This is where Pete Sixsmith captures the glory and shame, hope and despair, excitement and ennui of the Sunderland matchday experience. When, rarely, Pete is absent or delayed, a supersub does it for him and the seven-word verdict is preceded by an asterisk. Pete’s full analysis of the game will usually appear within a day or two.
Today, with full match reports to come, we have his instant reaction to the 1-1 draw at home to Everton, a calamitously wrong decision by Howard Webb leading to two dropped points. We have praised Webb in the past; everyone makes mistakes at work. Webb’s was to see Leon Osman kick the ground and fall over … and then award a penalty for the non-existent foul by Cattermole. If it is the referee’s equivalent of the train driver going through a red signal, the consequences are, of course, trivial in the greater scheme of things. He will doubtless apologise and that will be considered an end to it. It shouldn’t be, though. He should face a penalty of his own.
The full Sixer’s Sevens archive – see link below – sums up what all Sunderland supporters feel, from darkest gloom to sublime elation, in the words one who is usually there …
Dec 26 2011 SAFC (1) 1 Everton (0) 1 Wind and Webb deny us a win
Dec 21 2011 Queens Park Rangers (0) 2 SAFC (1) 3 Deserved to win despite mad ten minutes
Dec 18 2011 Tottenham Hotspur (0) 1 SAFC (0) 0 One sloppy pass undoes a solid performance
Dec 11 2011 SAFC (0) 2 Blackburn Rovers (1) 1 Sheer perseverance gives MON vital winning start
Dec 4 2011 Wolverhampton Wanderers (0) 2 SAFC (0) 1 More points sacrificed through weak, sloppy defending
Nov 26 2011 SAFC (1) 1 Wigan Athletic (1) 2 *Bruce’s reign surely over after this debacle. That was M Salut’s verdict, followed by these from Mr Sixsmith: “Shambolic defending spells end for Bruce now”, “He must go after another clueless performance”, “Got what we deserved after brainless display”, “Pressed the self destruct button yet again”, “Second half shocker means Bruce’s time’s up” and finally “Print them all”.
To see Sixer’s Sevens in full, click here. If an asterisk precedes the comment, the words that follow are the work of someone else because Pete is for once absent from the game or his verdict has been delayed …