4:00pm Thursday 23rd March 2017
NORMALLY, an England manager spends the first six months of his reign indulging in jingoistic bravado. “We’ve got the best players in the world.” “Everyone will be afraid of facing England.” “Our target is to win the next World Cup”.
9:06am Friday 10th March 2017
FOR all his famed loyalty, Steve Gibson will have spent at least some of the last week thinking about sacking Aitor Karanka. You don’t scale the heights Gibson has ascended without a streak of ruthlessness, and as Gareth Southgate, Gordan Strachan and Tony Mowbray can all attest, even Middlesbrough’s faithful chairman is willing to wield the axe if he feels the point of no return has been breached.
5:00am Friday 3rd March 2017
WHEN it comes to predicting results in this season’s Premier League, Leicester City’s 3-1 win over Liverpool on Monday night was one of the easier matches to call.
10:01am Friday 24th February 2017
SOMETIMES, when you feel wronged, it can be exceptionally hard to let go. It isn’t always easy to look to the future, when you feel furious about the past.
5:00am Friday 17th February 2017
WHEN Jermain Defoe moved to the North-East in January 2015, I thought I had him worked out. Flashy, arrogant, more interested in flouncing around London nightclubs with a WAG on his arm than dedicating himself to his profession.
3:00pm Thursday 9th February 2017
WHAT is the best way to avoid relegation? Be solid, well-organised and hard to beat, but struggle to score goals and win matches, or be much more open and susceptible to defeat, but boast an attacking threat that means you’re always liable to pull off a surprise victory?
4:00pm Thursday 26th January 2017
The transfer window closes next Tuesday, with the North-East’s three biggest clubs all expected to be involved in some hectic late action. How has their January business gone so far? And what might still be to come?
5:00am Friday 13th January 2017
“BRING back Sepp Blatter”. Well, not quite. But it’s safe to say the general reaction to new FIFA president Gianni Infantino’s plan to revamp the World Cup has not cast him as a radical improvement to his disgraced predecessor.
5:00am Friday 9th December 2016
NOT for the first time, Durham have dug the ECB out of a sizeable hole in the shape of debutant centurion Keaton Jennings. Two months on from the imposition of the most draconian punishments ever seen in county cricket, it would be nice to think the governing body would repay the favour.
1:40pm Thursday 24th November 2016
GIVEN the abundance of impressionable young boys within footballing circles in the 1970s and 80s, it is hardly a surprise that the sport was targeted by the kind of predatory paedophiles that were operating in other areas of British society during the same period.
10:00am Thursday 17th November 2016
IMAGINE what the headlines would have been if Wayne Rooney had refused to have a couple of drinks with the wedding party sharing his hotel on Saturday night, and had rebuffed their repeated requests for a photograph. “England skipper snubs happy couple”. Or perhaps in The Sun, “Roo’s up his own backside?”
9:04am Friday 11th November 2016
IF nothing else, this evening’s World Cup qualifier should at least disprove the notion that England matches do not matter anymore.
5:00am Friday 4th November 2016
WHEN he was manager of England Under-21s, Gareth Southgate spoke passionately about the need for a pathway from the junior set-up to the senior squad.
5:00am Friday 14th October 2016
IF international football was the Premier League, England would be Everton. Half-decent a fair while ago, and boasting a smattering of exciting young players, but a long way short of the very highest level and unlikely to be challenging for a meaningful title any time soon.
5:00am Friday 7th October 2016
THE gait is slower, the gut is a fair bit bigger, but the smile remains unmistakeable. Tino is back in town, and is unashamedly wearing a huge pair of Aviator-style sunglasses even though Newcastle is shrouded in autumnal cloud. Even in a team that will forever be remembered as ‘The Entertainers’, one maverick was always able to stand apart.
5:00am Friday 23rd September 2016
IF the intention of the hackers behind the ‘Fancy Bears’ leak of medical data was to deflect attention away from the Russian drugs scandal, then they have succeeded handsomely.
5:00am Friday 9th September 2016
IT is barely three months since Wes Morgan was hoisting the Premier League trophy above his head, but Leicester City’s success is already feeling more like a blip than a deep-rooted changing of the ways.
5:00am Friday 26th August 2016
DAVID MOYES’ brutally honest assessment of Sunderland’s financial position has resulted in two key questions being asked. Why, at a time when more money is flowing into the Premier League than ever before, is the club unable to compete with the vast majority of its top-flight rivals? And is Sunderland’s owner, Ellis Short, ultimately the one to blame?
5:00am Friday 19th August 2016
THIS has been a truly remarkable Olympic fortnight for Team GB, but while Britain’s rivals attempt to uncover some underhand explanation for the nation’s stunning series of successes in Rio, the truth is that there is no secret formula to what we have been witnessing.
5:00am Friday 29th July 2016
A WEEK tomorrow, the eyes of the sporting world will be trained on Rio as the Games of the 31st Olympiad being. Finally, after one of the most damaging periods in Olympic history, sporting action will eclipse legal wrangling and disciplinary debate as the key topic of conversation.
Chief Sports Writer Scott Wilson takes a look back at the last seven days in sport and picks his chumps and champs of the week.
Chief sports writer Scott Wilson takes a look back at the last seven days in sport and picks his chumps and champs of the week.
Fraser Kicks Off
Chief football writer Paul Fraser keeps an eye on the region’s football scene and considers whether Newcastle United, Sunderland and Middlesbrough do things right.
Award winning columnist Mike Amos tells the stories of North-East grassroots sport stalwarts and looks back at the characters that live long in the memory.
Fraser From The Fairway
Golf writer Paul Fraser takes a look at the North-East golf scene.
Trevor Oakley, 34, has supported Darlington FC for over 25 years, seeing few highs and many lows. Like all fans, he has his opinions; time will tell whether you agree.