Sixer’s City Soapbox: Cheap beer, not much else at Hull City

John McCormick writes: listening to Gary Bennett on Radio Newcastle’s stream couldn’t give me the full picture of an eventful night at Hull. The pre and post- goal screams of

“Fill that hole! Fill that hole! Oh no, if we could see it up here how could they not see it down there?”

did not inspire confidence. But we muddled through.

Or did we? Here’s the man of the moment, Pete Sixsmith, and his verdict.

Pete Sixsmith: driven to drink
Pete Sixsmith: driven to drink

Let’s be Polyanna and look for the best in things.

Let’s be Eric Idle and always look on the bright side of life.

Let’s be Bing Crosby and accentuate the positive.

Here goes.

We got a point from a serious relegation rival. We stopped our losing sequence with Hull City. I bought a pint of good beer for £1.05.

That’s it, folks. Not much else to be cheerful about. I suppose Palace and West Brom lost to keep them very much on the fringe of the relegation zone and I have a feeling that it will get worse for Everton before it gets better. But there was not a great deal to take from this lop sided, largely abysmal and tactically inept show that we put on in front of 23,000 cold and ultimately disgruntled spectators at the quaintly named KC Communications Stadium.

There was a sharp intake of breath when I saw the team. No width, no wingers, no attacking full backs, just a flat back four, a bank of four central midfield players and two up front. A straightforward, good old English 4-4-2 – this was presumably going to rely on the kind of players “you would want to be in a trench with.”

Some of us are not over fond of trench warfare. My maternal grandfather was gassed in a trench. And few winning attacks came from absorbing enemy pressure and then going over the top. As it was at Arras, so it was along the Anlaby Road.

The first half was an embarrassment which almost led to me going out for a walk along the aforementioned thoroughfare. A team that turned back at every opportunity and could not create one decent opening, a support that bellowed its support of a player currently on police bail and suspended by the club and a manager who, for whatever reason, got himself involved in an unseemly scuffle with an elderly lady, cunningly disguised as another Premier League football manager. No wonder the Northern League and rugby league seem a better option.

A goal was conceded from a free kick, which may or may not have been. The players crowding the box were hardly alert and Dame N’ Doye took advantage of it with a clever back heel. One down with a midfield that was going nowhere, the pressure was clearly on Poyet.

When Rodwell, who made a quietly impressive return to first team duty, was booked for what the manager thought was a poor decision by Mike Dean, he reacted by kicking over a bucket. This prompted Mr Dean to “send him to the stands” but not before Bruce said something and Poyet reacted. An unseemly scuffle ensued in which it was thought that a Uruguayan hand had been placed across a Geordie cheek and it was a glum if not mutinous mood in the Ideal Boilers East Stand as the smokers made for the toilets.

Jake: 'did we actuallty deserve a point?'
Jake: ‘did we actuallty deserve a point?’

The second half was little better – no width, no pace and Hull keeper Mc Gregor a virtual spectator. Jermaine Defoe got little service as Larsson, Cattermole, Bridcutt and Rodwell ran around to little avail. It was the former Brighton man who was the target for most of the anger from the travelling support. A constant stream of misplaced passes and poor tackles led to demands that he be replaced. He probably would have been had not Cattermole committed one of those fouls that makes it difficult to like him. Meyler was ahead of him and was heading for the Sunderland half and our one time captain clipped his heel as the Irishman got away from him. A yellow card ensued and Taricco took him off within minutes, sending Alvarez on.

Straight away, the congestion in midfield cleared and, instead of getting in each other’s way, the three drones began to take up individual roles. Bridcutt sat in front of the back four, Rodwell picked the ball up and Larsson scuttled about as always – but there was a wide outlet in Alvarez.

Another one appeared a few minutes later when van Aanholt  replaced a hesitant Vergini. He stormed down the wing, put a decent centre in which McGregor missed and there was Rodwell to nod it home.

Pace, width and a desire for a midfielder to get into the box. Perfect. But why did it take 70 minutes of rubbish before we did this?

There was still time for Pantilimon to make an outstanding save from the busy N’Doye but we also had chances. The introduction of Wickham for the industrious but limited Graham also helped and by the end of the game I would guess that both sides were satisfied with their point.

But there are questions that need to be answered about the stumbling team selections that the Head Coach is making and there are long term questions to be asked about his future and whether he is the man to take charge of the club in whatever league we are in next season.

In the meantime, let’s try to be like The Old Groaner ( an apt description of many Sunderland fans at this game who looked at the white shorts and thought wistfully of Johnnie Crossan, Martin Harvey and George Mulhall) and try to “accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative.” And we need some positive ones starting against Villa.

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Jake flags the new feature allowing you to have your say on topic or off
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13 thoughts on “Sixer’s City Soapbox: Cheap beer, not much else at Hull City”

  1. Just watched the highlights (?) on SAFC and right at the end I thought I spotted Hoooooooooooooooooolio sitting next to Dean Windarse. Does the Willow Pond manager know he was out so late?

  2. I don’t use the thumbs up/down icons but have clicked them by accident. I’ve then tried to use my editing privileges to undo my action but not been able to.

    A quick click in haste or error cannot be undone.

  3. You’ve probably got a point Malcolm . But speaking as someone who does use Facebook , believe me Salut is the most civilised debate you’ll get , positive or negative . I’ve had the misfortune of being a member of local facebook football ‘ banter ‘ groups in the past and believe me its nothing but parochial hatred dressed up as wit , pure poison and a huge reason for the increase of spite between fans of the North East clubs . Though tragic circumstance and the reaction of both sets of fans has calmed that down a wee bit I’m sure we all hope . So in hindsight , I wouldn’t mind a little disagreement on here as I trust all involved would make sensible adult points . Ps I’d love to win a cup also !

    • By “That doesn’t happen on here.” in my previous statement I mean debates tend to be adult (even Smoggie appears to have grown up a bit! :-)) on the site and people don’t usually resort to insult and vitriol.

      I have no personal experience of using social media sites as they hold no interest for me but your comment about the Facebook banter group is one reason why I avoid them.

  4. Why would anyone give Rob’s post a thumbs down?

    It is because he fails to appreciate the opportunity he has to see our magnificent side entertain us in the swashbuckling style that reminds the more mature SAFC fans of the magnificent Magyars of the 1950s with goals a plenty, and a thrill a minute displays of artistry and skill, beyond the imagination of most mere mortals?

    Or is it just an errant Mag?

    • It’s a strange one , any condemnation of our glorious leader or he’s valiant charges is met with thumbs downs down but no written defence . Maybe thats because there isn’t much of a defence , we’ve being rank this season , at home especially and its becoming clear that the whole set up of the club from owner through Bryne , Congerton to Poyet and the players is simply set up to scrape by and hope we stop up . We might but its still crap .

      • Or perhaps, despite our obvious disappointments and sense of underachievement, there are those who would rather avoid voicing unconstructive negative opinions because they feel that only deepens the atmosphere of gloom. Personally I never boo the team or the manager at the ground and whilst I am happy to discuss obvious weaknesses I don’t feel it serves any purpose slagging off the manager or the players over the internet.

        I am sure there are plenty of supporters who feel that overt criticism of the manager and team is not helpful and whilst they may or may not agree with the sentiments in the comments of others feel they warrant a thumbs down purely on that basis.

      • I don’t boo the manager or the team either , in fact I don’t even grumble just sit on my hands when things are terrible and cheer and encourage as much as anyone when swept up by the mood . I not a singer because where i sit id be a loan voice in the wilderness .Ive even had words with moaners at the ground ,but anonymous thumbs down what’s the point ? If you disagree come on here and tell us why because I must be watching something else .

      • Drummer – I’m old fashioned. I don’t do Twitter or Facebook. I will grumble and criticise the manager and individuals with my mates in the pub, in the car or wherever we happen to be – but not on the internet. I think when negative thoughts dominate social media and forums such as this it is not helpful.

        But that’s just my position and I believe it is up to others to make their own decision providing they are not being libelous or saying anything illegal. That doesn’t happen on here.

        Having said that I appreciate many of the regulars on Salut live many miles away from the North East (a lot overseas) and this is their equivalent of the local where they can engage with other supporters. They don’t have the same opportunities to share their thoughts with other Sunderland supporters face to face and there is a need to vent frustration – has it ever been any different as a Sunderland fan?

        I don’t pay much attention to thumbs up or down and will say what I think if I think it needs saying but there are those who just click the thumbs down because they disagree. I’ve had them for saying I’d like to see us win the Cup although as the good doctor says they may have been from errant Mags or Smoggies!

  5. I’m travelling up for the villa game (I’m an exiled Makem living near Norwich) and I am already gutted about the wasted outlay. All that way just to watch a bunch of clueless idiots (and it will cost me the best part of a ton for the privilege). I must be as clueless as the players. Please god let them at least look like they are trying so I don’t totally waste my time……I’ve seen precious little this season that fills me with hope.

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