James Hunt: If Danny Graham gives his all, Sunderland fans can lay off the boos

Fan’s Eye View

What a difference a day (and a half) makes.

Tuesday 29 January, 9.15pm: Danny Graham is booed by Sunderland fans as he comes on as a substitute for Swansea.

Thursday 31 January, 2pm: Danny Graham signs a three-and-a-half-year deal with Sunderland.

There are no real surprises when it comes to football transfers nowadays. However, surely not many players can be booed by a club, only to sign for them 36 hours later.

We were always likely to be in the market for a striker this window, especially as three of them were allowed to leave.

A couple of the usual suspects were mentioned – Gary Hooper, John Guidetti, Jan Koller – but Graham's was the only rumour that seemed to have any weight behind it.

Hand-in-hand with the talk of his arrival was the talk of his allegiances. He's made no secret in the past of his boyhood support of Newcastle, and before long the world and his aunt had seen a snippet of an interview given to a fanzine in which he was less than complimentary about us.

Opinions everywhere were divided, from the offices of our fanzine A Love Supreme to social networks and people in the pub. There were three schools of thought on Graham:

1) Fans wanted him, regardless of who he supports;

2) Fans didn't want him because he was a Newcastle fan;

3) Fans didn't want him because the deal didn't represent value for money.

I sat somewhere between 1 and 3; I'm not sure he's worth the £5m fee, but I couldn't really care less who he supports as long as he gives his all on the pitch (and doesn't take fashion tips from Lee Clark off it – remember his 1999 Cup final T-shirt).

The booing is peculiar, to the say the least, as I cannot remember him being booed on previous occasions against us. This means, in effect, he has been jeered for wanting to sign for us. And, despite that reaction, he still wanted to come here. That, for me, says a lot.

I think for the majority of fans it'll be a case of if he gives it his all and scores a few goals then it won't be an issue.

On the flipside, if he misses a few chances – especially at St James' Park – then it'll be used by some as a stick to beat him with. The fact he wanted to come here, though, should ease the fears of fans who have bad memories of Clark and Michael Chopra.

Where he differs from those fellow Newcastle fans is that he's never actually played for them. He's never been paid to wear their shirt; never been cheered by their fans. Of course it's not quite as (ahem) black and white as that –Titus Bramble played for them, and manages fine, although he wasn't a fan and we enjoyed seeing him play for Newcastle more than their own fans did.

We've signed someone for a fairly sizeable fee, who publicly made clear his intentions to leave in order to help the transfer progress, fits in with Martin O'Neill's style and scored 12 Premier League goals last season. Sound familiar?

James Hunt writes for Sunderland fanzine A Love Supreme

Voices
Hunted: A stag lies dead on Jura, where David Cameron holidays and has himself stalked deer
voicesThe Scotland I know is becoming a playground for the rich
News
people'When I see people who look totally different, it brings me back to that time in my life'
News
newsMcKamey Manor says 'there is no escape until the tour is completed'
News
Russell Brand has written a book of political analysis called Revolution
peopleFilm star says he is 'not interested in making money anymore'
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has refused to deny his involvement in the upcoming new Star Wars film
filmBenedict Cumberbatch reignites those Star Wars rumours
Sport
footballAccording to revelations from Sergio Aguero's new biography
News
news
News
people

Britain First criticised for using actress's memory to draw attention to their 'hate-filled home page'

Life and Style
Meow! ... Again, Kim Kardashian goes for a sexy Halloween costume, wrapping her body with a latex catsuit and high heeled knee boots
fashionFrom Heidi Klum to Kim Kardashian
News
news

Emergency call 'started off dumb, but got pretty serious'

Extras
indybest
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
JK Rowling is releasing a new Harry Potter story about Dolores Umbridge
booksChristmas comes early for wizard fans
Arts and Entertainment
filmsOculus Rift offers breathtakingly realistic simulation of zero gravity
Life and Style
tech

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker