Salut! Sunderland’s Week: the best of enemies – Newcastle and their sharper Cissé

Jake flatters Salut! Sunderland

The Mediterranean sun must be getting to Monsieur Salut. Readers of a sensitive disposition may wish to avert their eyes …

Never mind the best of the past week. The best piece from an opposing supporter to appear here this season – in the biased view of Monsieur Salut – was written by David Athey.

David supports Newcastle United. Perhaps to the dismay of some Sunderland fans, that would not disqualify him as an entrant in our annual ”Who are You?” awards, partly because it was an article rather than David’s answers to my questions and partly because he is my cousin. As it happens, another Newcastle supporter, Michael Hudson, is on the shortlist for those awards –
– and a third – – narrowly missed it.

But here is a key segment of what David wrote, ahead of the second of this season’s derby games:

I was positively upset when Sunderland’s excellent progress under Martin (“the Messiah”) O’Neill stuttered at West Brom. I also took it personally when only 26,042 turned up to see Sunderland beat Arsenal in the Cup. Having said all that, I still rejoice over “our” demolition of Sunderland at home last season, and will be looking for a repeat performance at St James’ this weekend!

So yes, local rivalry is good and stimulating, but when it degenerates into pointless tribalism of the worst sort, then it just shows North East football support to be parochial and rather pathetic. Why not buck the trend by demonstrating respect and sportsmanship particularly towards our local rivals?

Read the piece in full at this link:

I headlined it: 1: Sunderland 2: Newcastle United 3: Middlesbrough – could we live with that? And it is obvious from what I have written already that I could, as could David provided numbers one and two were in reverse order.

And what has brought back such thoughts? A short discussion at the Blackcats e-mail list on the two goals Papa Cissé scored to help Newcastle do almost as well as we did last season and beat Chelsea 2-0 at Stamford Bridge.

Let’s not beat about the bush: the first goal was superbly taken. The second was sensational, a long-range shot but with an exquisite curving trajectory so magical to watch that any suggestion of hit-and-hope looks churlish. We had a Cissé not so long ago; he scored a few important goals but none sticks in the mind as will Papa’s. Look them up at YouTube – I am sure the clips will be lost soon enough so be quick.

The thread at the Blackcats list began with these comments:

My contempt and dislike for all things Mag is well documented … I have to set rivalry aside for a moment though after watching the Chelsea v Newcastle Utd game in the early hours of the morning, when I couldn’t sleep.
If anyone has seen this game they must surely have been taken aback by the two astonishing demonstrations of skill by Cissé for his brace. The summariser, Tony Gale is probably older than me, and his comment was that he couldn’t remember ever seeing a striker hit two better goals than that in a game. I have to agree with him. Both of them were jaw dropping efforts. The first sublime in execution and the second arguably even more astonishing in terms of audacity as well as execution. If you haven’t seen these goals then you really ought to. Absolutely brilliant even though it was for THEM!

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The writer went on to redeem himself with a stern attack on the ”nasty, dirty little …” Cheikh Ismael Tioté, who ”got precisely what he deserved” having been lucky not to be sent off in the first 10 minutes. But I was struck by his honest praise for Cissé’s admirable exploits.

Of course we were all delighted to see Wigan thrash the Mags last weekend. It was brilliant beating them in successive seasons, at what was then St James’ Park, when we were indisputably the North-eastern top dogs. Staying up when they went down gave us a buzz just as it gave neutrals a laugh. Even those of us who feel not remotely obsessed about Newcastle – I was far more interested this week in Dijon, managed by Patrice Carteron (once a scorer for us in a Wear-Tyne derby), losing at home to Auxerre than the Mags winning at Chelesa – ALWAYS want to beat them 9-1.

But this was Papa Cissé’s week, every truthful Sunderland supporter wishes he played for us, not them, and … well, that’s quite enough conciliation thank you very much.

Ha’way the Lads at Fulham tomorrow. And Ho’way Man City at the Sports Direct Arena.

Monsieur Salut, by Matt

6 thoughts on “Salut! Sunderland’s Week: the best of enemies – Newcastle and their sharper Cissé”

  1. From my perspective as one of the many from the north-east who lives away from the area the rivalry between SAFC and NUFC has become too poisoned and it’s up to us as fans, and intelligent fans at that, to counter it. So, accept our postings, UTD111, or go away.

    I recently enjoyed seeing The North-east above a couple of London clubs whose supporters appear to act on the premise that us northerners, to quote Dr. Leech, have no more right to live on God’s clean earth than a weasel. It makes a nice change.

    Yes I wish it was SAFC, but there we go. One day it will be.

    And while I’m here, I can add that I’m disappointed Boro didn’t make it and hope they do so next season

  2. I remember posting in January that I hoped that we would splash the cash and get Cisse. He was my first choice, and then second was Pav from Spurs. We got neither. We have to get a fox-in-the-box striker. I am a little envious that N’cle got Cisse but given the fact that Ba was there (his friend and fellow Senagalese attacker) we stood little chance. Well, in the summer, we have to splash big and get a Darren Bent-like replacement.
    We’ve not really replaced him and we need someone like him. Sell GYan and splash that cash!

  3. “Flat-pak ground…” That’s rich coming from someone whose team stadium’s naming rights are up for grabs to the highest bidder. And one of these days, that’ll be IKEA.

  4. What is stranger, UTD111,my ”unhealthy obsession” with NUFC, demonstrably unproved, or your complete lack of proportion or perception? Or is it more that you are unheathily drawn, as ever, to a website that has more humour, literacy and reason than six of yours put together?

    I imagine there are ways of missing the point that are even more spectacular than yours. I will not introduce a special 1-9 mug in order to make a ”fatuous comment of the year” award to you.

    But I will remind you that this is a football site and reserves the right, accordingly, to comment on any subject supporters of Sunderland in particular, and the game in general, may find interesting. Au revoir …

  5. Two things are becoming apparent about this strange blog…

    First, the constant need to write about Newcastle United every now and then to boost your flagging comment count….

    Second, the increasingly laughable evidence you provide in your strange attempts to prove that you are “North East Top Dogs”.

    Seriously – the sooner you mackems drop your unhealthy obsession with all things United, and actually concentrate on maybe filling your flat-pak ground instead, for example, then the sooner you might come anywhere near us on any front.

    For your own sakes – wake up and smell the coffee!!

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