Season End Reviews: (9) the Lars Word on turning points, Big Sam and the way forward

Lars touching base

There are reports our would-be owner is in a meeting with the EFL today, and that our change of ownership will be confirmed shortly (in respect of which here’s the latest club statement). Until it is we won’t know what will happen, although we all know what we want – in a word, success. No doubt there will be lots of ideas on how that will be achieved and we have one of them today.

Here’s Lars Knutsen  with an end of season review which reflects on the past before giving his ideas on how we’ll achieve that success:

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The Salut! Sunderland Haways: Hull, Brentford and Derby fans edge out Bolton

Jake: ‘thanks to all who participate’. Click this image to see all interviews from the season just ended

It’s that time of year again and Monsieur Salut unveils the Salut! Sunderland equivalent of the Oscars …

And the winner is: Kathryn Townsley. Click on her photo to read her interview

Salut! Sunderland is delighted to bring you the results of our annual awards for the best interviews of the season with fans of opposing clubs. We call the award the Haways – the Highly Articulate Who are You? (s).

One of the few bright spots of the season was the continuing high standard of responses from our interviewees. Remember, people have to be found, they have to agree to do it and they must then answer a lot of questions (maybe too many; if the series continues into League One, that may change).

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Season End Reviews: (10) six degrees to relegation (with thanks to Kevin Bacon)

Each year we invite regular and occasional contributors to write  end-of-season reviews, writes Monsieur Salut. You’d be forgiven for thinking there would be little stomach for the task this year. But several welcome articles have been received and published; all deserve to be read as you will see by clicking on this link which takes you to the series in full. We thank all who have taken the trouble to share their part of the collective agony.

As is also customary, Pete Sixsmith – who suffers more than most in his faithful pursuit of good football from Sunderland AFC – brings the series to an end …

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Season End Reviews: (7) some sad stats from Sunderland


The sun is shining and I’m sitting comfortable and warm in the shade the day after alleged new owners turned up at the allegedly debt-free SOL where a team including a lot of youngsters put three goals past the league champions without conceding themselves. So the future’s not all bad.

But before we get to that future let’s take a few moments to look back on a season and some statistics we’d probably not want to revisit too often.

And I must caution you, I’ve led you towards a conclusion. You might want to give how I’ve done it a bit of critical thought*.

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Season End Reviews: (6) seeking bright spots amid the mismanagement, including Coleman’s

going three down at Goodison. Hey ho….

John McCormick, associate editor, writes in the latest of Salut! Sunderland’s  end-of-season reviews (see all contributions here):

I only made it to three games.

The first saw us exit the League Cup at Goodison, where a weaker than usual team in a struggling club had no trouble in dispatching us. Rodwell played that evening, in what I think was his last game for us (other than as an unused sub at Brentford), but other than that there was nothing of note in the game and it has no bearing on the rest of the season, so I’ll ignore it.

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Sixer’s Wolverhampton Wanderers Soapbox: Cats poop on the Wolves party

Sixer keeping cool

John McCormick writes……the team that finished the season was vastly different from that which started it. I suppose that shouldn’t surprise anyone, given that the manager who finished the season was not only different from the one who started it but also different from the one that started the previous game. And it would appear that these changes worked, although Pete Sixsmith, in his final report of the season, adds a note of caution as he doesn’t think Wolves were playing at their best…

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Sixer’s Sevens: Youth thrown on, and throne to the Wolves

Jake gives Sixer star billing

Finally, we come to the end of a dismal season. One that has dashed hopes and destroyed dreams.

But, with last week’s news of a sale, perhaps it’s also one that contains the seeds of a rebirth, especially after  Robbie Stockdale rang the changes and youth delivered against worthy champions.

For a change, Pete Sixsmith’s match report will be welcome reading; for now his seven word post-match text gives us a hint of what next season might bring:

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The First Time Ever I Saw Your Team: Wolverhampton Wanderers

Pete Sixsmith

John McCormick writes: this week I’ve read something new and different every day, including Bob Chapman’s fine report from Fulham, Malcolm’s end of season review [which I recommend you read before listening to Peter Knowles (below)] and Pete’s appreciation of one of my boyhood heroes.

Now we have this, the final instalment of a Pete Sixsmith series that has, as I said a week ago about the sister (away) series, brightened a dismal season.

Even though I say it myself, as a proud contributor, this is some site.

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SAFC vs Wolverhampton Wanderers Who are You?: should this have been us?

Up again: Andy James with son Jacob on the pitch celebrating promotion in 2009. Click the image to view the entire Who are You? archive for 2017-2018

Monsieur Salut writes: here endeth the 2017-2018 series of Who are You?, our detailed interviews with warm, witty and/or wise supporters of Sunderland opponent. Andy James can not make it the Stadium of Light on Sunday but will be with the festive travelling support in spirit. Thanks for the answers, Andy, and now enjoy your reacquaintance with the Premier League, a revival in Molineux fortunes he rather charitably predicts will be repeated sooner or later by Sunderland. So top versus bottom – how many of us actually believed that is how the season would end up? …

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Season End Reviews: (5) we have been through hell and high tide

Happier times: Malcolm Dawson – slimmer these days – with SuperKev

Malcolm Dawson, deputy editor, writes: last week I composed my contribution to Salut! Sunderland‘s end of season review series – see all items so far at this link – in response to Monsieur Salut’s urgings and thought back to my feelings at the end of term when Big Sam had engineered yet another Great Escape.

In 2016 I referenced Ian Dury’s hit Reasons to Be Cheerful Part 3 to follow on from the previous year when I had used the title of the Zoe record Sunshine on a Rainy Day which in turn had followed that of Irving Berlin’s Blue Skies. I chose those songs because my articles all spoke with unjustifiable optimism, despite my constant disappointments following Sunderland AFC. There was always something to give me a little bit of hope.

But time spent recovering from surgery meant that I missed a couple of games in the Moyes reign and caused me to rethink whether or not I needed my fix of footballing disappointment. With Ellis Short in control of the club I could only see it going one way and made up my mind that I would not renew my season card as long as he was the owner. That in turn led to what follows – the bulk of which was written before last weekend’s announcements. For anyone who hasn’t spotted this year’s reference let me refer you to The Smiths and What Difference Does It Make?

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