This is not really Sixer’s Sevens, much as it relies on Pete Sixsmith’s reflections from Victoria Park, where Sunderland’s pre-season campaign continued with a 2-1 win against Hartlepool – and news of Vito Mannone’s likely departure.
“Pools v SAFC,” Pete wrote at Facebook. “Cold and windy. Is it ever anything else here?” At least he then saw a Sunderland goal, Josh Maja hammering home a penalty. Followed by a Hartlepool goal early in the second half as our defence fell asleep (surely not – Ed). I will not name and (mildly) shame the North-eastern football writer who tweeted: “Donaldson equalises for Sunderland.” Mind, his first three words were accurate – and the less said about Salut! Sunderland typos and howlers, the better.
Sixer blamed Adam Matthews for the goal but also suspected a missed offside. But right at the end, Jeremain Lens scored yet again, with a free kick after Maja was hauled down. And the game was won.
As for Vito, Reading – if the reports are true – seems an odd choice unless he has been told he is not really wanted.
Selling him, even for the reported £2m (good business for an honest, often brilliant but also patchy keeper), would be odder still unless Simon Grayson had a replacement lined up. But then, things don’t always work that way at SAFC. “Pickford on loan?” Sixer wondered.
Come back tomorrow when he will doubtless have more to say on his night out.
His seven-word verdict? Just before Lens’s winner, it was: “One for the connoisseur of dreary friendlies.” He then applauded the “brilliant free kick” from Lens that won the game.