Good old Arsenal. Sincere sympathies to Wigan


Here’s where you can say what you wish about the fact that we have stayed up and the manner in which that was achieved.

Yes, Paolo Di Canio is justified in claiming credit for eight points from six games in charge of a woeful, confidence-free side heading for the abyss. Yes, it would have looked an awful lot better still had we drawn at Newcastle and at home to Everton and then beaten two from Villa, Stoke and Southampton, losing the other.

But in the end, the tally would have been the same and it has come down to another team doing the business where we couldn’t.

Thank you Arsenal – Monsieur Salut has probably always been in a minority here in his admiration for Monsieur Wenger – for ensuring our safety tonight. I know you didn’t do it for us and there is no reason why you should have done, but thanks all the same. I hope it is not asking too much of our limited, depleted squad that they at least try to return the favour on Sunday.

And to Bernard Ramsdale and those other great stalwarts of proper Wigan support, commiserations. The FA Cup is not, unfortunately, quite enough to compensate for going down.

Come back soon. You deserved better, better if truth be told than us.

And for Sunderland fans, stand by for end-of-season reviews from several of our writers. If you think you can do better, contact me at the e-mail link somewhere in the bottom right corner of the main page.

Monsieur Salut, by Matt
Monsieur Salut, by Matt

1973 May 5See all Salut! Sunderland’s articles recalling May 5 1973 and the run that took SAFC to FA Cup glory:

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33 thoughts on “Good old Arsenal. Sincere sympathies to Wigan”

  1. Blimey but they made us sweat.Wigan looked the better side for an hour and the more likely winners for a while…..Arsenal looked like a relegation team till they went 2-1 up.But as usual it was shoddy defending that let them down.Stick a decent back 4 in there and they’d have pretty good side.

    I do feel for the fans…they cannot even enjoy winning the FA cup …football can be very cruel.Still better them than us….we’ve been there many a time…its someone elses turn.

    So another bullet dodged…whats in store for next season?….it will be interesting no doubt with PDC in charge.

  2. gotta disagree with your comments about WIgan Lars

    Wigan Bolton Blackburn – the 3 games where we filled 1 end of the grounds – reasonably priced tickets too

    Far better than the expensive trips down south

  3. the majority of the postings on here are of the totally negative attitude that PDC is trying to get rid of in the club

    Well done to Short for getting rid of the walkking dead MON and installing a man with passion and commitment

    Who else would have orchestrated wins over Newcasle & everton – we were certainties for relegation at that point

    We will beat Spurs 2 – 0 Newcastle will get hammered off Arsenal and we will retain our rightful position of North East Top Dogs

  4. Well lads it turned out fine in the end, all we can hope is that next season we have something to cheer. I feel sorry for Wigan but hey ho rather them than us but it must have put a serious downer on the FA cup party.
    Wishing you a good season from AVFC.

  5. In my opinion we are probably one of the 3 worst teams in the EPL this season, however by sacking an inept Manager and appointing PDC we got the ‘bounce’ required to attain 8 points which have kept us up.

    It also begs the question would you take an FA cup win and be relegated or lose the final and survive ?

    I suspect Martinez will be off to pastures new in the summer. He is a fine Manager and a decent bloke and he deserves a chance with a bigger club. I would also be tempted to have a look at the Wigan fire sale where Maloney and Kone may well be worth a punt.

  6. And a big thank you to di canio, he said he’d keep us up and he has, despite many thinking it was too big an ask with the personnel available! Onwards and upwards, with the usual hope.

  7. If the season were a boxing match , we were out on our feet ,hanging on,very wobbly but managed to survive to the final bell and just scrape through on points!

  8. What’s an “accidental Sunderland fan?” I really have no idea about this.

    In all my years I don’t think that I’ve ever experienced such a set of mixed emotions at seeing us survive at someone else’s expense. I’m so very sorry that Wigan are going down as some of their football has been tremendous. They can’t defend and therein lies their biggest problem. Hurry back Latics, as you have made some friends in your time in the top flight. I sincerely hope you are back where you indeed belong in the top flight. I really feel that we should have gone down and not Wigan, but of course I am relieved that we have survived. Thanks Arsenal for the helping hand.

    • I think an accidental Sunderland fan is someone like me who does not live in the city ,nor even in County Durham and has no family connections to either but somehow ends up supporting SAFC….for the past 50 years.

      Please don’t ask ..I have no idea how it all came about.

  9. “Return the favour on Sunday?” Where have you lads been for the last 9 months? Beat Spurs away? With our team? How many more rhetorical questions can I get in this post?
    Let us all be thankful to Swansea, who really put the mockers on Wigan – and let’s be very grateful that we have another chance to show that we are not the kind of side that brings nothing to the Premier League.

    • Pete,

      In my lifetime of being an ‘accidental’ Sunderland fan, ironically, the only thing (barring the occasional upstart season) that SAFC have brought to the ‘top flight’ is passion – which is not ‘nothing’ and I think all the seasoned week-in-week-out fans, of which you are one, would agree that we warrant a place because we are a club that matters in footballing terms (historically at least). Wigan, however remarkable their rise, fall and FA Cup win has been, are not.

      Spurs 1- SAFC Reserves 2

  10. Couple of people have posted that Wigan deserved to stay up more than us, surely their points total suggests otherwise. Forget style of football, at this stage it’s about points won and nothing else; and the points tell us we desrved to stay up over the course of a season.

  11. Merci Beaucoup Arsenal ! Wigan undeservedly go down. We stay up. Thats football. Thats life.
    Half time was squeaky bum time.

    Next season we need to play like we want to stay up with passion and commitment.

    I’d love to repay Arsenal by beating Spurs, but we’ll just do well to “not get beat by that many” Sorry.

    Wigan will lose Mcarthur, Mcmanaman and Maloney probably.

  12. Wigan have been a good source of points for us over the years, including 6 this campaign, and we needed those points. That is the difference between the sides, Wigan often play pretty football and lose. I won’t miss them though, despite their positive style. It’s a bit of a dump to go to for an away game

  13. Cheers to everything gooner based tonight.Your damn right we owe you one,probably two if the financial benefits of membership of the premier and champions leagues are to be compared.Whether our threadbare,confidence free squad are capable of repaying a favour is doubtful ,hence our focus on tonight’s game as our best chance of our skins being saved.I have a feeling of relief and a little embarrassment after tonight’s events but we have got 39 points by our own questionable efforts,no one gave us them .If we beat Spurs (ha ha) it will just be another of the meagre highlights of a turgid season .Major surgery is needed but we have the financial foundations at least after tonight to compete….I hope.

  14. I don’t want to seem ungrateful (and I’m not, thanks Gunners) but this does raise the rather ironic point that had Sunderland not been able to rely on Arsenal tonight, Arsenal would have been relying on Sunderland on Sunday…

    That’s not a position anyone wants to be in this season!

  15. I’d like to think we’d give Spurs a run for their money but Arsenal fans need to heed the warning that we’ve hardly any (fit or available) players left.

    No drama in that statement – the manager may need to pick himself to assuage fears of a team full of kids or the walking dead.

  16. I agree Geoff, I’ve seen Wigan a few times and they look a better team than our shower of shite! But don’t shed too many tears for them, they won the effin’ cup!

    • Over this season, agreed, but over the last 4… it looks like the unflushable jobby has finally been flushed.
      about an hour ago

  17. Relief all round, shame we had to rely on the Gooners but thanks Arsene and team, saved our blushes

  18. Game over!!! To be fair, Wigan deserve to stay up more than we do. But now PDC has a chance to prove he can manage transfers at this level.

  19. Paolo is correct, it is indeed a miracle that a team as desperate as us have stayed up. I was beginning to doubt Saint Niall’s word three years ago when he said a Sunderland team would never find itself in this position again, thank goodness we can relax now

  20. In deference to the Arsenal fans who have posted, I have inserted a reference to our need to return the favour at Spurs. or at least look as if we want to. The squad is threadbare but there are lads in it who need to regard White Hart Lane as a shop window.


  21. So now it’s your turn to do us a favour and get something from your game on Sunday! Remember, you owe us! 🙂

  22. Crikey – feel safe to make a comment again after a seemingly interminable period of relegation expectancy.

    Now we’ll probably finish in 12th spot with an unlikely but not inconceivable set of results next Sunday.

    Ho-hum, the life of a Sunderland fan. Would you have it any other way?

  23. You guys owe us one now. Let’s see you get a result against the tiny tots on Sunday. then if we can beat The Barcodes you will have the bragging rights over them this summer.
    Good luck!!

    • Sorry you will have to do it yourselves….the team we currently have could not beat Spurs Ladies Team.

      Thanks anyhow,hope you do it ,rather than the Lilywhites.

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