins gold in the T54 800 metres at the London 2012 Paralympics

Animal passion: David Weir wins gold in the T54 800 metres at the London 2012 Paralympics

It was a striking change that was noticeable during the Games, too, as this polite, mild-mannered man executed four tactically perfect finals in nine days.

Weir won the T54 800 metres, 1500m, 5,000m and marathon and now has a tattoo of the Greek goddess of victory, Nike, to match the insignia on the four gold medals which he removes carefully from their black velvet cases. Appropriately, the six-time London Marathon winner also has another tattoo on his chest which means ‘winner’ in Japanese.

‘You have to be quite scary,’ says Weir, ‘because if you’re not, people will box you in. So you give them some evil stares and tell them to “**** off and get out of my way”. They’re going to move. I wouldn’t move, but some people will.

‘On the track I just switch on to being a racer and winning. It takes anything to win. I wouldn’t say I would cause accidents but you have to be ruthless.

‘I do certain things on the warm-up
track that might unsettle the guys’ minds. I will wait until they’ve
gone past me and then start my warm-up lap, pushing at a good speed and
just sitting behind them. Then I go past them and look like I’m at ease.
Just to show them. When I was sprinting, my starts weren’t great and,
because you would be allowed one false start without being disqualified,
sometimes I used to false-start on purpose. Then I knew I would get
away as good as everyone else.’

Patriot: Weir celebrates his marathon victory

Proud day: Weir was awarded the Freedom of City of London at Guildhall last week

Proud patriot: Weir celebrates marathon victory (left) and was awarded the Freedom of City of London (right)

There are two distinct sides to ‘The Weirwolf’. After the Games the 33-year-old, an aspiring DJ, spent five days in Ibiza indulging his love of house music, yet he arranges our interview for 9am so he can spend the day with his family.

He was awarded the freedom of the City of London last week but still lives in ‘a two-bedroomed terrace’ on the ‘same council estate’ in Wallington, south-west London, where he grew up.

Weir was so painfully shy when he rediscovered athletics in 2002 that he took months to pluck up the courage to ring his coach, Jenny Archer, because he ‘didn’t want to bother anyone’. Archer, who worked with Wimbledon FC’s ‘Crazy Gang’ in the 1980s, has subsequently helped him become the greatest wheelchair racer of all by training with cyclists in Richmond Park.

His drive and toughness surface again when we discuss the BBC Sports Personality of the Year on Sunday evening, for which Weir has been nominated along with fellow Paralympians Sarah Storey and Ellie Simmonds. Weir says he does not normally attend because a Paralympic athlete has not been included on the shortlist since the then Tanni (now Baroness) Grey-Thompson in 2000. She came third but was unable to accept her award because there was no ramp to the stage.

So should there be a separate award to recognise the achievements of Paralympics GB ‘No, never,’ Weir says. ‘We want to compete against the best. All right, we probably won’t win it, but we want to compete.

Hometown hero: Weir still lives in his two-bedroomed house in Wallington despite his extraordinary success

Hometown hero: Weir still lives in his two-bedroomed house in Wallington despite his extraordinary success

‘I am just in awe of being in the top 12 with these great athletes, but I don’t think it should ever be separate because then you’re segregating it again and we don’t want that.

‘Sports Personality is about sport. We want to be branded as athletes. Speak to any Paralympian and they’ll tell you the same — and if they didn’t…’ His voice trails off and he takes a deep breath. God help anyone who dares to disagree with Weir in this mood.

‘I would hate to see it separated,’ he continues. ‘You’re a sports person and that’s what it is: sports personality. It doesn’t matter about colour, race, women, disabled — it’s all about sport and that’s all that matters.’

The quality of the sport, after all, was the most memorable thing about the 2012 Paralympics, the ‘perfect Games’ that Weir describes as being ‘like a storybook’.

‘It just feels like I’ve read a story on an athlete’s life,’ he adds.

The positive experience Weir had in London is even more moving when you consider his first taste of the Paralympics in Atlanta 16 years ago.

It was, as he puts it, ‘shocking’. The Athletes’ Village, the facilities, the crowds were all ‘very disappointing’. America did not — and still does not, to a large extent — ‘get’ the Paralympic movement, leaving a 17-year-old Weir thinking: ‘What’s the point’

Path to glory: Weir trains in Richmond Park with professional cyclists and credits beetroot juice for his success

Path to glory: Weir trains in Richmond Park with pro cyclists and credits beetroot juice for his success

‘I did nothing after Atlanta,’ he
explains. ‘No training. I couldn’t get a job, couldn’t do anything. I
struggled. I had left school at 16 and was on the dole, doing nothing.

‘Then I saw the Games in Sydney on TV four years later and that broke my heart a little bit. I thought maybe I would have been there, winning a medal. I thought, “What have I done” I just wanted to represent my country. I felt like I let my country down and a lot of other people down. I had missed the World Championships in ’98. I just didn’t turn up. I didn’t do enough training so I didn’t deserve to be there and I told them (the British team) that.

‘So when they did ask me to come back on the squad I felt like I was paying it back. I felt very proud after that.’

Weir’s pride in competing for his country shines through. He is not thinking about defending his titles in Rio in 2016 yet, but the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow is a real desire.

His willingness to discuss his patriotism is not sickly, but heartfelt — and fairly unusual for athletes in an individual sport who, in their blinkered pursuit of success, can appear selfish. Weir desperately wanted to finish London 2012 by winning his fourth gold in the marathon on the Mall, ‘with Buckingham Palace and all those British flags’ behind him.

Golden boy: Weir shows off his four medals from 2012

Golden boy: Weir shows off his medals

‘I was very conscious I was competing in a British vest,’ he says. ‘I saw all those British flags and people jumping up and down and just thought, “No way am I going to let anyone past me”.

‘I think the British public gets Paralympic sport and I think it was the first time (at a Games) we didn’t get treated as disabled. It was, “We’re going to watch David Weir, or Hannah Cockroft, or Jonnie Peacock”. It wasn’t because they’re disabled.’

Quite the opposite. Watching Weir in the distinctive red helmet Archer has spirited away for safe-keeping was a distinctly enabling experience. He was imperious and apparently unstoppable for that nine-day period, powered only, as Boris Johnson pointed out, by beetroot juice.

Weir drinks ‘litres of it’ — mixed with apple juice — three days before a race and then had a concentrated shot of the red stuff during the marathon. He seems a little miffed, however, that the Mayor of London decided to broadcast his ‘secret’ to the ‘whole world’ during the Team GB parade.

‘It’s a bit stronger than coffee,’ he says, laughing now. ‘It’ll give you a stamina shot all day.
‘I wonder if Boris went home and tried it.’

Tottenham Hotspur manager Andre Villas-Boas condemns West Ham anti-semitic chanting

Villas-Boas condemns West Ham anti-semitic chants as 'complete stupidity'

|

UPDATED:

14:55 GMT, 27 November 2012

Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas has criticised West Ham fans for the level of aggression in their chanting and branded the anti-semitic songs as ‘complete stupidity’.

Villas-Boas, who could hear the abuse from the dug out during Tottenham’s 3-1 defeat of their London rivals on Sunday, said: ‘The level of aggression with the chanting goes out of proportion. It’s complete stupidity.’

But he also extended his gratitude to the Football Association and the club for the speed with which they have acted – and the severity of the threats.

Critical: Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas has condemned anti-semitic chanting by West Ham fans as 'complete stupidity'

Critical: Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas has condemned anti-semitic chanting by West Ham fans as 'complete stupidity'

‘I think I’m grateful for the quickness with which both clubs have gone into the matter, plus the FA and the police,’ he added.

‘I think West Ham set an example by giving a lifetime ban to the fan.’

Although clearly insisting a number of West Ham supporters had crossed the line, Villas-Boas defended the supporters’ right to voice their opinion about the club and criticise personnel within reason.

‘The fans have a right to everything, in my opinion. They are the ones who breathe the biggest passion for their football club.

‘They are entitled to whatever they want to; to say whatever they want; to chant whatever they want to chant. This can lift and encourage the players and produce negativity and positivity. It’s all down to them.

No love lost: West Ham fans reportedly taunted Tottenham supporters about the stabbings in Rome last week and sang songs about Adolf Hitler

No love lost: West Ham fans reportedly taunted Tottenham supporters about the stabbings in Rome last week and sang songs about Adolf Hitler

‘Football is about them (the fans) and it’s about their passion. They have the right more than anybody to show any kind of feeling.

‘We have to take it. Sometimes you don’t like what you hear but that’s life. It’s what makes us tick, too. We’re professionals of the game and we give everything for them (the fans). We always need to retribute them with what they expect.’

Meanwhile, Martin Jol branded the racist chants from West Ham fans at Tottenham on Sunday as 'embarrassing'.

The Fulham manager was disgusted with the behaviour of some West Ham fans during the match and supported banning those involved for life.

He said: 'I feel that you should not tolerate that and I don't think Spurs and even West Ham won't tolerate that. We all talk about discrimination and we want to get it right in this country, but this is almost embarrassing. What happened at Spurs is very important, you have to talk about it and you have to try to ban it and other little issues as well.'

'Embarrassing': Fulham manager Martin Jol also joined in the condemnation of the chanting, saying those responsible should be banned for life

'Embarrassing': Fulham manager Martin Jol also joined in the condemnation of the chanting, saying those responsible should be banned for life

West Ham released a statement yesterday saying that one of the fans involved 'has since been identified as a Season Ticket holder and has been sent a letter containing a banning order from the club. Any other individuals identified can expect a similar swift and robust response.'

Jol agrees with the club banning for life from Upton Park the fans they can identify as being involved in the anti-Semitic chants at the weekend.

The 56-year-old added: 'I think that is the right thing to ban the players for life if you know who did that. I think you have to ban them from football stadiums so it’s good to hear that. Here, for example, it is totally different. We won't tolerate that. It was, of course, away fans and what can you do about it At times we could be very vulnerable as managers as well as players. And you have to accept that.'

Graeme Souness backs Joe Jordan for Scotland

Souness backs Scotland legend Jordan to take over from sacked Levein

|

UPDATED:

17:01 GMT, 12 November 2012

Graeme Souness has backed Joe Jordan to take over as the new Scotland manager.

The Scottish Football Association have begun the search for a new national team boss following the sacking of Craig Levein.

Souness was previously on a four-man shortlist for the position when Levein’s predecessor George Burley was appointed to the role but the former Rangers manager says he has no interest in the job this time around.

Backing: Joe Jordan (left) has been tipped to replace Craig Levein

Backing: Joe Jordan (left) has been tipped to replace Craig Levein

Speaking at a Hall of Fame event at Hampden, Souness made it clear who he believes is the outstanding candidate.Asked if he would be open to an approach from the SFA,

He said: 'I think your man is Joe Jordan. He would be my choice if I was making the decision.

Raring to go: Scotland train ahead of their friendly with Luxembourg

Raring to go: Scotland train ahead of their friendly with Luxembourg

Raring to go: Scotland train ahead of their friendly with Luxembourg

'He’s an obvious candidate. Everyone knows the passion that Joe showed when he was a player.

'He would be perfect. He fits the bill.

'He’s knowledgeable, he has worked at the highest level, played at the highest level and is extremely passionate. He’s your man.'

No thanks: Graeme Souness has ruled himself out of the running

No thanks: Graeme Souness has ruled himself out of the running

Gordon Strachan quickly emerged as the bookmakers’ favourite to replace Levein.

Souness added: 'He’s another real genuine candidate. In fact, him and Joe would be the outstanding candidates.'

Caretaker: Billy Stark (left) has stepped in after Levein was sacked

Caretaker: Billy Stark (left) has stepped in after Levein was sacked

Asked if he would be open to an approach from the SFA, Souness said: 'No, it’s not for me.'

Luis Suarez won"t be forced out by cheat slurs says Brendan Rodgers Liverpool

Rodgers: Dazzling Suarez is driven on by cheat slurs and won't be forced out of Liverpool

|

UPDATED:

18:13 GMT, 30 October 2012

Brendan Rodgers has dismissed fears striker Luis Suarez will be forced to quit Liverpool and says he is strong enough to cope with the fury of rival fans and managers.

Rodgers spoke out in defence of his star striker and reckons the diving controversy drives him on to be a better player.

'I think he loves playing in English football,' said Rodgers. 'I
speak with Luis regularly and he loves the passion and excitement of the
game over here.

'What he is is a player who is mentally very strong – as you can see from his time here the amount of stick he has taken. It is actually a driver for him. It really motivates him and he loves being at Liverpool.'

Suarez celebrates the opening goal against Everton with a dive in front of Everton manager David Moyes

Suarez celebrates the opening goal against Everton with a dive in front of Everton manager David Moyes

The Uruguay forward was again at the centre of controversy, despite a brilliant performance against Everton in the Merseyside derby.

He was banned for eight matches last season after being found guilty of racially abusing Manchester United defender Patrice Evra while the focus this campaign has been on his perceived diving.

Former Liverpool striker John Aldridge expressed his concern the
25-year-old could walk away from the club because of the hard time he
gets from opposition managers and supporters but Rodgers rejected that.

'He loves the city, the club and the supporters so I can't see that him being forced away.'

Suarez answered his critics, and more pertinently David Moyes with a sarcastic dive at the Everton manager's feet after his deflected shot brought the opening goal in Sunday's derby draw.

Rodgers has been impressed by the way the South American has shouldered the burden of being the club's only fit senior striker and insists it is an privilege to coach him.

Suarez is on the way down after being challenged by Sylvain Distin of Everton

Suarez is on the way down after being challenged by Sylvain Distin of Everton

'I thought he was outstanding (against Everton). He is a breath of fresh air with his enthusiasm,' added the Northern Irishman.

'He is our only fit senior striker here and he was tireless against Reading and then we had to play a strong team against Anzi (in the Europa League).

'People maybe thought the condition of the team and Luis in particular would waver but the condition of the group, and particularly Luis up front, was amazing.

'He is a wonderful talent who will always provoke comments both positive and negative but the bottom line is he is a fantastic player.

'He scores goals and his goals to games ratio this season is fantastic.

'He is really inspirational for the group because he works hard every day and he is quality at that top end of the field: he genuinely is a world-class striker.

'It is a privilege to work with a player of that quality every day.'

The controversial Uruguyan celebrates with Martin Skrtel after scoring Liverpool's second goal against Everton

Suarez of Liverpool celebrates with Martin Skrtel after scoring Liverpool's second goal against Everton

Liverpool's manager Brendan Rodgers enjoys coaching and working with Suarez

Liverpool's manager Brendan Rodgers enjoys coaching and working with Suarez

After three tough games Suarez is likely to be given the night off tomorrow when Rodgers' former club Swansea visit in the Capital One Cup.

Rodgers intends to pay every respect to the club he left in the summer, insisting the close relationship he had with Swans chairman Huw Jenkins remains strong and that actually helped when he went back to buy midfielder Joe Allen.

'It improved the Allen deal as I was able to speak to Huw and ask if there was a market for Joe and he came back to me and told me there was a possibility he could be sold,' said Rodgers.

'We became close both professionally and personally there and our relationship is still strong.

'Leaving there was sad but I knew I was coming to one of the biggest clubs in the world.

'I always like to leave on good terms. There is no problem there. But we want to get through and nothing will get in the way of that.'

Dougie Freedman joins Bolton from Crystal Palace

Freedman sets sights on Premier League after taking over at Bolton

|

UPDATED:

10:27 GMT, 25 October 2012

Dougie Freedman has targeted an instant return to the Barclays Premier League after taking charge at Bolton.

The Scot has replaced Owen Coyle at the Reebok Stadium after being lured away from Championship rivals Crystal Palace.

Fresh start: Dougie Freedman left Palace for a move north

Fresh start: Dougie Freedman left Palace for a move north

Bolton sacked Coyle after a poor start to the season following their bid to gain promotion back to the top-flight.

Freedman said: 'I am delighted to join Bolton. The club is geared up to getting back into the Premier League.

'There is an impressive setup and structure in place, and a first team squad of undoubted quality. I am excited about the challenge ahead of us.'

Legend: Palace fans are sad to see Freedman quit the club

Legend: Palace fans are sad to see Freedman quit the club

Chairman Phil Gartside added: 'Dougie is young and ambitious. When we met his enthusiasm and knowledge of the game was evident.

'He has a real drive and passion, and knows what we want to achieve and how we want to go about it. I am looking forward to working with Dougie to secure that.'

Fabricio Coloccini was coolest man on pitch in Sunderland v Newcastle

Michael Walker: Coloccini keeps cool in cauldron while others let loose

By
Michael Walker

PUBLISHED:

22:05 GMT, 21 October 2012

|

UPDATED:

22:45 GMT, 21 October 2012

A game of one red card, two goals and three Newcastle United centre halves.

A game of desperate passion, not for the last time. A game that featured what Sheffield Wednesday manager Dave Jones called from Friday night to Sunday morning ‘vile chants’.

Yet more of them. And in the midst of the sights and sounds of the 135th Wear-Tyne derby, this was a game that contained an oasis of calm called Fabricio Coloccini.

High praise: Fabricio Coloccini was hailed by Alan Pardew

High praise: Fabricio Coloccini was hailed by Alan Pardew

Coloccini’s manager Alan Pardew has
referred to the Argentinian defender as Bobby Moore before. He did so
again after an individual display that simply sucked the air out of
almost every attack from a Sunderland team who had plenty of puff but
not so much craft.

‘He was absolutely phenomenal today,’
Pardew said of his captain. ‘If you want an example of a centre half
who can tackle, head it, kick it and have the calmness to play then
today was your example. If we’d had 11 men, Colo could have “made” the
play more. Terrific.’

Notable to all, but to Pardew in
particular, was that Coloccini — who had been out for a month with a
hamstring injury — had done so much for the Newcastle cause that he
walked off wearily prior to the own-goal equaliser from Demba Ba.

The
way the afternoon had gone, Pardew is entitled to have thought that
Coloccini would have had his head first to the Seb Larsson free-kick
that John O’Shea flicked in Ba’s direction.

Instead, Coloccini’s replacement Steven Taylor was on the pitch in the 85th minute.

Taylor, a local lad, had been expected
to partner Coloccini but found himself watching Mike Williamson do
that.

On Tyneside the belief was that Taylor’s seat on the bench was a
consequence of an interview he gave last week in which he said no
Sunderland players would get in the Newcastle starting XI and that he
would rather ‘collect stamps’ than play for the Wearsiders.

It turned out that Steven Fletcher
collected a stamp from Cheick Tiote that skewed the game, but the
puzzlement of philatelists at Taylor’s comments was matched by the
outrage of Sunderland fans. As he warmed up before kick-off, Taylor, who
is about as subtle as Stoke, chose to get as near to the byline as
possible.

Phenomenal: Alan Pardew was delighted with Coloccini

Phenomenal: Alan Pardew was delighted with Coloccini

Chants: Steven Taylor received abuse from Sunderland fans

Chants: Steven Taylor received abuse from Sunderland fans

There he was met by predictable abuse and a chant which some
heard as ‘You wish you were here’ — which would have been quite funny.
Others heard: ‘We wish you were dead,’ which isn’t. Martin O’Neill did
not hear anything but said: ‘If that is what they were singing then it
would be in very poor taste.’

O’Neill added that he had not used
Taylor’s comments as his team talk, but said: ‘He is entitled to his
opinion. I’m delighted he made their bench.’

When songs of Jimmy Savile from the
Newcastle end are added, it makes the occasion sound poisonous. Yet it
did not feel like that. Slagging rights have long replaced those of the
bragging variety, but the major police operation seemed to have worked.

That it has to be this way, helicopters overhead, metal partitions
outside the ground, is a dismal comment on how things remain.

This is an increasingly rancorous
derby, in part because of Sunderland’s inability to win this side of it.
Only once since 1980 have Newcastle left Wearside beaten — three years
ago when Joe Kinnear was manager — and though O’Neill sidestepped a
question about the burden of history, it weighs upon the home fans and
their anxiety extended to some of Sunderland’s players.

Newcastle arrived in their lurid green
third kit and acted like stewards. Sunderland were ushered here and
there and fell behind to Yohan Cabaye’s early strike. By the time of
Ba’s own goal, relief was Sunderland’s principal target.

Seven months ago at St James’ Park, a
well-organised Sunderland team reduced to 10 men by Stephane Sessegnon’s
red card, held on to a one-goal lead until the final seconds when Shola
Ameobi struck an equaliser that was simultaneously euphoric and
gut-wrenching. Sunderland were sickened. But O’Neill’s 10 men departed
Tyneside a moral minority. So they knew how Pardew’s 10 men felt.

Alan Pardew loves Newcastle since partying on Tuxedo Princess

Pardew: I fell in love with Newcastle… after a night out at Tuxedo Princess (the floating nightclub with a revolving dancefloor)

|

UPDATED:

11:09 GMT, 19 October 2012

Alan Pardew has revealed the moment he fell in love with Newcastle came while partying at the city's famous Tuxedo Princess nightclub.

The Magpies manager is busy preparing his side for the fierce Tyne-wear derby against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light on Sunday, having signed an eight-year contract to stay at the club in September.

Pardew is a big hit at St James' Park after guiding his men to fourth in the Premier League last season. But the former Reading and West Ham boss knew Newcastle was the city for him long ago.

I love this city: Alan Pardew (centre) takes Newcastle training at Little Benton this week

I love this city: Alan Pardew (centre) takes Newcastle training at Little Benton this week

Party boat: The now-closed Tuxedo Princess

Party boat: The now-closed Tuxedo Princess

His first taste of the Toon came during his playing days, and after his match he went for a night out, ending up in the Tuxedo Princess – a floating nightclub beneath the Tyne Bridge boasting a legendary revolving dancefloor.

And Pardew revealed his visit immediately told him about both the city's passion for football and its famously friendly welcome.

'I knew straight away it was a football mad area,' Pardew told the Chronicle.

'I had played here a couple of times and visited here socially once. I remember coming to play here once and we stayed up and went on the Tuxedo Princess one night. It gave me a little flavour of what the city was all about.

'It makes me smile every time I think of that night. It was a funny night. But to come up here and be manager is very surreal in a way.'

Pardew admitted he has no time for the prawn sandwich brigade that he has seen out in force at certain London clubs, and credits football's working class roots in Newcastle and Sunderland for both citys' love of the game.

He said: 'The passion is the same because it is working class passion. Even the corporate fans at Newcastle are from working-class backgrounds. And I get that. I like it because it is a working-class game anyway.

Eyes on the ball: Hatem Ben Arfa (left) is challenged by Jonas Gutierrez ahead of the Tyne-Wear derby

Eyes on the ball: Hatem Ben Arfa (left) is challenged by Jonas Gutierrez ahead of the Tyne-Wear derby

'Some clubs aren’t like that. You can’t compare Arsenal fans to ours for example, it is very different. Chelsea and Spurs are the same – they aren’t like Newcastle. I know that because I’ve been to those grounds.'

'That’s why this game coming up is so different. This is two working-class cities coming together, and coming into battle. They are locking horns. It is brilliant and that’s why it creates such a brilliant atmosphere.'

The only sad note for Pardew The Tuxedo Princess finally set sail in 2008 after closing its doors to the public a year earlier.