After seeing his side held to stalemates in their first two away fixtures, David Moyes was skeptical of Manchester United's trip to the BayArena to face Sami Hyypia's free-flowing Bayer Leverkusen, sitting second in the Bundesliga and unbeaten at home since March.
Supporting Sunderland is like living in a fairy-tale. Before you interject and say: "Who is this clown? He must be a lunatic, let's bottle him", let me elaborate. I don't mean fairy-tales in the modern sense. I mean the original works.
Being busy is only a small part of it. I'll be straight: I definitely thought it would be easier, that I could just switch on the telly and watch my team play. I mean, it's the national sport, an essential part of our history, culture and identity... surely it's on free to air telly? But as a friend explained, stooped over his laptop and modem trying to breathe life into an indifferent internet connection, it doesn't work like that.
The standout surprise name in the squad announcement is Southampton forward Jay Rodriguez. Whilst the 24-year-old may well be a wildcard pick ahead of the World Cup, West Ham's Ravel Morrison can feel hard done by not to be included.
I am no longer just a football fan. What Mike Ashley has successfully achieved is to make pseudo-accountants out of many Newcastle United fans. Instead of pointing to silverware as a barometer of progress and success.
Like most Newcastle United fans I was ecstatic with not only the three points against Chelsea, but also in the manner in which we got them. Yes Chelsea had the better of the first half, but we more than proved ourselves worthy winners with our fantastic display in the second half...
This Sunday, Swansea travel to Cardiff for what promises to be one of the highlights of the Premier League season. And no, I'm not exaggerating. This will be the first time the two sides have ever clashed in top flight football, and neither will want to give up an inch to their arch-rivals and sworn enemy.
It has been reported that there are fewer English players playing in the Premier League today than ever before. In fact, English footballers account for just 32.26% of all minutes played in the Premier League and it is the lowest home-grown ratio across all major European leagues according to Opta statisticians.
Football is simple to learn, inexpensive to play, and loved across so many borders. As such, it can teach its fans (and its players) the values of mutual respect and tolerance. When your young heroes are so diverse, it is bound to stutter racism.
Norwich's Leroy Fer caused widespread controversy on Saturday when he opted to roll the ball into Cardiff's unguarded net with an unsuspecting David Marshall out of position rather than return the ball to his opponents, who had kicked the ball out of play so his teammate could receive treatment for an injury. Unsurprisingly, chaos ensued.
I'm not saying derby day victories are necessarily bigger than winning trophies, of course they aren't, but when clubs are unlikely to lift said trophies, then the derby triumph is the next best thing.
Joe Hart's miscalculation cost his City side dear on Sunday in their defeat to Chelsea, further raising questions about the England number one's decline in form of late. It seems like it has all gone downhill since that dramatic final day when Aguero's strike sealed the Premier League title for Manchester United's noisy neighbours back in 2012.
The biggest problem is the ignorance referees display when defending their colleagues in the heat of high-profile mistakes. 'Refs are only human' is a common response, rather than trying to come up with ideas to aid the officials in the future.
Of all the players Paolo Di Canio decided to make an example of, Cattermole was the most inexplicable. Of all the poor decisions he made, this was the worst. Of all the dissenting voices in the dressing room, the midfielder's was one of the most listened to.
Ashley quite obviously thinks he can remove freedom of information from the equation and Newcastle United fans will take this lying down too. I won't focus on the act of banning newspapers too much. Quite clearly Ashley is feeling the pressure and is reacting in the only way he knows how to - badly.
The club we are supporting right now is not Newcastle United. It is a pale imitation of the great club it once was. Until Mike Ashley leaves and takes Kinnear and Pardew we will not see this great club back to where it belongs; showing ambition, playing good football, and exciting the fans with the (ever heartbreaking) possibility that this year will be our year in the cups.