The past is another country. A week is a long time in politics/love.football. And all the other cliches you can think of to cover the fact that one win on Sunday October 25 is all well and good, but only if we can keep the green shoots sprouting.
It is time to Guess the Score at Goodison. I have seen us draw there and, of course, lose. Only one win – Boxing Day two seasons ago. In fact, until the last two seasons, very few of us will have seen Sunderland beat Everton on their own ground. The Boxing Day victory was followed by another, on May 9 this year, when as part of Dick Advocaat’s version of the annual Sunderland great escape we snatched a 2-0 victory. It was a crazy game, one in which Everton felt they did everything but score, crazier still when you consider one of our goals came from Danny Graham – his first for us and his first in the Premier since December 2013 when on loan to Hull.
Now, like then, we go into the game with Everton in generally formidable shape. Their fine start to the season, acclaimed by pundits, has been dented a little of late but the two defeats were to Man Utd and Arsenal.
By contrast, Sunderland have made a generally atrocious start. On Sunday, it went from atrocious to exhilarating at the Stadium of Light as another 3-0 win over Newcastle United, whatever hard work we made of it before scoring, lifted our spirits and got us off the bottom again. And Everton’s unconvincing League Cup win on penalties in midweek against Norwich City, one of the teams we must now aim to overtake if the revival is genuine, offers a useful reminder that the Toffeemen can get stuck.
Clive Drummond won Guess the Score for the Wear-Tyne derby. His 3-0 prediction seemed either an extravagant show of confidence or the product of a curious sense of humour but came true all the same.
It was a rollover competition after no one had correctly guessed a 1-0 defeat at WBA and, with the agreement of our sponsors, Personalised Football Gifts, he will soon be the owner of a framed print of the same dressing room image that appears on the customary prize mug, with Drummond named as No 12.
Here’s your chance, whoever you support, to join the winners of this competition. Be first to post the correct scoreline, do it before kickoff, have a UK delivery address and leave the rest to Monsieur Salut. A non-SAFC winner would receive a mug with suitably different design.
Ha’way the Lads – show us you can rise to the occasion.
And a big thank you to all those who responded to M Salut’s various pleadings to get membership of our Facebook group past the 500 mark. A mug, this time at our expense, will be sent to the 500th supporter to sign up, Tom Cameron, once he sends his address.
Why not bookmark Salut! Sunderland’s home page with its neat layout showing all we’ve been up to in the past few days: the link is salutsunderland.com.