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.

Wolves, Derby, Cardiff and Bristol leave room for only Villa and Leeds (but Middlesbrough might yet sneak in)

no slide rule needed

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: 

Middlesbrough,
Aston Villa,
Fulham,
Sheff Wed,
Leeds,
Sunderland

Read moreWolves, Derby, Cardiff and Bristol leave room for only Villa and Leeds (but Middlesbrough might yet sneak in)

Great series begins at Derby, Bury, Norwich, Sheffield Wednesday, Carlisle, Leeds and Barnsley

Monsieur Salut writes: when Pete Sixsmith suggested a series looking at his first encounters with Sunderland’s opposing teams or their grounds, I had minor doubts. That’s 46 articles plus the cup games – assuming he does each team for home games, each ground for away ties – on top of all else he contributes to Salut! Sunderland.

It’s fair to say the first fruits of Sixer’s latest endeavours are making me eat my thoughts. It is proving a fabulous series, much admired here but also by supporters of the clubs he writes about. Eric Bowers recently described Sixer as a national institution … you decide

 

 

The story so far is enough to persuade me that he should really be talking to book publishers. Here’s a flavour (click the team name to see the full piece in each case):

Read moreGreat series begins at Derby, Bury, Norwich, Sheffield Wednesday, Carlisle, Leeds and Barnsley

A strange feeling, from a stalwart supporter

Ian Todd (source: www.weardownsouth.com)

John McCormick writes: many of you will know at first glance that the photo on the left is of Ian Todd. Others may not and, perhaps, would appreciate some kind of introduction.

I’m not sure I’m equipped to provide one, other than to say this man is the kind of Sunderland supporter I’d like to think  I am, and I’ve been to daft and distant places like Norwich, Bristol, Oxford and Leyton Orient, not to mention those most hostile of venues, Old Trafford and Millwall’s old Den.

Ian has been much further, much more often, and done so much more wherever he went. And he still keeps going.

Over to Ian:

Read moreA strange feeling, from a stalwart supporter

Birmingham, Wolves, Brentford, Forest, Cardiff, Preston, QPR and Ipswich go missing from our poll

John McCormick, seeking the truth

I have to say I’m a bit surprised by the poll results to date.

‘Boro being top is reasonable. They have proved they are capable of handling the Championship, have money coming and have a decent manager.

Sunderland in the top six is understandable. It’s a Sunderland site, and no matter how jaundiced the fans are, no matter how concerned over the owner, there will always be a loyal following willing to vote for them.

But last season’s form has gone out of the window with this poll. Villa, who finished bang in the middle of the championship, are up there in second place, while Hull and Derby are out of the running. What’s going on?

Read moreBirmingham, Wolves, Brentford, Forest, Cardiff, Preston, QPR and Ipswich go missing from our poll

Middlesbrough, Fulham, Aston Villa, Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds head the poll. Norwich, Reading and Derby slip down

with an increasing feeling of optimism…

The poll I set up a couple of weeks ago is still running and you’ll find it below, so you can still vote if you have a mind to. (If you’re new to the site and want to see what it’s about follow this link.)

At the time of writing we have had some 3,818 votes cast, with Middlesbrough leading the pack. Sunderland crept up a couple of places and edged Norwich out of the top six by two votes. Given this is a Sunderland fans’ site we could be expected to do well so I’m taking that as a vote of confidence in Norwich. I’m a little surprised by Fulham, who have exceeded my expectations, and by Derby and Reading, who haven’t done as well as expected and at the moment aren’t going to make the cut.

“What cut?” You may be thinking. Well, read on, and all will be revealed

Read moreMiddlesbrough, Fulham, Aston Villa, Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds head the poll. Norwich, Reading and Derby slip down

Reading at last? Norwich perhaps, or Derby, Leeds, ‘Boro and Sheffield? What’s your fancy?

John McCormick:
John McCormick. Here we go again – but this time it’s different

I was away last week and didn’t log on much, on account of having a temperamental handheld device (a tip – don’t drop your computer onto a tiled surface) and iffy connections courtesy of a not-so-local bar.

But log on I did, twice.

The first time, it was to find three quarters of our readers thought our chances of immediate promotion were scuppered.

On my second log-in Colin’s poll had closed and the number had dropped to 70%. That’s still quite a damning figure.

Me, I’m not so pessimistic.

Read moreReading at last? Norwich perhaps, or Derby, Leeds, ‘Boro and Sheffield? What’s your fancy?

Relegation watch: still looking at Watford, Bournemouth and Norwich, with Leicester hanging on

John McCormick:
John McCormick: getting ready, only a month to go

What a website! On 15th June, in response to my “who went down, who’s going down?”  Dave left a comment which included:

“… I think Pearson will, at some point, have a big row with a player or a fan, and the team’s spirit that kept them up will dissipate…”

Two weeks later Leicester City’s website contained the following:

“…it has become clear to the Club that fundamental differences in perspective exist between us. Regrettably, the Club believes that the working relationship between Nigel and the Board is no longer viable…”

The effect on team spirit remains to be seen but as I said at the start, what a website!

A week ago I left you with a poll whose results were suggesting the targets of my dodgy numbers “relegation watch” would be the three promoted clubs and Leicester. Since then another couple of thousand votes have been cast but they didn’t make much difference, despite the turmoil  at the Kingpower . Here are last Friday’s and this Friday’s results:

Read moreRelegation watch: still looking at Watford, Bournemouth and Norwich, with Leicester hanging on

Relegation: it’s still Bournemouth and Watford. Can Leicester and Norwich relax?

John McCormick:
John McCormick: I’m biased. Are you?

Strange, isn’t it? I spend Monday evening idly browsing the MLS (aka Major League Soccer) website trying to work out how it (the league, not the website) operates and then along comes David Millward with a piece about a football convention in the USA. I wonder if the fans he mixed with can get their heads around relegation and promotion better than I can handle the subtleties of the MLS.

Read moreRelegation: it’s still Bournemouth and Watford. Can Leicester and Norwich relax?