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  • Thu, 03 Jun 2021 13:39:12 +0000: ‘It’s really over’: Former Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner confirms retirement - Sunderland | The Guardian
    • Dane also played for Sunderland, Birmingham and Wolfsburg
    • 33-year-old won a Serie A title with Juventus

    The former Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner has announced his retirement from football aged 33.

    Danish international Bendtner, who also had spells at Sunderland, Birmingham and Juventus, scored 30 times for his country in 81 games in an international career spanning 12 years.

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  • Sat, 22 May 2021 16:49:20 +0000: Lincoln reach League One play-off final after Hopper’s header at Sunderland - Sunderland | The Guardian

    Lee Johnson had asked Sunderland fans to serve as his team’s extra man by turning one of English football’s most atmospheric arenas into a cauldron and they did not disappoint.

    It was not the supporters’ fault that Lincoln rather than Sunderland will contest the League One play-off final at Wembley against Blackpool next Sunday. Or that the Wearsiders are consigned to a fourth successive season in the third tier.

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  • Fri, 21 May 2021 15:28:45 +0000: Sunderland desperate to overturn play-off deficit against Lincoln - Sunderland | The Guardian

    Having lost the semi-final first leg 2-0, Lee Johnson’s side have an uphill task if they are to avoid a fourth season in League One

    As the sun set over Sincil Bank on Wednesday Sunderland’s hopes of escaping League One seemed to be fading in synch with the evening light. Lee Johnson’s side were 2-0 down after the first leg of their play-off semi-final against Lincoln and contemplating the unpalatable prospect of spending a fourth successive season in the third tier.

    That fate can still be avoided but, as Johnson acknowledges, there is scant margin for error in front of 10,000 fans in Saturday’s second leg. “We’re still in this,” said the former Bristol City manager. “But we have to turn it round on one of the biggest days in our club’s recent history.”

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  • Wed, 19 May 2021 21:26:12 +0000: Brennan Johnson taps in gift as Lincoln claim first-leg win over Sunderland - Sunderland | The Guardian

    Michael Appleton, the Lincoln manager, was proud of his players after they seized the initiative in the first leg of their League One play-off against Sunderland, running out deserved 2-0 winners at a raucous LNER Stadium.

    Following a goalless first half, Tom Hopper struck after 51 minutes to give the Imps the lead, before Brennan Johnson took advantage of a goalkeeping blunder by Lee Burge to double the advantage. And while Appleton knows the job is only half finished, he admitted he was happy heading to Wearside on Saturday firmly in the driving seat.

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  • Sat, 15 May 2021 19:00:34 +0000: Down but not out: lampooned Allardyce can still make Albion proud | Jonathan Wilson - Sunderland | The Guardian

    The West Brom manager has a stain on his record now. But nobody should think the old magic has entirely deserted him

    The summer of 2016 has a lot of answer for. What if England had not been beaten by Iceland in the last 16 of the Euros? What if they had not lost their nerve, if Joe Hart had not made that mistake, if somebody, anybody, had demonstrated any kind of clarity of vision and attempted a mode of attacking that was not just whacking the ball into the box or giving it to Wayne Rooney? What if they had then scrambled through a quarter-final against the anxious hosts, France, to set up (another) semi-final show-down with Germany?

    Perhaps Roy Hodgson would have had his contract renewed, perhaps Sam Allardyce would not have been appointed and perhaps Sunderland would be a thriving Premier League side. Think back, to that final league game of 2015-16 at the Stadium of Light: a 3-0 win over Everton in front of jubilant stands to secure survival; Allardyce on the pitch afterwards, tie somewhere near his navel, celebrating before an audience that truly appreciated him; Allardyce downing bottles of lager in a brief post-match press conference; Allardyce with Jim Montgomery, the goalkeeping legend of the 1973 FA Cup final, holding court in the bar of the Hilton Garden Inn after that.

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