The Salut! Sunderland Haway awards: Peterborough, Wycombe, Rochdale and Bristol Rovers in the running

Jake: ‘thanks to all who participate’. Click this image to see all of this season’s interviews

It has become
a bit of a stuck old gramophone record, Salut! Sunderland‘s pride in a tremendous season of Who are You? interviews with opposing supporters.

Judging is at an advanced stage for our HAWAYs – annual awards for Highly Articulate Who are You?s – and with only a couple of sets of votes still awaited, front-runners are emerging.

League One has been a goldmine for the series (not forgetting our cup-game interviewees from other divisions)

As Monsieur Salut put it when writing to the judges: “I could have put them all in a hat and drawn three at random, so good have so many of the interviews been.”

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Luton then Barnsley, Sunderland, Portsmouth, Charlton and Doncaster? Who knows

This will be my last visit to our “ones to watch* series before the end of the season.

You’ll have to judge for yourself whether or not our readership, ably assisted by the Coventry Ninjas**, got it right at the beginning. For my part, with three of the five – Portsmouth, Charlton and Barnsley – fighting for second place and another two still with a chance of the playoffs I’m inclined to think they didn’t do too badly.

The problem is that the sixth club is Sunderland, and that’s who they are all fighting with.

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Coventry hanging on to Doncaster and Charlton as Portsmouth chase Barnsley, Sunderland and Luton.

Another international break brings an opportunity to revisit the six clubs our readers* and the Coventry ninjas**  chose way back in the summer, and I’ve added Doncaster and Luton Town, who thoroughly merit more than a mention.

I last visited this series at the end of January, when I had this to say:

“… before I go I must mention Coventry City. They will finish the month with only four points from a possible fifteen. February includes some winnable games but I can’t see them doing us any favours when they travel to Kenilworth Road. Mid-table safety looks to be their destiny and I’m almost certain they won’t be returning to this series.

But you never know, do you? That’s what football’s all about.”

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Sixer’s Barnsley Soapbox: a good opportunity lost?

John McCormick writes: Games like this have to be taken in context. Lose and we can forget about automatic promotion. Win and we’re back in control of our own destiny. But draw? It means we’re still reliant on other teams dropping points (while Luton widen the gap) but it doesn’t mean we’re out of the race.
So what did Pete Sixsmith think of it after a little reflection?  (And by the way, it’s he, not me, who is adding the editorials)

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Sixer’s Barnsley Sevens: a good Sunderland point on a bad night.

Is anyone complaining about SAFC not scoring? Is anyone complaining about another draw? I’m not and nor is Pete Sixsmith, who was once more on the road. We’ll have to return tomorrow to get his considered view in the full match report, but the seven-word text he sent immediately on the whistle echoes what many of us will be feeling:

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The First Time Ever I Saw Your Ground: Barnsley’s Oakwell

Sixer now …

Pete Sixsmith was adamant. There simply wasn’t time for a new First Time Ever I Saw Your Ground on Barnsley, not least because we were also in the same division last season and he wrote a perfectly good instalment of the series then.

At the time John McCormick introduced Sixer’s piece with a historical note, saying the town probably originated in Anglo-Saxon times (‘hence the -ley‘), was mentioned in the Domesday book and had a ‘venerable football club which has done more than many may think, including FA and League cups and a short spell in what we now call the Premier League’. And that team proceeded to tonk us 3-0 as we continued our undignified slither from first to third tier. And this is how Sixer set up that forgettable match …

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Barnsley Who are You?: the Sunderland star who’s too good even for this match of the season


Click on Jake’s banner to reach the prize Guess the Score competition. There’s still time to enter


Monsieur Salut writes: as has happened all too often, the results on Saturday showed a win for Barnsley, a draw for us. But Tuesday remains an all-important step in our attempt to climb back to the Championship. Those of us who worry about our inability to dominate lesser sides cry out for evidence that we can match – and preferably more – the better ones.

Before we welcome our Barnsley interviewee Daniel Finney*, let us offer a signpost to the prize Guess the Score competition. Find it at . Even if you did not enter the double competition by guessing the Wycombe result as well, you may still have a go at predicting the outcome of Tuesday night’s crucial game at Oakwell.

Now to Daniel. He was one of three or four Barnsley fans who responded to our requests for a Who are You? candidate ahead of the home game. He agreed to be patient as Lucy Dawn did the honours  and now his time has come. He came up with cracking answers so it was worth waiting for … and no prizes for working out who among our players he considers too good for the third tier

Daniel: ‘ha’way Lads. Click on my photo to see all the Who are You? interviews this season’

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The League One breakaway: Peterborough dent Charlton’s progress

Part one of our mid-season review looked forward to the Christmas games.

Part two looked at what had happened up to New Year’s Day.

Part three was delayed until yesterday, and I’m taking the time to update that post after yesterday’s results. The first part of this one is the same as yesterday, given that we didn’t play. It’s the discussion   of the breakaway group that has changed:

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Portsmouth, Luton, Barnsley and Sunderland, plus Charlton – the League One breakaway group?

Part one of  our mid-season review looked forward to the Christmas games.

Part two looked at what had happened up to New Year’s Day.

Part three was meant to go out after the Luton game. Repetitive strain injury decided otherwise and I still have to take care so here’s what I’ve managed, with a focus on a couple of comments I made towards the end of that second part:

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