Sixer’s Soapbox: Sunderland flatter to deceive as Chelsea stroll to 3-1 win

A three all draw is always more satisfying when your team has recovered from three nil down than when it has thrown away a three goal lead. So it has been with the defeats against West Brom, Norwich and now Chelsea. The team’s performances in the latter stages of those games can be seen as causes for optimism. That’s certainly the spin the manager is putting on the outcome of those games, but once Pete Sixsmith has had time for objectivity to kick in he sees worryingly weak team performances achieving too little, too late.

Read moreSixer’s Soapbox: Sunderland flatter to deceive as Chelsea stroll to 3-1 win

O’Neill One Year On: (5) remember, remember the 4th of December (walloping Chelsea)

Jake gets the gaffer's point. Do the players?

In the final part of Salut! Sunderland‘s mini series looking back at Martin O’Neill’s first year at the Stadium of Light (read the first four via the home page) Pete Sixsmith recalls Decembers of the past, one when the Lads put in a performance to remember, helped in no small part by an unsung Frenchman, another when a feisty Irishman called it a day and finally one which saw the arrival of another saviour, this time from the northern part of the Emerald Isle.

Sixer gives his thoughts on yer man’s first 12 months …

Read moreO’Neill One Year On: (5) remember, remember the 4th of December (walloping Chelsea)

O’Neill One Year On: (4) keep the faith – things will pick up

Jake gets the gaffer's point. Do the players?

For our penultimate look back at Martin O’Neill’s first year in charge (Pete Sixsmith‘s view will appear later today) we are pleased to welcome another contributor making his Salut! Sunderland debut. Richard Purdham is a 22 year old from Durham who after experiencing the thrills of the post Steve Bruce turnaround admits to a feeling of anti climax in subsequent months. However, he still thinks that MON is the man for the job. Over to Richard….

Read moreO’Neill One Year On: (4) keep the faith – things will pick up

O’Neill One Year On: (3) trivial pursuit or action man this Christmas?

Jake gets the gaffer's point. Do the players?

In the third of our series looking back at Martin O’Neill’s first term in office, (visit the home page salutsunderland.com to see the first two) we welcome a new contributor, Gareth Barker who is visited by the ghosts of Christmas past and of Christmas yet to come. Pete Sixsmith will, in his own inimitable style, round off our offerings later today but before that let Gareth explain why Martin O’Neill may just be the gift we always wanted.

Read moreO’Neill One Year On: (3) trivial pursuit or action man this Christmas?

O’Neill One Year On: (2) will his first anniversary also be his last?

Jake gets the gaffer's point. Do the players?

In the second of Salut! Sunderland‘s look back at Martin O’Neill’s first year in charge – visit the home page salutsunderland.com to see the first – Jeremy Robson wonders whether our manager will still be at the helm 12 months from now. He has his doubts…

Read moreO’Neill One Year On: (2) will his first anniversary also be his last?

O’Neill One Year On: (1) should he stay or should he go?

Jake gets the gaffer's point. Do the players?

Martin O’Neill has been in charge for twelve months now and Salut! Sunderland contributors have their own thoughts on the success or otherwise of the Ulsterman’s time at the helm. Malcolm Dawson looks at what is going wrong, argues that a rethink is necessary and weighs up the O’Neill In/Out arguments …

Read moreO’Neill One Year On: (1) should he stay or should he go?

Sixer’s Soapbox: Sunderland tilting at windmills in Norwich defeat

Peter Sixsmith stuck in the wilds of snowy Shildon, delves into his bumper book of footballing phrases to sum up Sunday’s game in the flatlands of East Anglia. Whilst this one didn’t have Delia ranting and raving like some inebriated old harpy on the pitch at the break, she was seen in close up on Match of the Day towards the end of the game, biting her nails and mouthing the word bun, as the boys in red and white laid siege in the home side’s goalmouth. But then again she may just have been feeling a bit peckish and thinking of refreshments laid on in the board room. The outcome of the match hardly leaves Sixer over the moon. Let him explain……

Canaries leave Sixer sick as a parrot

Read moreSixer’s Soapbox: Sunderland tilting at windmills in Norwich defeat

Sixer’s Soapbox: Sunderland are the new QPR – quite poor really!

Peter Sixsmith has been watching Sunderland since the days of Cec Irwin and Ambrose Fogarty. In that time he has witnessed some dross and he now adds Tuesday’s visit of the Premier League’s bottom side to that collection. Much of the pre match speculation was about the effect Harry Redknapp would have on the game but in truth QPR could have had Louise Redknapp in the technical area and the outcome would probably have been the same – such was the dearth of attacking options provided by Martin O’Neill’s boys. As a contributor to Total Sport said earlier this evening: “The Samaritans were outside the ground handing out leaflets after this one.” We’ll let Sixer talk it through.

Jake turns Sixer's smile upside down

Read moreSixer’s Soapbox: Sunderland are the new QPR – quite poor really!

Sixer’s Soapbox: costly errors as West Brom boing boing back to the Black Country

Jake says: 'I must get a picture of Sixer looking miserable.'

Malcolm Dawson writes….: There are times when I question the logic of spending good money going to football. Yes there are times when the team puts in a performance that lifts the heart, when a close game or a dramatic fightback creates a tension that gets the pulse racing, when a back to the wall performance, defying the odds, creates a sense of relief that brings a satisfaction all of its own. But it seems that more often than not I feel like I did on Saturday. After a half an hour or so I had that familiar feeling of resignation that we would get nothing from the game and what may have been a disappointing couple of hours became excruciating as the whining bloke behind me, kept up a constant two word analysis of the team’s performance. On my way back to the car I bumped into a couple of friends, North East born but living in Staffordshire, who had been to see Show of Hands at the Sage on Friday and were stopping off at Derby on the way home to catch a Bellowhead concert. Folk music may not be your cup of tea but you know what you are getting for your pennies. Still I’ll be back for QPR as will Pete Sixsmith. Here’s what he has to say about the Baggies….

Read moreSixer’s Soapbox: costly errors as West Brom boing boing back to the Black Country

Sixer’s Soapbox: more Merseyside blues as Fellaini fuels Everton fightback

There is nothing Pete Sixsmith likes more than a pub crawl, utilising what’s left of our rail network where possible, some craic with knowledgeable football fans and being present at a Sunderland victory. Well as Michael Lee Aday once said, ‘two out of three ain’t bad’ and Sixer sees the green shoots of optimism peeping out from behind the Everton induced blues …

Read moreSixer’s Soapbox: more Merseyside blues as Fellaini fuels Everton fightback