Salut! Sunderland’s week: Everton calamity, Arsenal jitters, our new look

Mrs Logic

Before we offer a quick glance back at the week as seen by Salut! Sunderland, stand by for some news of our own: the site is about to undergo a long-overdue redesign. The idea is to make it look less like a blog, more a magazine. If there are things you’d hate to see go, features you could happily do without, links you find useful/a waste of space … etc etc … here is the chance to sound off. Older readers may remember Shots at Sleeman in the Sunday Sun. This can be Shots at Sixer & Salut …

Here is a backward look at the week just gone; it seems a good idea to offer you the highlights even if forgetfulness and other pressures mean it does not happen every single week.

Click on any of the headings that follow if you want to read the full posting.

No one should need reminding that the week began badly.

* Everton’s easy ride

OK, we never win, or hardly ever, at Everton, but last Saturday’s Goodison performance was frankly a disgrace. This was Steve Bruce’s apology.

* Goodison as bad as it gets

This gives you the flavour of Pete Sixsmith’s report:

Were I an Everton fan, I would scan the fixture list in June, look for the home game with Sunderland and either pencil it in as three certain points or pass my season ticket on to the man next door and take my wife (or better still someone else’s wife) for an exciting weekend in Llandudno Junction.
They did all they had to do. They grabbed hold of midfield early on, ran at our hopeless back four and rejoiced in Jermaine Beckford notching his first, and I would warrant, only Premier League double.

* The SAFC balance sheet

From an excellent football money site, Swiss Ramble, we read the most detailed report imaginable on the state of the business model at the Stadium of Light. Plenty of food for thought – some of it more digestible than the rest – on where the club stands amid all the nonsense that passes for football finance in England. Extract:

… Sunderland’s cash outflow is actually worse than the reported losses, e.g. £39 million cash outflow last season compared to an accounting loss of £28 million. What Walton is really highlighting is that the cash looks fine … but only after Short signs a large cheque.
The question is how long will this go on? Steve Bruce, of all people, got to the heart of the issue, “Without the owner’s huge investment we would be perennial strugglers. I’m sure he hasn’t finished investing yet. At least I hope he hasn’t. The owner has been very generous with his funding, but we can’t expect him to keep putting his hand in his pocket for another £30 million a year.

* What possessed us to think we could get by with one striker?

Self-explanatory really. And this comment from Birflatt Boy summed it up:

… it chills the blood to think that something might cause us to lose Gyan. It’s a completely ridiculous and unnecessary situation. Surely keeping Healy would have been a sensible move

* Writer, broadcaster, actor … Tom Watt talks to Salut! Sunderland about his Arsenal passion

A superb interview, if we say so ourselves, with the man who will not be called a Gooner or a fan. Extract:

You are very lucky if you have one great manager who has given your club an identity and seen it take a massive step forward, so we are very lucky indeed to have had not one but two: Herbert Chapman in the late 20s and early 30s and now Arsène Wenger.
To be honest, anyone who is not a fan of Wenger’s is an idiot. Just take a deep breath and look at is achievements, how many trophies we have won even if you don’t think we are going to win any this season, next season or the one after. Anyone not completely swept up in the 24 hour news cycle would look at what he has done as absolutely unbelievable. Anyone who does not see him as an incredibly significant figure not just in our history but in English football is either an idiot or knows nothing about football. Go ahead and not like him for this reason or that, but not to respect and admire his achievements is sheer foolishness.

* A dark day at Highbury with Paul Danson

Name a worse refereeing display than that of Mr Danson in Arsenal v SAFC in Sept 1996. Struggling? This, as Pete Sixsmith explained, is why …

Useless little sod who sent off Martin Scott and Paul Stewart before half time for absolutely nothing and left us trying to defend as best we could with nine men. A game never to be forgotten in the annals of Great Crimes Perpetrated on Sunderland AFC.

There you are. Plenty more of course if you have time to scroll up and down when you land on the home page – including another fine read from an Arsenal supporter, Tony Briggs, and the Stoke fan who declined a “Who are You?-of-the-month” award. And once again, we hope this little retrospective exercise is of use or interest to those without the time to visit every single day.

Monsieur Salut

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