John McCormick writes: I hitched to quite a few games – including some at Roker Park – and I do remember going down the M5 in a Reliant Robin when it (the M5, not the car) was a two-lane motorway. I still believe its front wheel (the car’s, not the M5’s) left the ground when we went above 60.
However, for this game (for when else could I have seen Joe Baker at Bristol?) I went on a John Tennick bus. An overnight journey, a killer result, an evening of pubs and an overnight journey back. To think that we took such things in our stride. Now I’m looking askance at the 40-mile trip to Bolton in a week or so.
As, probably, is Pete Sixsmith:
Monsieur Salut writes: I think we’d rather like to keep the Stadium of Light. Answers on a postcard, please, re the unexpected interest in Billy Jones. We met Phil Clarke before the home game, another of those best forgotten afternoons at the Stadium of Light. Phil naturally had a great day out, checking his family’s solid Wearside roots – he is the nephew of our own Pete Lynn (Wrinkly Pete). No other Bristol City fan responded to our feelers for the return game, so Phil updates us with thoughts on the Robins’ excellent cup run and what continues to be a good, promotion-chasing season in the league … but does he realise just how much our Billy might cost his club? …
Monsieur Salut writes: this is really the new instalment of Guess the Score. Enter below the scoreline you expect, hope or fear at Ashton Gate on Saturday. If you are first with the correct result, you will win a prize though you must have a UK delivery address to receive it. Ha’way the Lads and all that but forgive me if there seems very little else worth saying about a game most of us probably have uneasy feelings about while hoping for the best …
Yes, I got angry at the weekend and directed some of my anger at our absent, reluctant owner. Yes, he has plenty to answer for.
One crass comment in his tame, underarm bowling sort of interview with the official club site in November particularly annoyed me. He complained that anything that appeared in the media about him was based on speculation or invention because “I don’t talk to the press”.
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.
Pete Sixsmith has already produced a “first time” post for ‘Boro away so I’m using his usual spot to bring you an update on the progress of the clubs our pre-season poll predicted would be the top six. (Over 8,000 votes were cast. If you’re new to the series or wish to catch up you might try some of the links at the bottom of the page).
The clubs were:
The last time I reported in, Leeds were the only club from our readers’ pre-season choices to be in the top six positions. The other five – Cardiff, Wolves, Sheffield United, Bristol City and Preston, in that order – had together accumulated only 617 votes, about 7.5% of the total cast, and Wolves had had over half of them.
Four of our choices, it must be said, were queuing up on the boundary, ready to pounce on any slips from the leaders, and only one was languishing (with great languor) in the doldrums. That was just over a month ago, in which time there have been five games, potentially fifteen points, to contest.
With the arrival of another international weekend we have a chance to review the situation and see if the natural order (as defined by our readership) has been restored in those five games.
Malcolm Dawson writes………..I am not one of the multitude calling for Simon Grayson’s head for the simple reason that at the end of last season I decided that I would not renew my season card and would not return to the Stadium of Light until I felt the club was able to offer me something in return for what was (up until May) my loyalty.
There is only so far blind faith can take you and my eyes are open. So I’m not calling for Grayson’s head purely because I haven’t been able to judge personally how inept he really is. For that I’ll rely on Pete Sixsmith‘s first hand verdict, first in his report from yet another frustrating afternoon spent in Sunderland and then later in the flesh when I see him at the U23 game. You see I haven’t given up entirely …
Bristol City H
Every team, bar one that I have seen at the Stadium of Light this season has had a number of common characteristics, the common one being that they are well organised with their players appearing to know what their roles are within the team structure.
John McCormick writes: half an hour in and my hopes of a mug were dashed. And though we continued our scoring run and equalised we also continued our home hoodoo and lost to a second-half goal.
Will that cost our manager his job? Pete Sixsmith’s seven word text, straight on the final whistle, suggests it should.
John McCormick writes: Like Pete Sixsmith, I can’t remember a lot of matches against Bristol City (or Rovers for that matter). I’m pretty sure I was at the 6-1 win in ’64 but the only game which sticks in my mind is there because of an overnight trip on a Tennick bus and a team sheet that included Joe Baker. I remembered it as a cup match but when I looked it up on the Statcat website it wasn’t. It can only have been the season-opening 4-3 loss that Pete mentions below, and nothing to do with the cup, so I saw an opening day 7 goal thriller which included Joe Baker netting two of the 12 goals he scored for us, plus a last minute heartbreaker, and I can’t remember it. I blame the drink.
Back to Pete, and let’s be thankful he has a better memory than me:
Circumstances have kept Pete Lynn, our Wrinkly one, away from Sunderland games so far this season. He has not been boycotting the club, as he explains below. On Saturday, he makes his long-awaited debut as Simon Grayson once again tries to end a dismal winless run, against Bristol City at the Stadium of Light. Pete has already supplied an excellent candidate for Who are You?, his Bristol-supporting nephew doing …
Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa
What do the following three sporting institutions have in common – Sunderland AFC, Warwickshire County Cricket Club and Solihull Moors AFC?