John McCormick writes: outside the clouds have rolled in and the rain is sheeting down. It’s a grey day. Inside only the heating system is keeping the cold out. Normally an e-mail from Pete Sixsmith would mean a post bringing cheer and warmth, good feeling and heartiness. So the one that arrived but a few minutes ago was more than welcome.
Alas, some times it’s better to travel than to arrive:
For his second contribution to the pages of Salut! Sunderland, Martin Crow compares and contrasts – favourably – the Chris Coleman way with words, when talking publicly about Sunderland AFC, with the mix of gibberish, gallows humour, boorishness, beyond-the-pale philosophy and heavy gloom that has gone before …
It might be an exaggeration to say that pouring over the misfortunes of Sunderland AFC, and its sod-the-press-I-only-do-tame-inhouse-interviews owner, has become an international sport. But it’s certainly keeping the media busy.
BBC Radio Newcastle’s Total Sport programme had the benefit of our Pete Sixsmith’s wisdom last night. He spoke gloomily about our immediate prospects – he fears another relegation – and holds David Moyes to no small extent culpable for our present malaise.
There has been a lot of anger and a fair amount of gallows humour among West Ham fans at the choice of our old friend David Moyes to replace the sacked Slaven Bilic as manager.As far as Monsieur Salut can tell, Moyes has not yet announced that the Hammers are in a relegation scrap. Nor has he said the players he needs in January won’t be available to him. Why, he hasn’t even told anyone from LBC Radio she deserves a slap or apologised – yet – for being self-defeatingly dour, honest and ever-so-sure of his ability.And with supreme faith in their new man, the West Ham board has made the appointment for all of six months, ie to the end of the season. That’s the stuff!
Earlier this week, the West Ham United fan site asked for reciprocal links with Salut! Sunderland, now established. I invited my contact there, Ade, to share anything his site did by way of covering Moyes. And here it is, with some mischief-making along the way drawn from other sources …
I’m glad we can begin to look forward to next season. Although it might seem a grim prospect I’m sure there will be readers thinking it’s a bit less grim than it was, now that Moyes has gone. As to the thoughts of the Salut team, you’ve had opinions from Lars, Malcolm, Mick Goulding, Wrinkly Pete and myself, and you can look forward to some fine writing to come from, at least, M Salut and Pete Sixsmith, who will finish off the series.
Here’s something a bit different, though. A series of charts showing some of the key features of a season to forget:
Like Pete Sixsmith, Malcolm Dawson gets to more matches than most people. He’s well placed to comment on skill, systems, strengths and weaknesses. He’s a regular at the Stadium of Light too, which means he’s well placed to comment on them in the context of SAFC.
But that’s not all. He’s a keen observer of all things Sunderland, which makes his end of season review very interesting indeed. Read on for some wholesome food for thought while we await events off the pitch
Colin Randall writes: I commend this epic piece from our associate editor John McCormick, his superbly argued but also entertaining contribution to our series of end-of-season reviews ….
You might be telling people
“ it’s a chance to rebuild”.
You might be saying
“Now we can bring the young’ns through”
Or you might just be thinking
“at least we won’t have to watch that rubbish next season”.
And maybe you’re forcing a smile as you say it.
Recent events might even have made it a genuine smile. But are you really happy? How do you really feel?
Rob Hutchison is not always restricted to one-word, one-mark ratings after games he’s (mostly) seen us lose. Scenes at Stamford Bridge after Sunday’s thrashing caught his eye …
Robert Chapman, an ever-welcome stand-in for Pete Sixsmith when the Sixer considers a game unworthy of his presence, was at Stamford Bridge. Here, as respite from all the Moyes Gone stuff, is his report of a final, ultimately humilirting day following SAFC …
John McCormick writes: end of season reviews have just begin, with Lars Knutsen providing the first with a piece entitled “Hire and fire”. Some time in the next couple of weeks, depending on how many reviews there are, Pete Sixsmith will bring the season to a close.
But M Salut called on Pete to perform a duty first, and Pete stepped up to the mark in fine style. Here’s his take on the hiring, but perhaps not the firing, of a manager who promised so much and delivered nothing but dust: