Aleksandar Mitrovic will be the most popular man in Newcastle if he heaps more misery on Sunderland

editorial image
0
Have your say

Sunderland and their long-suffering fans make the journey to the capital for their last away game of this nightmare season when they play Fulham on Friday night.

The Londoners are one of the teams of the season in the Championship with a chance for automatic promotion, while Sunderland are heading in the opposite direction.

I don’t know many who don’t enjoy a trip to Craven Cottage.

It is old school but atmospheric and whenever I have been there – either playing or in the media – the welcome has always been warm and friendly.

One of my earliest visits was in the late 70s and the great George Best was turning out for Fulham, what a thrill for a young player to be on the same pitch as the coolest footballer on the planet.

George’s glory days were behind him, he had lost a yard of pace, unsurprisingly given his lifestyle, but he was still amazing, controlling the game from the middle of the park – a genius of a footballer.

Other memories from games at Fulham would be Kieran Richardson hitting both posts and the bar from a single free-kick, something if you tried to do would be almost impossible and Ricky Alvarez’s only goal for Sunderland in an FA Cup win – a real collector’s item.

Alvarez would eventually cost Sunderland the best part of £10million, when Sunderland never even owned him! What a shambolic fiasco, even by Sunderland’s standards.

You could say his goal at Fulham was a bit pricey!

As well as that cup win, Sunderland have also won their last two league games at Fulham, so our record there isn’t bad, not that it matters now, of course.

Getting back to the present day and Fulham have many dangers that will test Sunderland, not least Aleksandar Mitrovic, on loan from Newcastle United.

Mitrovic has taken the Championship by storm in his short spell at Fulham and no doubt he will be reminded that if he helps pile on more misery for Sunderland it won’t harm his popularity on Tyneside.

All Sunderland can do now though is play for pride.

We have beaten Fulham once this season and what a relief that was to finally win a home game, but it was a rare highspot in a season of relentless lows.