Sixer’s Sentiments: looking forward to another Premiership campaign?

Pete drowns his sorrows.....again
Pete drowns his sorrows…..again
Peter Sixsmith is as die hard a Sunderland fan as you are likely to find, such a resolute red and white that he won’t watch anything on telly featuring Ant and Dec, won’t listen to a Jimmy Nail record and won’t eat cod and chips from Fields at Esh Winning if he thinks Robson Green might have been off the coast of Iceland with his 12 foot pole and keep net. He hardly misses a match and Sunderland AFC occupies a major part of his non working, and much of his working, life. He has followed the team for over fifty years so he is no stranger to disappointment and unfulfilled expectation but this season has seen him sink into a trough of despond that has him hankering for a simple life in the Home Counties, where the only concerns in life are having an intruder throw a toaster into your bath, or an eccentric septuagenarian widow offering you a glass of home made cordial, laced with deadly nightshade.

What follows is his take on last night’s news from Norf Laaandan …


Should that be beckons or looms? After last night’s events in North London, the club and we supporters can begin to prepare for a seventh consecutive season in the top flight, which is a reasonable record and indicates some form of stability.

Since we came back up under Roy Keane, we have experienced major changes in the boardroom, with the likes of Cheerful Charlie Chawlke being superseded by a much more ruthless Ellis Short and a number of managerial changes – Keane, Sbragia, Bruce, O’Neill and now Di Canio.

A huge amount of money has been spent, some wisely, (Mignolet, Fletcher, Bent) some not so well (Angeleri, Chopra, Diouf) plus an awful lot of mediocrity (Graham, Taino, Gardner). And we are still faffing around at the bottom of the league, always looking over our shoulders and rarely launching any kind of decent challenge for the upper echelons or the two Cup Finals we could play in.

This season, we survived because over 38 games we were marginally better than Wigan Athletic, a club which attracts crowds that are less than half of ours and who have a defence as porous as the roof that covers Sixsmith Towers. We failed to ensure our own safety with two dismal home performances against sides around us, meaning that thousands of red and whites were glued to Sky TV or 5Live as the drama at Ashburton Grove unfolded.

I looked at the text at 8pm, saw that Podolski had scored and then put the remote control well out of arm’s length before settling back to wallow in the Englishness of Midsomer Murders and the dystopian (and exclusively white, bourgeois) world that is the Cotswolds.

As Doctors (Simon Callow doing pompous and randy) and former Travellers (Scotsman with drink and aggression problems) were murdered and skeletons tumbled out of family cupboards, I was oblivious to the fact that Shaun Maloney had equalised and Aroune Kone had missed an excellent opportunity to put the Pie Boys ahead.

It was not until John Nettles was about to arrest the gardener (too nice, too caring – had him worked out early on) that a text from John Penman told me Arsene did deserve the trust that we and many thousands of Gooners have in him and that Wigan had lost and were down, so we had survived.

There were no whoops and cheers in the living room, more a shrug of the shoulders and an acceptance that I will be up at 5am.on Sunday to see the Lads at Tottenham and wave goodbye to what has been the most disappointing and least satisfying of the 49 seasons that I have been a regular Sunderland supporter.

Maybe we will put on a show at White Hart Lane and make the watching world see we have mental strength and no little skill. I do anticipate a rousing final game, but fear that most of the rousing will come from the Lilywhites and we will be left bruised and battered but still a top flight club.

Maybe I can smuggle a Midsomer Murders DVD on the coach and sit and watch it while the ritual disembowelling takes place inside WHL. Inspector Barnaby for manager anyone?

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16 thoughts on “Sixer’s Sentiments: looking forward to another Premiership campaign?”

  1. “Two things I’d like to see next season: more of the intriguing Kader Mangane, and a regular starting berth for Danny Graham to come good.”

    Nurse! Nurse! He;s out of bed again……………….

    Kadar Mangane. Intriguing? Intriguing,how? Well he’s tall of course, and he comes from somewhere that you can’t get a direct bus too from Easington Lane. I will give you that.

    As for “a regular starting berth for Danny Graham.” Bugger me I must be in a time warp. I though he had been starting since January.

    Yes, that’s just what Danny needs isn;t it? More bloody games.

    Has he had a shot yet? That would be nice. I’m not talking about the fresh air shots like the one against Southampton.”

    “Regular starting berth” for him. That’s the funniest post we’ve had on Salut since the site started. Brilliant!

  2. Maybe the crazed killers of Midsomer are all former SAFC season ticket holders driven mad by expecting things to be different every year and every year they’re not.Just pleased we survived in the end and looking forward to a marked improvement next year……..Nurse ,the long sleeved white jacket! P.S What has Graham achieved to rise to the heights of mediocrity?

  3. Two things I’d like to see next season: more of the intriguing Kader Mangane, and a regular starting berth for Danny Graham to come good. Other things: Gardner making right back spot his own and McClean getting a decent run in the team. Lol, only joking. Yes, now I can crack the jokes we’re safe. Couldn’t have written that last week.

    Seriously, we need to get a decent partner for Fletch, a left winger, a dynamic midfielder and sign Rose and a right back. And we need to keep Mignolet.

    I hope PDC keeps the dressing room. I hope he gets in players that match his passion. Then we’d be getting somewhere. However, I’d allow the players one day off, not 7 days a week job. Thats going past passion into obsession.

  4. A guy walking down the street sees a Sunderland season ticket nailed to a tree. He thinks I’m having that. Well, you can’t have too many nails can you.

  5. I’ll think I’ll book in for some electro-shock therapy to see if I can shake this fixation with SAFC. It’ll save me some money and may save me from utter despondency. This season has been a killer!!

    My lawyer tells me I can’t get a refund on my season ticket under the Trades Description Act or any misrepresentation legislation but the kids might get something under the Prevention of Cruelty to Children Act.

    I am sure I can find something more absorbing to do on a matchday, the missus is already working on a list.

    Or like that meglo at United I might be persuaded to return if:-
    They drop the offside rule
    Have matches only on a Saturday
    Have sin bins
    Bring back standing
    Get rid of Blatter
    Provide pins for me winkles

    See! I am feeling better already! How much is the renewal?

  6. I think I am finally looking forward to next season mainly because Ellis Short has decided to carry out a root and branch remodelling of how football is played and footballers recruited on Wearside. Something that has been badly needed for the last 20 years

    It looks like he has realised ( or more likely advised)that the British ‘lager and chips’ approach to football is not the way forward , and he is going to replace it with’ the fine wine and pasta’ approach.

    It seems that SAFC might just have woken up to the fact that top class footballers need to be intelligent, super fit and totally committed to the club which pays them so well …as do successful managers.

    It is going to be an interesting ride with PDC ,but something tells me that he might just do rather well

  7. Looking forward to a relaxing summer. Dragging my ancient bones off to Ayia Napa for 3 weeks tomorrow. Will watch v Spurs on the box on Sunday then turn all my attention to watching Durham obliterate all opposition in the County Championship/YB40/T20, England sorting out the convicts and that Scots git getting turned over in the first round at Wimbers. I may glance at a newpaper to see what world class star we have lured to the SOL, and will eagerly await the fixture list appearing. Same as last year really and the year before and the year before. Enjoy a stress free few months everyone, and come back refreshed in August.

  8. Mixed feelings. Certainly guilt is one of them. Relief another but still a feeling that we didn’t deserve it in the end but chuffed that we did!
    I think the jury remains out on PDC, beating the Mags and then an arguably harder home win against Everton was fantastic.
    Perhaps two things will determine how good he is: how will he do with Fletch, Sess and Catts to select from and then, how will he change the squad during the summer.

    Just read his latest chat (was it an insane ramble or just someone who talk as he thinks?) with mixed feelings. How will Connor feel about that? Is he really hinting that some players get sent off to prepare for their hols? Mixed feelings here too, great to have someone who speaks without fear of a press officer but worried about alienating some of the team.

    Must admit, I kind of like him but am deliberately ignoring his possible politics (more guilt!).

    But most of all, I love the intro to Sixer’s piece by Colin? You journos know how to write.

    • Never get this theory didn’t deserve to stay up. Cliched as it is, league table doesn’t lie. We beat Wigan twice and have far superior goal difference.

      We slipped into the bottom three, I think, once all season. Not been great mind, or even average. Deserved to stay up off the back of Ellis Short having some balls.

  9. Speaking to a Villa fan who has been through the same torment as us…he appreciated the 6 points of course! Anyway he’s terrified that they’ll lose Benteke…though sanguine about Bent (i apprecated the hefty profit). Imagine it’s the same with Michu at Swansea. The Baggies will see their star striker go back to Chelski. Us and Nufc suffered losing our striker at inopportune moments. Fletch will get 20 goals in 2013/14 as will Demba Ba. Makes a hell of a difference

    On a different note SupaKev keeps scoring. Top bloke. Top player.

  10. More disappointing than going into the 3rd division? Not for me; Premier league we remain. Come on Pete, cheer up, or are you just reaching an age where everything in the modern world is worse than the past? We may be the 4th worst team in the league or, come 6 o’clock on Sunday, the 12th best, I care not one jot. I’m now just looking forward to the fixtures coming out and waving goodbye to another nervous season. Just like the last 6 times we’ve done it.

  11. So you are safe it’s a good job we let you beat us at SJP or you’d be in deep do do :-). Been a crap season for both clubs.

  12. Shocking season, yes. Not like the 19 and 15 point ones though. Or the days of Buxton and Butcher. For me anyway, win at Newcastle makes sure of that. Though it is the next in line and I’m glad to see the back of it.

  13. How can this be worse than the 15/19 point seasons? The nature of the Premiership these days is that the traditional top 6 ( inc Moyes’ Everton) are safe and any of the rest are in the relegation dog fight. Last season we gathered 44 points and I expected improvement but realistically something like 47-48 points and 10th. Goes without saying that we’ve under delivered but not to the extent of wholesale slaughter of the current squad as some suggest. Next season will see some lose rankings (WBA, Swansea, West Ham) whilst others climb(us, Nufc, villa)…… But we’ll all be racing to 40 points. The margins at the bottom are wafer thin.

    Reasons to be cheerful….This will now be our longest spell in the top flight since the 1950s….. Flètch has broken his relegation jinx….no horses have been harmed in the production of this season….we’re not Boro who sadly are still languishing in Dante’s level of hell that s the Championship….we are on the whole better looking than Nufc fans

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