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View from the cemetery - April 2016 - 3

Submitted by Ghostly Gadgie on Saturday, 16 April 2016

This certainly feels like it has been a long old season, and another postponement the other night at Seaham doesn’t help matters. And today's opponents must be feeling it even more. Morpeth will still have twelve games to play after today and before their trip to Wembley, and most of them at home on what is, to be fair, looking like a pretty battered surface. They will be hoping to get through it all in one piece and fit to do themselves and the league justice against Hereford. I reckon they will be OK though. Nothing like a day out to the big city to revive your juices. Even though I am generally very conservative in matters of football it does seem to make the case for smaller leagues which the FA supposedly hope to implement on coming years. Four games fewer doesn’t seem much in August, but by now it looks a lot. So bring it on I say. Looks like we are going to have some change this season anyway, with a few clubs supposedly qualified to enter the league, which makes it look bleak for Stokesley in particular, which is a shame. A few years back they were flying. And at the right time of year if the football is poor you can always nip round the other side and watch the cricket. And Bishops might get their wish to go the other way as the FA get the old cherrypicker out. It will undoubtedly end in tears, but there they go.

In the wider world it starts to look bad for Sam and his boys, and worse if anything for those over on the dark side. The Boro to be the only Premier side in the North East next season begins to look like a probability. Although I reckon there will still be some twists and turns before the death. I had a small wager on Palace to drop, and I haven’t torn it up yet.

I also have a similar slip bearing the name of Atletico Madrid, and as I write this at lunchtime on Wednesday that is still alive, at least for a few hours before Barca come to the Vincente Calderon. A stadium I always wanted to visit as it happens. Crumbling and soon to be replaced, but supposedly the best atmosphere in Spain on a big night, which tonight last Wednesday is or was, if you see what I mean. A nest of subversives Atletico, Old Franco used to think, and personally I don’t think any the worse of them for that. He also made them change their name from Athletic to Atletico, something he also tried with Athletic Bilbao, but the Basques changed back as soon as the old swine was dead. Both Atletico and Athletic have some more or less links back to Sunderland through miners and shipyard workers who went over many years ago, and they wear red and white, so they tend to be the teams I support in those parts. As good a reason as any, and better than most, but not if it costs me money...