Sunderland in South Korea: off to a losing start and familiar explanation

The new home kit: (c) Getty Images

With great thanks to Sunderland’s new kit sponsors, Invest in Africa**, we are able to show off the new strip*, home and away. Hardly a scoop – the away version had already been seen and the home kit was formally announced yesterday – but worth recording, along with the outcome of today’s opening game of the pre-season campaign, defeat in South Korea …

Seongnam is not
a name that trips effortlessly off the tongue in the lexicon of world football. Over in South Korea, however, they are big news and they were good enough to beat Sunderland 1-0 in the Peace Cup.

No need to tear out hair. We all know the drill with pre-season friendlies and tournaments: we’d love to win but it’s about fitness more than results.

SAFC were minus a number of first-team players for this trip though all senior professionals available – our sole new signing so far, Carlos Cuellar, among them and apparently impressive – featured at some stage today. We hit the woodwork three times. It was a man called Everton ((Santos) who did for us, just as that club called Everton so often does.

Salut! Sunderland
hasn’t sold enough mugs or advertising space to be able to send Sixer east to cover such games so had to rely on stuttering text coverage from the official site (M Salut pays for audio but couldn’t get any sound, which rather defeats the object). A clue as to how seriously the outcome was regarded may be gleaned from the website’s failure even to activate the self-updating function, leaving readers stuck with a slow manual version.

This is what Martin O’Neill had to say to afterwards:

It was very much a good workout. The opposition were fitter, faster and fresher but there were some decent things in the game along side some disappointing ones.

The biggest disappointment was losing … we would have liked to have been contesting the final on Sunday … we had some good spells … maybe when I analyse it tomorrow I will take the lack of fitness into consideration.

I was more concerned by this comment, one that tells the tale of so many Sunderland letdowns in recent seasons: “We gave the ball away very cheaply when we had it and when there was no need to give it away.”

MON knows how costly that can be in the Premier. We can surely trust him to sort it out before the middle of next month.

* You can pre-order replicas from or buy in store and online in store and online from August 9. The club says it is also offering fans “the chance to stand proud alongside Martin O’Neill and his players in their ‘biggest ever team photo’, as every fan who purchases the new adidas 2012-13 home replica shirt will be invited to take part in a photo with the team … the event will take place at the Stadium of Light in October, and all those who take part receive a free commemorative copy of the picture.”

** Salut! Sunderland thanks Invest in Africa for permission to reproduce the photos. It describes itself as a business initiative that aims to promote Africa as a leading investment destination and to challenge perceptions about investing on the continent: “Invest in Africa’s mission is to show that Africa is open for business, and that its future prosperity is dependent on private-sector investment rather than aid.

With the initial Founding Partner Tullow Oil plc, Invest in Africa will build a coalition of founding partners that in many instances have already successfully invested in Africa, creating jobs, transferring knowledge and skills and bringing new products to African consumers so helping deliver the sustainable growth that’s a priority for African countries. Invest in Africa will provide a leading platform for businesses to work in partnership with key stakeholders to demonstrate their commitment to driving sustainable economic growth across the continent.

The away strip (NB the blue one; not the greys): (c) Getty Images
Monsieur Salut, by Matt

6 thoughts on “Sunderland in South Korea: off to a losing start and familiar explanation”

  1. Interestingly Alan, I was reading somewhere yesterday that one of Brendan Rogers mantras is for his new Liverpool charges to win the ball back within 7 seconds of losing possession. It seems like a sensible criteria to get the team winning but whether he is going to do that by selling Carroll back to Newcastle and spending 15M on Joe Allen and another 10M on Clint Dempsey remains to be seen. There is a real danger that he is going to turn Liverpool into a Swansea or Fulham. He has some innovative ideas Rogers. Whether they work, and whether he has the imagination to do what needs to be done at Liverpool I really don’t know. My suspicion is that by this time next year they will be looking for a replacement.

  2. Just a minor point, Mon had a large part of last season to teach our lads that part of the idea of the game is to pass to the guys wearing the same coloured shirts as you have on. It seems that they remain as thick this season as they were ending last season.

    Perhaps an incentive such as “pass twice to the opposition in a game and we dock 25% OF YOUR WAGES MIGHT HELP THEM CONCENTRATE.

  3. This is something of a record for me. I realised, quite some time after reading this article that in well over 40 years of rather predictable and inescapable failure that there is something rather novel about this defeat. We have lost to a club that I had previously not even heard of.

    It just goes to show that there is always something new happening in football even for the more mature Mackem.

    I can’t think of any occasion when this has happened before.

    • Seongnam FC is currently 10th out of a 16-team league in S.Korea (K-League it’s called). I think they’ve won the AFC Champions League in the past but currently struggling in the league.

      I watched the game on TV and the lads just looked out of shape but overall, it was pretty an even match.

    • There were quite a lot of our supporters at the SOL last game of the season that apparently had not heard of Manchester United

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