Sixer’s Sevens: Sunderland 1 Middlesbrough 1 – Campbell’s super saver


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.


So with pretty much their first kick of the game, after all of 16 minutes (though in fairness it was a sweet enough kick by Barry Robson), Boro went ahead. It was a poor first half for Sunderland, Gardner finding the net but having the strike disallowed for the wrong reason (there was no offside, as given, but he did seem to handle to ball before shooting).

What a pleasure to see Fraizer Campbell start the second half after that awful injury that seemed at one point to threaten his career. And what a greater pleasure to see him score with a superb finish from McClean’s excellent pass in a slightly fortunate breakaway move. A great moment for him, and for us. But not quite enough to inspire a winning surge; all is left to do at the Riverside.

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 …

Jan 29 2012 FA Cup 4th Round: SAFC (0) 1 Middlesbrough (1) 1 Honours even in typically scrappy cup derby

Jan 21 2012 SAFC (1) 2 Swansea City (0) 0 Quality goals and a very disciplined performance

Jan 14 2012 Chelsea (1) 1 SAFC (0) 0 * Fine performance not reflected in the score

Jan 8 2012 FA Cup 3rd round: Peterborough United 0 (0) SAFC 2 (0) No banana skin as Posh pushed over

Jan 3 2012 Wigan Athletic (0) 1 SAFC (1) 4 Merrily we roll along as Wigan destroyed

Jan 1 2012 SAFC (0) 1 Manchester City (0) 0 An absolutely incredible win. O’Neill is god


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 …

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5 thoughts on “Sixer’s Sevens: Sunderland 1 Middlesbrough 1 – Campbell’s super saver”

  1. Bit harsh on Connor, he didn’t have a great game yesterday but he wasn’t the only one. He is still young and learning his craft and with the nurturing of MON and his staff he will develop into a good target man he is obviously strong and quick but still very very young.

  2. At half time, my girlfriend asked me a question that I, honestly, could not answer, in detail.

    The question was “what, exactly, do we have to change, to win the game?”

    My inability to give a cogent reply did, though, make me stop and think.

    Certainly, if I was given a video of a (potential) buyer, involved with a (potential) salesman I could tell EXACTLY when the sale was won or lost, and why!

    However, my response to my g/f’s question was I felt, totally, inadequate.

    It involved me stating that we had to stop “hoofing the ball” and start “playing to feet”.

    That then made me wonder – How many (self professed) experts are as stupid as I am, when it comes to the finer details?

    • One thing Phil would be to get our centre backs to practise their passing and decision making when under no pressure. Against Swansea Wes Brown gave the ball away twice which fortunately didn’t cost. Today it was O’Shea’s slack pass which led to the goal despite his subsequent attempts to rectify his error.

      • I deserved that!!

        The changes that I was, really, talking about are the more subtle ones that can turn a disjointed performance into something effective.

        For example, in the first 10 minutes, or so, of the Man City game, Johnson was looking dangerous – MO’N’s reaction was to move McClean a yard, or so, deeper and about a yard further from the touchline.

        This had the effect of making it nigh on impossible to thread the diagonal balls, which had been causing the problems, beyond Colback.

        I think that most of us can identify when a player needs to get closer/back off of his man etc., but it was the way in which a good coach/manager can spot and rectify the less obvious causes of problems that I was referring to.

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