A nightmare in the North East: Round the coffee table with legends of the troubled region
22 May 2009 12:42
Four legends from the relegation region met at The Three Tuns Hotel in Durham to discuss Survival Sunday. Former Middlesbrough manager Colin Todd, Gary Bennett, who played more than 350 games for Sunderland, former Newcastle and Ireland defender John Anderson and ex-Hull goalkeeper Alan Fettis chewed the fat while Sportsmail's COLIN YOUNG bought the coffee and biscuits.
Gary Bennett: You look at players now and are they bothered? Are they worried about going down? When we lost a game, it hurt, it ruined your weekend. Nowadays you bump into players after a defeat, ask what they're doing and they'll say: 'Oh I'm going to New York for the weekend.'
Supporters travel forever and pay fortunes and they're distraught. Anton Ferdinand came on the pitch before the game at Portsmouth with these massive headphones on, dancing on the pitch. I watched him and thought, 'Fair enough' and then you see that mistake for the second goal and think, 'What is going on?'
Alan Fettis: You see it in academies now. Young lads all expect Range Rovers and buckets of money and they have not kicked a ball for the first team. There is this arrogance about them.
John Anderson: I met a kid from Dublin who signed a five-year £5,000-a-week contract for Manchester United, plus a 100 grand sponsorship deal. He could be a millionaire at 20 and not even play football. In 1982 I signed for £110 a week, I left in '92 on 800 quid. Halfway through I went in to see (Newcastle manager) Willie McFaul for a tenner-a-week pay rise and came out with a fiver after two-and-a-half hours.
We came here for eight weeks then we're off, insists Shearer's Newcastle assistant boss Dowie
Four teams separated by 99 miles and four points . 90 minutes will decide who says Auf Wiedersehen, Pet!