The Championship cometh: we start with Derby, end with Wolverhampton

Sixer: ‘can I just lick ice cream instead of fretting about the season ahead?’

Monsieur Salut writes: so now we know the who and the when of our Championship opponents for the coming season. We haven’t the faintest idea who will be managing Sunderland, owning Sunderland or playing for Sunderland except that – news update – it won’t apparently be Fulwell73, but the fixtures list doesn’t wait for such trivialities to be resolved. I believe we’re entitled to reproduce the full list these days and will do so in due course. For now, Pete Sixsmith casts an entertaining eye over the good, the bad and the ugly of the season to come – and it’s here in full at the Sunderland Echo site …

The fixtures have arrived. We know where we are going and when. We can start to plan our holidays (a week in Barnsley anyone?) and decide which trips are do-able (Sheffield United on Boxing Day) and which aren’t (Ipswich Town on a Tuesday night – [who are these clowns to allow such a thing – Ed?].

Read moreThe Championship cometh: we start with Derby, end with Wolverhampton

Sunderland’s controversial new strip: your chance to counter my politically incorrect view

Didn’t we once look a little the same?

Monsieur Salut writes: each close-season, we see a new set of SAFC kits. Each season, they divide opinion. I am clearly in a minority in liking, at least a little, the new home top. You may well disagree with me. Read on and have your say …

What you see above is not the new Sunderland home kit, the one generating such strong protests, but a markedly similar one from the days when our team was a force in the land, the Team of All the Talents no less. Check out a great description of historic strips at http://ryehillfootball.co.uk/art/the-art-of-sunderland-afc/.

Whenever we remind brand supporters – Man U and C, Chelsea, Liverpool, Chelsea, Spurs etc – that we’ve won six top flight titles, we must remember also that half of the titles were secured in the century before last. And what you see above is how we looked back then …

Read moreSunderland’s controversial new strip: your chance to counter my politically incorrect view

Ten Years After: when Carlos Edwards and Keano warmed Sunderland hearts

Monsieur Salut writes: it seems an awful long time ago. Then, BBC Radio Newcastle’s brilliantly excitable Simon Crabtree had produced the Mother of all Goal Commentaries with his description of Carlos Edwards’s scintillating winner against Burnley to push us closer to promotion (achieved as champions with the 5-0 away win at Luton in the final game). It’s in the superb YouTube clip you see above.

But Ten Years After – OK, a little more than 10, since the Burnley  match was on April 27 and the Luton game on May 6 – we all need to have our spirits lifted. Then, we were in the hands of the Drumaville consortium, a group of Irish businessmen led by Niall Quinn as chairman and Seaham-born John Hays as vice chairman. I have seen the message Niall sent Drumaville’s surviving veterans after our relegation was confirmed this season; it was a model of dignity and pride.

Can the memory of that astonishing bottom-to-top transformation inspire whoever, ultimately, accepts the job of managing Sunderland and whoever is subsequently the club’s owner(s). We shall see. But here is how we reported on promotion 10 years ago …

 

Read moreTen Years After: when Carlos Edwards and Keano warmed Sunderland hearts

Sixer’s Sevens: SAFC 0-1 Bournemouth. Dead and buried. That’s official

Jake: ‘after a lengthy flirtation and courtship, the relationship is finally consummated.’

Pete Sixsmith today witnessed his ninth relegation. He and Monsieur Salut were both around for the one before that, Sunderland’s first, but just too young to have formed their lifelong allegiance, one that – promotions and an FA Cup win apart – has been a largely unrequited love. Come back for more – Sixer’s immediate verdict appears below but will write more fully and, as most readers know, is eloquent win, lose or draw. As for the game, we created a lot of chances but never really looked like taking them while Bournemouth were more composed throughout …

Read moreSixer’s Sevens: SAFC 0-1 Bournemouth. Dead and buried. That’s official

From a SAFC fan staying away until Moyes goes: ‘so much wrong’

Paul Summerside: ‘me on matchdays until Moyes goes’

Monsieur Salut writes: as his pals and mine on Facebook speculate about a dream managerial pairing of Roy Keane and John O’Shea to restore Sunderland’s fortunes, Paul Summerside – an occasional contributor throughout the season – offers what he says will be his ‘Final View from the Avenue’. Paul feels David Moyes has brought nothing to Sunderland AFC and says he will not attend a match as long as remains in charge. I understand the anger and share it; I find Moyes difficult to warm to but I also cannot believe a good manager at Everton can suddenly, after poor experiences in Manchester and Spain, turn into a bad one at Sunderland. But here’s Paul view …

Read moreFrom a SAFC fan staying away until Moyes goes: ‘so much wrong’