This is where Pete Sixsmith captures the glory and shame, hope and despair, excitement and ennui of the Sunderland matchday experience. When, rarely, Pete is absent or delayed, a supersub does it for him and the seven-word verdict is preceded by an asterisk. Pete’s full analysis of the game will usually appear within a day or two.
Forget Arsenal being in disarray (not really, of course, but by their standards). This was a great victory, 100 per cent merited and showed precisely why Martin O’Neill manages at a very high level and Monsieur Salut manages at no level at all. I raised an eyebrow at the decision to start without a recognised striker. most of us agreeing that is not Sessegnon’s natural position. And we proceeded to score twice without reply, Sess having a storming game in which he constantly threatened in the centre and on the wing.
Kieran Richardson, helped by Sebastien Squillaci’s slight deflection, steamed in the first. Oxlade-Chamberlain bundled the ball over his own line after a superb breakaway move involving Sess and Larsson to seal it. It was a display full of control, strength and determination. Expect to read much more about this match in the coming 36 hours – see, already, Martin’s Musings, the manager’s rightly buoyant reading of the game.
The full Sixer’s Sevens archive – see link below – sums up what all Sunderland supporters feel, from darkest gloom to sublime elation, in the words of one who is usually there …
Feb 18 2012 FA CUP 5th round: SAFC (1) 2 Arsenal (0) A wonderfully gritty performance brings deserved victory
Feb 11 2012 SAFC (0) 1 Arsenal (0) 2 Played well but undone by goalkeeping errors
Feb 8 2012 FA Cup 4th round replay: Middlesbrough (0) 1 SAFC (1) 2 Quality came through in rousing cup tie
Feb 4 2012 Stoke City (0) 0 SAFC (0) 1 *McClean clincher makes winter seem less bleak or (Sixer’s delayed verdict) bêtes noires beaten in Artic type conditions
Feb 1 2012 SAFC (2) 3 Norwich City (0) 0 An absolute stroll as Canaries brushed aside
Jan 29 2012 FA Cup 4th Round: SAFC (0) 1 Middlesbrough (1) 1 Honours even in typically scrappy cup derby
To see Sixer’s Sevens in full, click here. If an asterisk precedes the comment, the words that follow are the work of someone else because Pete is for once absent from the game or his verdict has been delayed …