Sixer’s Heartbreak Sevens: The Wembley curse lives on as Charlton gain promotion

John McCormick writes: I watched on TV. I thought we were poor throughout, with our forwards and midfield struggling to link up,  and as a result we created few chances. I’m not saying Charlton deserved their victory but they did manage to put the ball into the net three times whereas we didn’t manage it once.

But being there in person makes a difference. Pete Sixsmith may have a very different opinion from me and I’ll abide by his judgement, which we can expect in a day or so. For now, he has little to say, though the seven words he texted do enough to convey what we all feel:

26 May 2019: Charlton Athletic  2 (1) Sunderland 1 (1) Beyond words after yet another terrible disappointment

16 May 2019 Portsmouth 0 (o) Sunderland 0 (0) Disciplined and controlled from start to finish.

11 May 2019 Sunderland 1 (0) Portsmouth 0 (0) Deserved, thanks to gutsy second half performance.

4 May 2019 Southend United 2 (1) Sunderland 1 (0) Deserved nothing. Southend kept going. We didn’t.

30 April 2019 Fleetwood Town 2 (0) Sunderland 1 (1) Lost any semblance of control after leading/More points dropped to an average team/Lost – worst league finish in our history

27 April 2019 Sunderland 1 (1) Portsmouth 1 (1) A frustrating result against unpleasant opponents

22 April Peterborough United 1(0) Sunderland 1 (0) Bitterly disappointed at the end. Automatic gone

19 April 2019 Sunderland 2 (2) Doncaster Rovers 0 (0) The manager gambled and it came off

13 April 2019 Sunderland 4 (3) Coventry City 5 (3) Incredible but for all the wrong reasons

09 April Sunderland 1 (1) Burton Albion 1 (1) Looked a tired side against sprightly opposition

06 April Rochdale 1 (1) Sunderland 2 (0) Had to battle for a huge win.

April 2 Accrington Stanley 0 (0) Sunderland 3 ( 2 ) Comfortable win with some excellent individual performances

March 31 EFL Checkatrade Trophy final: Sunderland 2 (1) Portsmouth 2 (0) (AET. Portsmouth win on penalties.)

*Penalties gloom as Lads fade after interval.

March 16 Sunderland 2 (1) Walsall 1 (1) Nervy and edgy but it’s three points

March 12 Barnsley 0 (0) Sunderland 0 (0) Difficult opponents, difficult conditions: a good point

March 9 Wycombe Wanderers 1 (1) Sunderland 1 (0) We’ll take the point and move on

March 5 Checkatrade trophy semifinal: Bristol Rovers 0 (0) Sunderland 2 (1) Controlled performance means we’re off to Wembley

March 2 Sunderland 2 (1) Plymouth Argyle 0 (0) Great first half followed by competent second

February 23 Bristol Rovers 0 (0) Sunderland 2 (1) Rather a good day at the office

February 19 Sunderland 4 (2) Gillingham 2 (2) Not entirely convincing but it’s a win

February 15 Sunderland (0) 2 Accrington Stanley (1) 2 Two points dropped but grateful for one

February 12 Sunderland (0) 1 Blackpool (1) 1 Two chances missed equals two lost points

February 9 Oxford United (0) 1 Sunderland (1) 1 Scunthorpe all over again. Two points wasted

February 2 2019 Sunderland 1 (0) AFC Wimbledon 0 (0) A welcome win but hard to watch

Checkatrade Trophy quarterfinals: January 22 Sunderland 2 (1) Manchester City Under 21s 0 (0) Clean sheet, two goals and a semifinal

January 19 Scunthorpe United 1 (0) Sunderland 1 (o) Same old story. One goal rarely enough

January 12 Sunderland 1 (1) Luton 1 (0) Failure to build on lead costs us

January 5 Charlton (0) 1 Sunderland (1) 1 * Sunderland weather storm to earn useful point

January 1 Blackpool (0) 0 Sunderland (1) 1 Outstanding performance by Maja earns the points

December 29 Sunderland (1) 1 Shrewsbury Town (1) 1 A very frustrating afternoon. Never got going

December 26 Sunderland (1) Bradford City (0) 0 Hard fought win and thanks to linesman

December 22 Portsmouth (0) 3 Sunderland (0) 1 Better side until Loovens’s idiocy turned game

December 15 Sunderland 2 (1) Bristol Rovers 1 (1) * Just enough quality snuffs out the gas and Gas pressure tests us at the end

December 11 FA Cup 2nd Round replay Sunderland 0 (0) Walsall 1 (0) Pedestrian performance that raises some serious doubts

December 8 Accrington Stanley A (0) Match Abandoned Sunderland (0) Wet, wet, wet and to do again

December 1 Walsall 1 (0) strong>Sunderland 1 (0) *Fifteen minutes of Walsall pressure means replay

Nov 27 Sunderland 4 (3) Barnsley 2 (1) An important win with some shaky moments

Nov 24 Walsall 2 (2) Sunderland 2 (2) Even more heroic than Thermopylae and Agincourt

Nov 17 Sunderland 1 (0) Wycombe Wanderers 1 (0) A fair result after a disappointing performanceI

Nov 13 Morecambe 0 (0) Sunderland 1 (0) Left it late but the run continues

Nov 11 Port Vale 1 (1) Sunderland 2 (2) Negotiated a tricky tie successfully. Southport next?

Nov 3 Plymouth Argyle (0) 0 Sunderland (0) 2* Solid team performance earns another away win*

Oct 27 Sunderland 3 (1) Southend United 0 (0) Three goals and another clean sheet. Great

Oct 23 Doncaster Rovers 0 Sunderland 1 (0) Winning ugly is just fine by me.

Oct 20 Shrewsbury Town 0 (0) Sunderland 2 (0) A comfortable win that just oozed professionalism

Oct 6 Bradford City 1 (0) Sunderland 2 (1) Great win but Power made it difficult

Oct 2 Sunderland 2 (1) Peterborough 2 (0) Good point but spoiled by woeful refereeing

Sept 29 Coventry City (0) 1 Sunderland (0) 1 Fair result that could have been worse

Sept 22 Sunderland 4 (3) Rochdale 1 (0) Fifteen minute purple patch wrapped this up

Sept 15 Burton Albion 2 (2) Sunderland 1 (o) Weaknesses horribly exposed in a deserved defeat

Sept 8 Sunderland 1 (1) Fleetwood Town 1 (1) Huffed and puffed against very difficult opponents

Sept 4 Sunderland 0 (0) [4] Stoke City U21s 0 (0) [2] *Decent workout for young guns and recoverees

Sept 1 Sunderland 1 (0) Oxford United 1 (1 ) Poor first half, dug in well second

Aug 19 Sunderland 3 (3) Scunthorpe United 0 (0) Iron pummeled as three lusty blows delivered

Aug 16 Carabao Cup: Sunderland (0) 0 Sheffield Wednesday (1) 2 Result disappointing but plenty to enthuse about

Aug 11 Luton Town (0) 1 Sunderland (1) 1 Played well in patches against solid opposition

Aug 4 Sunderland (0) 2 Charlton Athletic (1) 1 A great day for club and academy

July 21 St Mirren (0) 0 Sunderland (2) 6 * Cracking results like this will suit fine

July 17 Grimsby Town (0) Sunderland (1) 1 *Gooch’s header from Maguire’s cross settles matters

July 14 Hartlepool United (1) 1 Sunderland (0) 1 Yet to see anything to inspire confidence

July 10 Darlington (1) 1 Sunderland (0) 0 Embarrassing

12 thoughts on “Sixer’s Heartbreak Sevens: The Wembley curse lives on as Charlton gain promotion”

  1. Wholly agree that hard work is needed. Some will leave and some of the young’ns will come through like Hume and Embleton

    We need to come out of the blocks quickly…..but we are capable of winning L1 next season

  2. Sorry Drummer but you can’t say we’re not capable of storming the league.

    This time we’ll have a settled squad.

    If 6 of the 19 draws are converted to wins we’ll win at a canter. That’s all it takes. So clearly we are capable

    I’d let the kids play in all of the knockout trophies

    I think we’ll win it this time

    • We need to score goals , we haven’t got a striker who scores goals . We had one but he left .We’ve replaced him with an overpriced forward who doesn’t score ( for us ) . I hope I’m wrong ,but this team finished 5th with a whimper and seems to be going backwards ,turning those draws into defeats .There’s a hell of a lot of work that needs doing in the closed season .

      • Good strikers seem to be in short supply at every level. We simply couldn’t hold onto Maja and it has cost us dear, in the same way it did after Bent left. This is not something that owners and managers can control, so I don’t think they can be held responsible. They make the best decisions they can …

      • Both Grigg and Wyke were prolific scorers at their former clubs.

        What is interesting about Will Grigg is that Paul Cook said he didn’t want to lose him but he wasn’t a regular because his inclusion in the starting XI depended very much upon who else was available. It seems he had ideas about the type of players he needed to get the best out of Grigg and the system best suited to him.

        I don’t think we have seen that. To me Grigg appears to be the type of player who likes to run past defenders on the break or needs wide players getting the ball into him.

        Tactically I’d have liked to see more times when we broke quickly down the flanks and cut the ball back from the dead ball line as we looked at our most dangerous during the season when that happened.

  3. Another toothless display. The sad fact is letting Maja leave cost us promotion in my view and that’s not being wise in hindsight,I said this would happen at the time . The money we recieved in transfer fees and more has already been wasted on Grigg while we’re stuck in league 1,without Maja who would’ve left anyway . The last time Charlton best us in a play off I thought we’d storm the league next year, this team is not capable of that . Major surgery and hopefully investment needed in the closed season and to top it all I’ve just read the mags are being taken over by the Man City owners cousin.

  4. Just gutted to face another 60 games with these atrocious refs, cheating players and moaning managers.
    I hope Ross learns and brings together a squad that will rise above them and put in performances like we did against Pompey.

  5. I said in my End of Season review that whatever the score I would still regard this as a successful season. It doesn’t feel like that now

    But as in 1998 we have the summer to work on things and anything less than automatic promotion in a year’s time is unthinkable.

    My one major criticism of the way we have played all season, not just in today’s game, is the amount of times we play a short passing game with three or four players involved near the touchline, about half way up the pitch. It’s a reflection of the small side pre-match one touch drill they do in the warm up but more often than not ends up with one player being put under pressure, or we see a misplaced pass and possession is conceded.

    We look better when we try to move the ball quickly with mid range passes and although players have to manage their fitness during games those small triangles rarely end up with us creating anything.

    Add to that the number of headers out from the back that go straight to an opponent, even when there is no pressure on the player and we spend more time on the back foot than we need to.

    There’ll be plenty of glum faces around but what’s done is done. There needs to be an improvement next season and we need to see that in August.

    • Agree about the pointless close passing ritual. I lost count of the number of times this resulted in losing possession, and I can’t recall an occasion when it actually resulted in any creative outcome.

      In truth, leaving aside the howler of an own goal, Charlton were the better side. Stronger, faster and more positive all over the pitch. IMO they were the best side in the division during the vital last quarter of the season, and on their day, could comfortably beat the rest. That is why I had hoped that Doncaster Rovers would see them off, and in fact should have, because they outplayed Charlton for much of the second leg.

      I think, on balance our finishing position – 5th , was about right, and given all the circumstances, it was a decent season. It is just very disappointing to go out with such a flat performance, after being given a dream start with the own goal.

  6. What do you mean “awful substitutions” Vince ? Who would you have brought on ? – Stryjek, Matthews and Dunne ?

    • McGeady on, not Grigg in 2nd half, leave Maguire on. Griggs done little to warrant any faith in such a big game,stood unemployed up front along with Wyke,then after 10 mins of 2 up front he takes the other forward off?? we lost in midfield and couldn’t get any decent balls up front. We would have had our best two midfielders on for the last 30 mins, we went down hardly testing their keeper

  7. Pretty poor show all round, Their keeper will be the happiest man alive tonight. Lacklustre team and awful substiutions, didn’t deserve to win,too negative,we need more positive type players next season to win promotion outright.

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