Don’t panic (2): Sunderland’s home start sees Arsenal, Liverpool, two Manchesters, Newcastle, Chelsea and Spurs after Fulham

Jake imagines a future of solid endeavour and achievement
Jake imagines a future of solid endeavour and achievement

Stop Press: the ESPN piece is now live: Police horses of Tyneside beware: Newcastle play Sunderland in February. Click

So the fixtures list
is out and, on superficial analysis, does Sunderland few favours.

After a winnable opener at home to Fulham, the sequence of home games at the Stadium of Light runs like this: Arsenal, Liverpool, Man Utd, Newcastle, Man City, Chelsea, Spurs. From that list of our first eight home games, we can look at the equivalent ties of last season and present, without comment, this record: P8 W1 D3 L4 F7 A11 Pts6.

Worried? Not if trips to Southampton, Crystal Palace, WBA, Hull, Stoke and Villa in the same timespan – Aug 24-Dec 7 – show PDC capable of building handsomely on the one away win of his seven games in charge in the season just ended.

Salut! Sunderland
is prevented, thanks to the draconian approach of the football authorities, from reproducing the full list even though it ought to be regarded as information absolutely in the public domain. We can report, as we have done above, on aspects of importance since FA control over the use of the English language is not yet complete.

And we can tell you the list may be viewed in full all over the internet and in the press, where people have either paid the relevant licence fee or taken a risk that no one will object (they’d be wrong). One good source is the Northern Echo’s list, which will be entirely above-board and includes Boro, NUFC and Hartlepool games.

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As I have observed
for ESPN – the piece has not yet appeared as I write, but should be available soonish at – the first games I turned to when the list was published were not the derbies, not that awkward home run at the beginning of the season or the closing away sequence (Spurs, Chelsea, Man U), but at first and last.

Fulham at home on Aug 17 is as good an opener as we could hope for. Eminently winnable, despite our patchy form against the Cottagers. Swansea, again at home, on May 11, is in the same category.

But as some of us have been pointing out, we may find ourselves in need of some exceptional away form or the best mid-season in years.

* For anyone who stumbled by chance upon this site, click the home page link – – to see what else we’ve been up to …

Monsieur Salut, by Matt
Monsieur Salut, by Matt

11 thoughts on “Don’t panic (2): Sunderland’s home start sees Arsenal, Liverpool, two Manchesters, Newcastle, Chelsea and Spurs after Fulham”

  1. Who can say with us? I find with Sunderland we can win games were not supposed to and perform abysmally in games were supposed to win. Maybe the daunting run of fixtures will focus the team and stamp out any complacency that maybe be left over from the Br## and O’Neill regimes .Whether any players will still be there from the previous regimes next season is another question .

  2. Arsenal, Liverpool, Man Utd, Newcastle, Man City, Chelsea, Spurs – we’ve taken points from most, if not all, in the last few seasons.

    No worries there!

  3. I think we should relish the home start, the best time to play a lot of those sides and you get some funny results in the opening months of the campaign, always. Don’t forget we’re unbeaten at home under Di Canio 🙂

    • Ok you’ve convinced me and tad and calmed my nerves…can we have this conversation in Decemebr though…; )

      See the mags are getting shirty about Ellis’ FTM tie pin…..bit naughty,but then again I’d still rather have him than the imbecile they have in charge.

  4. OH no….just when I was relaxing the anxiety starts again.That is some home sequence after the Fulham opener.I get the feeling home games are gong to be disappointing until about mid Oct.

    No fixture lists?world’s gone barmy.

  5. averaging 2 points per game, which is near enough twice what we managed last season, and also under PDC, would do me fine.

      • It would appear that some ‘fans’ do not share the optimism of the New SAFC style. Too many foreigners, too much change etc etc.

        Point is if we did not undertake this radical approach we would be doomed already to a season ling relegation battle, we may still be, but I would rather go down at least fighting, trying to remove the malaise that has hung over the SoL for way too long, the side that finished last season I afraid had already proven on too many occasions that they were not up to the job.

        Lets hope to see a style of football that is pleasing, gets results against the teams that we should be and shows some hint of improvement and better things to come.

      • John: don’t be fooled by the friendly banter of Geordiedoonsooth. Other Mags lurk and are not so house-trained.

  6. Let’s test ourselves at the start of the season. 20 points from the opening eight home games and 12 points from similar away and we should be flying.

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