Sixer’s Sevens: SAFC 2-1 Charlton. Maja and Gooch seal a perfect start

Jake’s back, too, and can hardly believe he already has a win to illustrate

After a disappointing first 45 minutes of our League One season – and let it be one season, for the right reason – goals from Josh Maja and, in the dying moments of the game, Lynden Gooch brought three massively encouraging points against Charlton Athletic.

Pete Sixsmith was not alone in representing the Salut! Sunderland editorial team at the Stadium of Light. Malcolm Dawson, deputy editor, and John McCormick, associate editor, too their places, too, among a remarkable 31,079 in the qround, leaving poor old Monsieur Salut – in London too briefly to be able to get up north for the game – to make do with Barnes and Benno after one local pub failed to stop the live coverage channel bouncing to Sky News and the other refused to show it.

When we went one down, to a penalty converted with absolute predictability by Lyle Taylor, who chose to join Charlton and not us in the close season, I feared the worst. But B&B saw lots of positives, Maja grabbed the equaliser as we appeared to improve greatly on a mostly poor first 45 minutes and, from what Benno described as an Oviedo cross of great quality, Gooch headed the winner.

Here, Sixer resumes his traditional seven-word summaries of each match he attends. He emphasises the important role played by the academy and in a second verdict, added ‘Top of the league; SAFC are top’. Rest assured he’ll have more to say later …

Read moreSixer’s Sevens: SAFC 2-1 Charlton. Maja and Gooch seal a perfect start

Acclaim Sunderland’s new matchday programme but never forget Rob Mason’s award-winners

The front cover of the Charlton matchday prog

 

Monsieur Salut says: when the new regime took hold, one of its early observations was that the SAFC matchday programme was, frankly, an embarrassment.

That may well have had something to do with the decision, taken as our not-much-missed but highly remunerated then CEO, Martin Bain, penny-pinched his way through the operation, to sideline Rob Mason, whose editorship of the programme had been a rare success story in the recent history of SAFC.

Rob remains club historian and has nothing to do with the perceived decline in the programme’s standards. That needs to be pointed out and I pass no comment on the way his award-winning publication went on to be handled when contracted out.

But now, there is a serious change of approach to report. Many readers will have seen the minor stir on social media about the revamped Red and White, with a strong emphasis on fan input. Salut! Sunderland was involved in the first example of this new approach as anyone buying a programme before the opening game against Charlton Athletic will see, but plaudits are due to the content editor Oscar Chamblerlain …

Read moreAcclaim Sunderland’s new matchday programme but never forget Rob Mason’s award-winners

The First Time Ever I Saw Your Team: Charlton Athletic

League One fans probably don’t know that Pete Sixsmith is a member of the 92 club, or whatever it’s called. In fact, given his proclivity for non-league and his propensity for travel he’s probably a member of the 192 club, and for many seasons he has regaled us with tales from around the country and beyond. Last season he stepped it up and provided an account of recalling the first time he saw every club we played against at home and his first visit to every ground  we were due to play at in the lead up to match.

It was a tremendous series and we didn’t think he’d be able to keep it up. But he reckons he can and here’s the first effort. Charlton fans in particular, League One fans in general, I suggest you bookmark the page. After you’ve read it you’ll appreciate why.

Read moreThe First Time Ever I Saw Your Team: Charlton Athletic

The Charlton Athletic Who are You?: ‘Sunderland really ought to win this division’

Monsieur Salut writes: first things first: Richard Wiseman*, our Charlton Athletic volunteer for the first ‘Who are You?’ of the new season wants to say hello to two London-based Sunderland supporters he knows but hasn’t seen in a while. Step forward Mick Coad and Alan Walsh (or anyone reading this who is in touch with them). Ian Todd, founder and membership secretary of the London and SE branch of SAFCSA reports that Mick is back in the North East while Alan, ‘never been seen in anything but shorts’, is still in London and travels fairly regularly to home games.

Richard is chairman of the Charlton Athletic Supporters’ Trust (CAST – I’ve added the apostrophe), which is home to a lot of disgruntled Addicks fans, people who love their club somewhat more than they love their owner, the Belgian millionaire Roland Duchatelet. He bought Charlton in 2014, supposedly as a feeder club for other teams he owned on the Continent. In 2016, he publicly accused some fans of wanting the club to fail. Opposition centres on CARD (Coalition Against Roland Duchatelet) and it’s vitriolic.

Our interview covers the controversy but also the prospects for each of our clubs …

Read moreThe Charlton Athletic Who are You?: ‘Sunderland really ought to win this division’

We all agree: name the North Stand after Monty (or do we?)

We’ve chosen one of Jake’s generic Salut! Sunderland images as this is a democratic effort

John McCormick writes: It was Malcolm who sent the e-mail about a poll to decide on names for the stands at the SOL but it was Eric who made the original request, via the comments section, in Colin’s guess the score for the opening game of the season. My contribution was the headline you see above and the construction of the page.

Charlie Hurley, Bob Stokoe, Bradley Lowery, Raich Carter, Stan Anderson, Jimmy Montgomery and Ian Porterfield, in no particular order, were the first names we came up with; I added Cloughie and Shack when setting up the poll.

Read moreWe all agree: name the North Stand after Monty (or do we?)

Sunderland vs Charlton and the return of the prize Guess the Score

Guess the Score is back, and so is our illustrator Jake

Monsieur Salut writes: roll up, roll up to place your predicted scoreline for the opening game of our return to the third tier – or to claim old prizes I somehow overlooked (one Evertonian, Bernard Walker, is in that category and will receive his I-won’t-let-this-change-me award, a mug, for correctly forecasting the dismal result of last season’s League Cup game, as soon a possible.

Read moreSunderland vs Charlton and the return of the prize Guess the Score

For Sunderland, the only way is up – starting with Charlton Athletic

Jake’s back – and so are Charlton

Monsieur Salut writes: in just over two weeks, only Sunderland’s second season as far down as the third tier kicks off with the televised home game against Charlton Athletic. The striker we wanted but they signed, Lyle Taylor, expects a hostile reception but says he’ll cope and simply concentrate on trying to inflict an opening-day defeat on us. Intriguingly, he volunteered a reason for his reluctance to join SAFC in an interview linked here:’Certain things happened. I’m not at liberty to go into the finer details, but certain things were done and said and at the end of the day, that told me enough’.

Here, Pete Lyons, a freelance writer with our club’s interests at heart, reflects on Sunderland’s decline and the prospects for fighting back… I have italicised song titles I recognise but others, and notably Wrinkly Pete, may spot more and I have added a French singer, Jain, as a new contender …

Okay, so Sunderland have surely fallen as low as it’s possible to go for a club of this stature and with the fan base it has.

But there is a mood of optimism and the feeling that things can only get better (how many song titles?). A new owner and a new manager will hopefully instil a new sense of spirit into the club.

Read moreFor Sunderland, the only way is up – starting with Charlton Athletic

Burton, Scunthorpe or Peterborough – who’ll join Sunderland, Barnsley, Charlton and Portsmouth?

UPDATE: we saw the poll had grown, improbably, to 11,000+ votes with Coventry way out in front on 26 per cent. Couldn’t blame Jimmy Hill this time but something was clearly up.  For the culprits, go to the Coventry site Sky Blues Talk    … but don’t get too cross as our lot would gladly have done the same to them. The poll, unsurprisingly, is suspended …

After Colin reposted our “who’s going up?” poll (on the left, below) in one of the Question and Answer sessions  with our owners there  was brief flurry of voting, as you might have expected given the number of visitors we had. And then things slowed down until, by the weekend, things were at a trickle, although votes were and are still coming in. Again, this was to be expected as the eyes of the football world were on Russia, where eight or nine ex-Sunderland players were taking part in the World’s most prestigious competition outside the Third Division. We now have over 800 votes cast, which is enough to be going on with, although Colin in his gut feeling poll, had almost as many when only one vote was allowed per person.

Read moreBurton, Scunthorpe or Peterborough – who’ll join Sunderland, Barnsley, Charlton and Portsmouth?

Barnsley drop, Burton and Posh replace Luton and Scunthorpe, Walsall get off the bottom in our promotion poll.

When I first put this poll up, a mere week ago, I wrote

“this is predominantly a Sunderland site and we aren’t claiming results are totally unbiased… …Nevertheless, I think it’s fair to say that SAFC  fans have not been blindly optimistic.”

After only a week I would not able to add a lot to this statement, were it not for two things. The first is that the poll was tagged to promote it to all League One fans for over 24 hours before it was promoted on our facebook page and then on Colin’s subsequent posts on this site. This gave us a small (very small, as it happens) hint of what the whole of the League One fanbase might think. The second was that Colin’s own poll closed, with some findings we can bring to bear on this one.

Read moreBarnsley drop, Burton and Posh replace Luton and Scunthorpe, Walsall get off the bottom in our promotion poll.

The bookies say Sunderland, Barnsley, Charlton, Portsmouth, Luton and Scunthorpe. What about you?

And so we have it: the fixtures are out. You’ll be getting your fill of dates, and conjecture from all over, no doubt, and enjoying the pre-season buzz of anticipation that it brings.

But when you’re tucked up under the sheets, reading Charles Buchan’s “Football Monthly” with a torch and reality bites, do you think you’ll win League One?

Or even get promoted?

If you do, please let us know. If you don’t, let us know who you think will make the grade.

Read moreThe bookies say Sunderland, Barnsley, Charlton, Portsmouth, Luton and Scunthorpe. What about you?