We awoke to the realisation that yet another defeat, yet another game without hint of a Sunderland goal except from Anichebe’s deflected shot, had indeed happened, writes Monsieur Salut. It wasn’t a bad dream. Nor were the Leicester chants directed at David Moyes: “You’re getting slapped in the morning.”
And we also awoke to reports that Sunderland’s former chief executive Margaret Byrne, who resigned over the club’s deeply questionable handling of the Adam Johnson scandal, is collecting a whopping £750,000 payoff. What heartwarming news! Anything that brings happiness to human beings must surely be welcomed.
So on to another Guess the Score, Salut! Sunderland‘s enthusiasm for the competition kept alive only by the knowledge that Bradley Lowery’s fund is helped a little in the process.
Our fate is more or less sealed unless we can do what no one in their right minds thinks we can and win something like five, even six of a remaining eight games that include trips to Arsenal and Chelsea as well as Sunday’s home tie in which Jose Mourinho’s side will start runaway favourites to win and probably do so with ease.
Moyes cannot blame us for the abject pessimism. The supporters have raised their game, poured into the stadium and away grounds week after week, to watch frankly appalling dross in most games from player are are either not good enough or do not care enough.
The manager and his players have done absolutely nothing since mid-December, save for the freak result at Selhurst Park and the individual efforts of Jordan Pickford and Jermain Defoe, to give us the least confidence.
No, we weren’t terrible at the King Power stadium, especially in the first hour, but for all our promising play, we carried no punch. Didier Ndong showed why he should have been starting games but even his was not really more than a 7/10 and he was our best player. This sort of defeat is acceptable only if properly winnable games are being won; we’ve taken all three points from only five Premier League matches and that is unarguably relegation form.
This is from my report and ratings for ESPN:
The return of Cattermole and Anichebe from injury reminded Sunderland supporters what might have been had both been available since a mini-revival ended in mid-December. Cattermole might have picked up an inevitable booking, but his leadership has been sorely missed, as has Anichebe’s muscular support of Defoe.
Not scoring a single goal since the fluke 4-0 win at Crystal Palace on Feb. 4 tells its own story. If Defoe does not score, nor do Sunderland. And too many of Moyes’ players are simply not good enough for the Premier League and might not even be good enough for the Championship.
So can we surprise everyone, ourselves included, and beat United, if only for a spot of pride?
Have a go at guessing the score. Recent rules prevail: a winner can choose between a mini-edition of the Nick Barnes Matchbook, £5 or the purchase price going to the Bradley Lowery fund, or a personalised mug, in which case the fiver would be paid by Salut! Sunderland.
The winner can support Sunderland, United or neither. He or she must be the first to post the correct scoreline before kickoff and must also have a UK delivery address.
Ha’way the Lads.
** I shall post the Man Utd ‘Who are You?’ tomorrow or on Friday.
Salut! Sunderland: Sunderland look doomed. About time, in your view, or a sad loss to the Premier League?
Nicholas Duckworth, United supporter: I think it will be good for them as they appear stale and need to re-build. Part of clubs playing attractive and quality football is the confidence in what you are doing and Sunderland have been scrapping for too many seasons which I think has affected that. When you don’t play nice or well you don’t attract players of the right calibre. Maybe going down will give you that chance to address that, allow you to build with talent.
*** And now check out all the other articles at Salut! Sunderland …