An open letter to James McClean – plus the winners of tickets for Liverpool

Jake has laptop issues. This is how he previewed last season's game

As the international break meanders on, three things are on Sunderland supporters’ minds: the hope that Adam Johnson’s injury has no effect in his availability, the even stronger hope that we get our first Premier win of the season at home to Liverpool on Saturday and the James McClean tweet saga (of which more, indirectly, later) …

Before further discussion of any of that, there is unfinished business.

We offered five free tickets for the Liverpool game – sorry, but as presented to us it was for home fans only – and simply asked readers to give us their thoughts on Martin O’Neill’s dealings in the transfer window.

A few good replies followed, from which I have chosen …

* David Robinson’s
long and entertaining response which included his thoughts on Johnson’s signing:

I was also able to now go and buy an England shirt with a Sunderland player’s name on the back, something that would look incredibly tacky, but would grant me additional ‘smug points’ whilst prancing around town

* Ian Park for summing up Monsieur Salut’s view in two words

Extending Sess

* Scott for amplifying Ian’s answer:

I was pleased with the Fletcher signing and over the moon when I saw AJ holding up the shirt for the first time but for me the signing of the summer was Sess signing his contract extension. It shows that we now mean business and aren’t just going to let our best players go as easy as we used to. All summer I was waiting for the inevitable “Sess sold” story so when Iheard he had committed to new deal I was ecstatic.

The first two contributions – from David and Ian – win two tickets apiece and Scott gets one, though he deserved two as well.

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The tickets were offered our way by Leslie Dodd,a Sunderland exile in the deep south (Surrey) and result from his friendship with a top dog at Betbutler powered by Worldlink, Worldlink being the official betting and gaming partner for SAFC.

Salut! Sunderland needs to put the winners in touch with Leslie as the intermediary – once again stressing that it bears no responsibiltiy for the arrangements that ensue – and will therefore be emailing them and him.

And James McClean?

M Salut’s view of the duty of respect footballers owe their managers and clubs is well known. Stephen Goldsmith’s excellent analysis of the infamous tweet after McClean played no part in the World Cup game (a wrong-headed omission in itself), and the lively debate that followed, inspired this open letter, to young James himself, at the Sunderland pages of the ESPN FC Football blog …
feel free to comment on my take, here or there.

Monsieur Salut, by Matt

9 thoughts on “An open letter to James McClean – plus the winners of tickets for Liverpool”

  1. No word from the other winners, and the supersub I had in mind cannot use tickets for the Liverpool game, so all five go to Scott.

    As for the silent pair of winners, if they come forward belatedly I will happily check to see whether they can be obliged for future games

  2. “he took the field to “rapturous applause” from the crowd and almost immediately came close to scoring.” Just like Simon Cox. At least the Irish fans can be grateful that Jon Walters withdrew.

    I’ve seen pub teams which Walters would struggle to get in.

  3. McClean played for the last half hour, I see. According to, he took the field to “rapturous applause” from the crowd and almost immediately came close to scoring.

  4. Selective reporting of his teammates’ thinking; Mr Taylor. they also thought him completely out of order. He is on the bench again v Oman but Meyler, whose conduct in the face of vastly more serious setbacks has been exemplary, starts.

  5. I’m with Jeremy. McClean should have stuck to his guns and refused to back down. That said, some of his team-mates seem to feel this whole episode, apology and all, will solidify his positon. It’ll be interesting to see if he gets a game against Oman today. I think it’ll say a great deal more about Trappatoni and his character and abilities than it does about McClean if he’s kept on the bench.

  6. No disrespect to Jeremy – he and I will never agree on this any more than we did on Evra and Co’s scandalous behaviour in South Africa, but my views on player power, the McClean case included, are fully covered at

    As for the free tickets, I have heard promptly from Scott but received no response to attempts to contact Ian or David. Their prizes risk being lost unless I hear from them so I can put them in touch with the man with the tickets.

  7. If you are a journalist or a plumber or an estate agent or whatever your occupation; other than a footballer, you can vote with your feet. Stick 2 fingers up at the editor, tell the boss to stick his plunger up the proverbial, or hit the gaffer over the head with one of his boards. If you’re an international footballer, you don’t have that choice. He is now stuck with the Republic for better or worse.

    The comparison with Keane may be an obvious one but it doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. Completely different circumstances entirely. McClean’s comments may appear intemperate, and maybe I’ve been on the wrong end of some decisions which have gone against me, but I am at that stage of life where I think “Sod it! Just tell it like it is,” which is just what McClean has done. He should have stood by his words and not backed down and he would have gained more respect perhaps if he said he was withdrawing his services while Trapattoni was the coach. His exile, given the ludicrous selections Trappatoni continues to make, combined with the results obtained would possibly have been the shortest in international history. If you have the balls to say it son, stick with it and don’t apologise.

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