“If the score stay like this …..,” commentators are fond of saying during the last or last-but-one games of any season.
Well, if the scores remain as they are in judging for Salut! Sunderland‘s annual Who are You? awards, the winner would be Raich Carter Junior (Hull City) with Melissa Rudd (Norwich City) just behind and Pete Molyneux (Man Utd) in third place. Click on any of those three names to see the interviews that made them contenders.
But it is all very close and there is still a chance for less fancied runners – Anthony Ashton (Tottenham Hotspur), Simon Curtis (Manchester City) or Jim White (Swansea City) to burst through the pack and reach the finishing post ahead.
Monsieur Salut is off to Sorrento for a long, long weekend returning on Tuesday. Judges still intending their votes to count must submit their rankings by midnight GMT that day. I shall announce the winners in the days that immediately follow. Readers’ views are, of course, interesting and anyone who would like to be a judge next season should let me know. For now, only those invited to take part in the awards process can influence the outcome.
The first prize will $200 worth of gear chosen from the online store of the US sportswear suppliers soccerpro.com. See what they have for sale at http://www.soccerpro.com/
Further prizes will be:
* a year’s subscription to the much more than half-decent football magazine When Saturday Comes, or a choice of top. Check out the possibilities at
* From our friends at Campo Retro, your choice of a top from the current range.
* Philosophy Football, purveyors of clobber with messages, have again popped up late and a World Cup top (not yet entirely sure which one they are offering) will be Monsieur Salut’s special prize, going to a close fourth-placed candidate or someone else seeming to have a pressing case for recognition.
Completely off-piste, but I had some fun with my own end-of-season report card at ESPN. I knew there would probably be sufficient contributions to the Wembley and Safe series to make it unnecessary for me to chip in. But my masters at ESPN, having published my thoughts often enough during a crazy season, naturally wanted my assessment. The same applies to the ESPN site’s writers on the other 19 Premier clubs.
It broadly took the form of a school report card. Here is a snapshot of what I said. The full item can be seen at http://www.espnfc.com/blog/_/name/sunderland/id/3273?cc=5739 and you are welcome to take issue or even agree with me there as well as here.
There’s an articulate, passionate defender of Jozy Altdore who often post comments there and you’ll find his arguments interesting though not, I suspect, convincing. Have a look and have your say if you wish …
The flippant answer is the loan system. Without Fabio Borini and Ki Sung-Yueng, borrowed from Liverpool and Swansea, respectively, there would have been no Wembley and little reason to hope for Premier League salvation. Marcos Alonso and Santiago Vergini ultimately proved valuable January acquisitions … Borini gets the highest marks for his flair, work rate and goals. If only he could or would stay.
With apologies to US readers who hooked up to Sunderland’s cause because of his presence, the dunce’s cap must be worn by Jozy Altidore … He failed in the day job — an attacker who never scores rarely belongs in a team. I wish Altidore well, but his report card from Sunderland is not one he would wish to show at home.