We roll back the years in new feature.
Ahead of selected home games this season we’ll be taking a nostalgic look back at the match programme from the corresponding fixture 10 years ago.
This week’s Retro Red and White focuses on the issue produced for the visit of Liverpool in April 2002.
Sunderland sat in 15th place in the Barclaycard Premiership, five points off the drop zone, with Gerard Houllier’s Reds lying in third position four points behind leaders Manchester United.
We’d been hoping to bring Julio back for the closing stages of the season but for the moment we’ve sent the lad back to Argentina to recuperate
- Peter Reid on Julio Arca
The Merseysiders won the game 1-0 thanks to a lone goal from Michael Owen in front of a record crowd of 48,353 on Wearside.
As ever, Red and White was packed with exclusive content, including a column from manager Peter Reid as the Sunderland boss lamented the loss of Julio Arca, who had made a huge impression after arriving from South America.
“We’d been hoping to bring Julio back for the closing stages of the season but for the moment we’ve sent the lad back to Argentina to recuperate,” Reid said.
“The kid has done a smashing job for us since he’s been here but the amount of football he’s played over the last couple of years has caught up with him and he needed a rest.
“We send Julio to an Argentinean doctor for a second opinion when Argentina were in Switzerland as we have a first class relationship with their national side.
“We’ll welcome Julio back on his return and assess whether or not he may be able to play again before the end of the season.”
Meanwhile team captain Micky Gray looked back on the 2-0 defeat at Leeds in the team’s last outing, with Jody Craddock scoring an unfortunate own goal at Elland Road.
Gray reflected: “Jody was really unlucky to divert an early cross into his own net.
“He could do the same thing another 100 times without the ball looping into the top corner.”
We can’t expect all our goals to come from strikers and more goals from midfield is a good sign
- Bobby Saxton
Then joint record signing Claudio Reyna sat down with Red and White for a feature interview. The American was red-carded in the latter stages of the Liverpool game having scored both goals in a 2-1 win over Leicester in his previous home outing.
Reyna’s double delighted assistant boss Bobby Saxton, who hailed the side’s burst of goals from midfield.
Reviewing the Leicester game in the ‘Action Stations’ feature, he said: “We scored two excellent goals and it’s pleasing that the last four have come from midfield.
“We can’t expect all our goals to come from strikers and more goals from midfield is a good sign.”
One man also hoping to add to the goal tally was Cameroon international Patrick Mboma, who had joined Sunderland on loan from Italian side Parma.
Mboma was looking to impress in the Black Cats’ last four games and relished the chance to work alongside goal aces Kevin Phillips and Niall Quinn.
“They are different but both very good strikers,” he said. “When I played alongside Niall at Leeds I was starting to get an understanding with him and we created one or two chances.
“Kevin is a great striker. He is a real miss when he is not in the side.”
The programme also featured a short tribute to the Queen Mother, whose funeral had taken place on the previous Tuesday.
The picture accompanying the article featured Queen Elizabeth handing the FA Cup to a victorious Raich Carter at Wembley in 1937.
Meanwhile there was coverage of the reserves’ 2-0 defeat at Everton, where a young Wayne Rooney came off the bench for the Toffees.
Promising young midfielder Grant Leadbitter also earned column inches as he scored for England’s under-16 side in a 2-1 win over Italy at the Montaigu Tournament.