The Salut! Sunderland Haways: Hull, Brentford and Derby fans edge out Bolton

Jake: ‘thanks to all who participate’. Click this image to see all interviews from the season just ended

It’s that time of year again and Monsieur Salut unveils the Salut! Sunderland equivalent of the Oscars …

And the winner is: Kathryn Townsley. Click on her photo to read her interview

Salut! Sunderland is delighted to bring you the results of our annual awards for the best interviews of the season with fans of opposing clubs. We call the award the Haways – the Highly Articulate Who are You? (s).

One of the few bright spots of the season was the continuing high standard of responses from our interviewees. Remember, people have to be found, they have to agree to do it and they must then answer a lot of questions (maybe too many; if the series continues into League One, that may change).

Read moreThe Salut! Sunderland Haways: Hull, Brentford and Derby fans edge out Bolton

Salut! Sunderland’s HAWAY awards: the 10 Championship clubs with fans battling for honours

Jake: ‘thanks to all who participate’. Click this image to see all of this seaon’s interviews
With nominations about to close in Salut! Sunderland’s annual HAWAY awards – the prizes offered for best interviews with opposing fans over the season just ended – there is a clear front runner.

Since judging is not quite complete, and readers may still take part as previously invited simply by adding their choices in order of first-second-third in the Comments below, it would be premature to give away more.

Nominations close at midnight UK time so there is not much time left for stragglers, and we do have a quorum with votes already cast by several contributors.

Read moreSalut! Sunderland’s HAWAY awards: the 10 Championship clubs with fans battling for honours

Will Cardiff or Fulham join Wolves, and will Derby join Villa and Middlesbrough?

no slide rule needed

This will be my final dodgy numbers post of the season. (If you haven’t seen the previous ones you can follow the link above, and/or those below). There is still a game to go, and two questions remain unanswered, but we can now look at the league table and judge how well our start of season pundits did. Their choices for the top six spots, in order of popularity were: Middlesbrough, Aston Villa, Fulham, Leeds, Sheffield Wednesday and Sunderland.

Three out of six, and wrong about the top two. Is that a “not bad” verdict or something worse? 

Read moreWill Cardiff or Fulham join Wolves, and will Derby join Villa and Middlesbrough?

Wolves, Cardiff, Bristol, Derby and Sheffield United join Middlesbrough, Villa and Fulham as our ones to watch

no slide rule needed

Let’s go back to the start of the season (and don’t we wish we could).

I polled our readers as to who would make the top six. These clubs came up favourite ( in the order given) and I began tracking them and reporting on their progress from time to time:

Middlesbrough

Aston Villa

Fulham

Sheffield Wednesday

Leeds

and Sunderland

By Christmas, if not earlier, it was obvious some changes were needed.

Read moreWolves, Cardiff, Bristol, Derby and Sheffield United join Middlesbrough, Villa and Fulham as our ones to watch

A champion Championship series: the first time Sixer saw your ground or your team

Sixer tastes the tropical flavour of a County Durham winter as he delivers the papers

Most weeks, readers of Salut! Sunderland drop by on Friday morning to catch the latest instalment in Pete Sixsmith’s twin series, The First Time Ever I Saw Your Ground (if the game in question is away), Team (if it’s at the Stadium of Light).

This week, the Millwall edition was posted earlier than usual – namely at this link.

Read moreA champion Championship series: the first time Sixer saw your ground or your team

Sunderland vs Brentford Who are You?: ‘I hope you stay up’

Jon Restall, on the left, celebrates promotion with a pal

Monsieur Salut writes: if I cannot actually see Griffin Park from where I write, I could walk it in 15-20 minutes. I have lived in this part of west London for 30+ years. My younger daughter’s first senior game as a player was a 5-5 draw in the red and white stripes of Brentford (she scored though with a scoreline like that, so did a lot of girls). Our Who are You? interviewee Jon Restall* – part of the highly active Brentford fans’ network Beesotted will miss the little old stadium when the club moves to a new home. Jon is a Bees fanatic and gets to loads of games.

He’ll be present in spirit this weekend for the visit of his team to the Stadium of Light – it’s his wife’s birthday and she apparently saw no great attraction in a romantic weekend on Wearside. We hope he misses a defeat for his club – he naturally fancies Brentford to be the latest of this season’s happy visitors to Sunderland …

Read moreSunderland vs Brentford Who are You?: ‘I hope you stay up’

Sunderland vs Brentford prize Guess the Score: a win for a win?

We have similar stripes. Only ours will be on show on Saturday. Will they prevail?

Wrinkly Pete has given up on his 3-3 predictions and 4-3 didn’t quite happen. Some guessed a Bristol City romp but no one had us down for a 3-3 draw, so no Guess the Score winner last Saturday.

We now turn our attentions to Brentford at home. And wouldn’t it be nice to award a prize to someone predicting a Sunderland win?

Read moreSunderland vs Brentford prize Guess the Score: a win for a win?

Wolves and Derby? Or Villa and Cardiff? Leeds, Boro and Fulham for the playoffs? Bristol City and Sheffield United might say no.

Here’s a brief chance to give your view now that the transfer window has closed. The site will be busy soon, we’ll have views from Lars and Pete, plus Pete looking forward to Ipswich tomorrow, so this will only be around for the rest of today.

 

 

 

Read moreWolves and Derby? Or Villa and Cardiff? Leeds, Boro and Fulham for the playoffs? Bristol City and Sheffield United might say no.

Brentford v SAFC: Bees are buzzing after first home win in six months

Jake is back in business. Welcome home, amigo

We know the feeling, the one Brentford had before beating Millwall 1-0 at Griffin Park, and we know it all too well. Sunderland have been waiting 10 months for a home win; they had to wait only six.

Billy Grant, our excellent Brentford “Who are You?” interviewee, has already said he feels the Bees are playing very good football and that someone – no names – is due a “bashing”.

Read moreBrentford v SAFC: Bees are buzzing after first home win in six months

Brentford Who are You?: ‘someone’s due a bashing’. Does he mean Sunderland?

Billy’s favourite awayday: Boro. That’s him, Monsieur Salut-style baldpate, with a scarf that could be ours

Monsieur Salut writes: Billy Grant* talks about his beloved Brentford the way we all wish we could talk about our beloved Sunderland. They’re a joy to watch, he says, and he really does believe they’re on the point of walloping someone (to be fair, he didn’t actually say it would necessarily be us, but given the sorry state of our confidence … ).

I have a soft spot for the Bees since I live only a mile away from Griffin Park when not in France and my younger daughter’s first senior game was for their ladies’ team. I see huge posters for the club on the back of local buses. At least one neighbour gets to most home games.

Read on for another fine, authoritative interview from another fine supporter of proper football. Saw our decline a mile off, considers Terry Butcher maybe the worst manager he’s seen, says Sunderland away is Brentford’s ‘big game’. Brentford away, meanwhile, offers a great awayday/away-weekend and if you are among those likely to be there (I get home from France two days too late) you can follow the links below to see where friendly pubs, plenty of them, are located …

Jake is back in business. Welcome back, amigo – and have a go in the prize Brentford-Sunderland Guess the Score comp

Read moreBrentford Who are You?: ‘someone’s due a bashing’. Does he mean Sunderland?