SAFC vs Tottenham Hotspur: a chance to snatch that elusive first win

Jake: are Charlie Fleming and Danny Blanchflower eligible for Sunday?
Jake: are Charlie Fleming and Danny Blanchflower eligible for Sunday?

We’ve had – and still got – Guess the Score, at There’s a mug from Personalised Football Gifts awaiting the winner, who can be a Sunderland of Spurs supporter or follow neither team.

And we’ve had a Who are You? with Richard Littlejohn, such a good interview that even Littejohn’s natural enemies, from Sixer to the Sheriff of Nottingham for all we know, were heard offering polite applause. Catch it for yourselves, if you haven’t already, at

Then there’s Dick Advocaat, quoted at the flub site,, as saying of his new-look squad: “The most important thing is that we now have a squad that can compete with each other. Everybody has to show during the games that he wants to play and that is the advantage compared to last season; we brought in some other players and they can do the job as well.

“It is not only about Lens, Defoe or Borini. The players we have brought in all have certain qualities and that is why they’re here, so it is important everybody understands what they have to do and what they are a part of.”

That leaves Monsieur Salut’s customary match preview at ESPN FC. The full piece is at so I will offer no more than a quick sample here:

Sunderland must overcome familiar home nerves when they face Tottenham Hotspur at the Stadium of Light on Sunday with both sides seeking a first Premier League win of the season.

Dick Advocaat’s team have failed to convince in any of their four league games and even laboured in the League Cup before beating lowly Exeter City by a flattering 6-3 scoreline.

But there were signs of improvement in the draws at home to Swansea City and at Aston Villa, raising cautious hope that Sunderland could put a calamitous start to the season — seven goals conceded in defeats to Leicester City and Norwich City — behind them and climb away from last place.

Sunderland eyes will be on Fabio Borini, likely to make his second debut for the club he served admirably on loan in the 2013-14 season and has now joined permanently after his disappointing time at Liverpool.

Advocaat seems inclined to use him as a lone striker. So if his top scorer, Jermain Defoe, is to emulate Darren Bent’s achievement of five years ago and produce a match-winning display for Sunderland against his old club (though Bent missed two penalties as well as scoring twice in that 3-1 victory in 2010), he will have to do it from the wing.

Which leaves just time and space for a quick Ha’way the Lads for Sunday. It’s a winnable game but only if Sunderland build on recent slight improvement – or Spurs continue their own patchy form.

M Salut, drawn by Matt, colouring by Jake
M Salut, drawn by Matt, colouring by Jake

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