It might be an exaggeration to say that pouring over the misfortunes of Sunderland AFC, and its sod-the-press-I-only-do-tame-inhouse-interviews owner, has become an international sport. But it’s certainly keeping the media busy.
BBC Radio Newcastle’s Total Sport programme had the benefit of our Pete Sixsmith’s wisdom last night. He spoke gloomily about our immediate prospects – he fears another relegation – and holds David Moyes to no small extent culpable for our present malaise.
This brought Sixer into well-mannered conflict with one of the studio guests, Marco Gabbiadini, who had earlier hesitated and half-apologised for wondering whether North-eastern fans demanded too much of those managing their teams.
Marco insisted Sunderland’s mess had nothing to do – he then qualified it to “something to do” – with Moyes. Sixer disagreed, more eloquently on the subject than anyone else on the 90-minute show, referring to appalling purchases, “dismal” coaching ability and the “stupidity” of his comment only two games into last season that SAFC were in a relegation battle.
He also suggested that clubs looking for bright, English managers – which club can he have had in mind! – might do worse than look at such characters as Graham Potter, doing wonders with a previously no-hope club in Sweden.
Before Sixer appeared, we’d heard the view of Tom Lynn, who edited the sadly defunct The Wearside Roar and remains an irreproachable SAFC fan.
Not quite hedging his bets, Tom slammed Moyes for now saying taking the Sunderland job had been a mistake, and that he hadn’t done “due diligence”, and described Moyes an “absolutely defeatist charlatan” who had misspent £30m on “mainly rubbish”, much of it Man Utd or Everton has-beens. West Ham, he added for good measure, must have been desperate.
After the show, Tom wrote to Salut! Sunderland:
“Well said Pete on Total Sport regarding the Moyes comments on SAFC. You stood your ground well against the ridiculous viewpoint of Marco whose comments are so horribly misguided.
“We went down without a whimper under Moyes who was totally defeatist and apathetic all season. With a decent, positive manager we could have easily stayed up.
“I feel we’ve gone back three decades the way we are being run just now, it’s all so sad with people in the game, now including Moyes, slagging SAFC off at any given opportunity.”
All in all – and with due respect to Marco, who was a great SAFC striker, cares about the club and often speaks sense – it’s a great listen.
Go to http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p05kq54t. You may have to register but that’s not hard. Sixer’s bit starts at around the 43.46 (ie 43 minutes, 46 seconds) mark.
And check out what else we’ve been up to by clicking the next image …