Welcome Jerome Sinclair. Only a loan but a striker and, at last, transfer news

Monsieur Salut offers the traditional Salut! Sunderland welcome to a new signing – Watford’s young striker Jerome Sinclair on a season-long loan deal …

Like many – most? – supporters, I am less than exhilarated by loan deals. They seem to have played a significant part in our decline in recent years.

But it is not as if our purchases and free transfer acquisitions were going so well that no loan deal was necessary. No one should be carried away by winning 6-0 at St Mirren; we have striker problems – I think it was the excellent Phil Smith who said in the Sunderland Echo that we were an injury to Josh Maja away from having no recognised attacker (no disrespect to Andrew Nelson, but he hasn’t played a senior competitive game).

Read moreWelcome Jerome Sinclair. Only a loan but a striker and, at last, transfer news

Aye, Aye, Aye Aye, Sky Blues prefer us to the Ricoh

John McCormick writes:  if you want to know the origin of the headline you’ll have to read on to the middle of this piece, where Malcolm, our esteemed deputy editor, has reworked a version of the old Fulwell End favourite “Monty is better than Yashin” following a recent barrage of voting from the Sky Blue bit of the West Midlands.

I have to say I found that barrage a bit strange. After all, when a blog adopts a title which includes the phrase “dodgy numbers”, and then ends with a disclaimer which states “the arithmetic’s correct, it’s just the rest could be a bit wonky” it’s best not to take it too seriously.

And when it says “unless new voter(s) decide to cast vote(s) for only one team and to throw rationality to the winds – and why not, it’s what football’s all about”, which is what I wrote in my last post, you might get some idea that we welcome other clubs’ fans and enjoy hearing from them.

Read moreAye, Aye, Aye Aye, Sky Blues prefer us to the Ricoh

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.

That promotion poll in full. A thumping majority predict a winning Sunderland season

Jake: ‘why not, with so many players with SAFC connections in Russia?’

The original promotion poll, now closed, received 818 votes. Of those, 664 predicted – whether through blind faith or genuine belief – that Sunderland would bounce straight back. It was desperately close but just half of them thought we’d do so as champions.

Only 18 per cent (still a sizeable minority, totalling 148 votes) were pessimistic, though mostly about promotion chances, just four per cent (36 votes) fearing another relegation scrap.

The poll allowed other responses and there were six of these, listed below.

Read moreThat promotion poll in full. A thumping majority predict a winning Sunderland season

The original promotion poll ends soon. But there’s a follow-up survey …

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This is really your last chance to vote – or update your vote based on later developments or your assessment of the new regime – in the Salut! Sunderland “gut feeling” poll (above). It closes in about one hour from the moment I post this item.

News on possible new signings is developing fast. Check out https://www.sunderlandecho.com/sport/football/sunderland-afc, where you can expect to see what they know at the Echo and what they think worthy of being repeated from elsewhere.

We’ve reached 750+ votes and there is an overwhelming majority expressing a belief in automatic promotion – 81 per cent in total, marginally more than half feeling we’ll do it as champions.

Read moreThe original promotion poll ends soon. But there’s a follow-up survey …

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?

Charlton at home to start. Seaside promotion party at Southend to finish?

Can these gates become part of the new fortress?*

Monsieur Salut introduces the full fixtures list for next season, starting with Charlton at home, remembers an ambitious pre-match request from Boy George (a Charlton fan) and reproduces the will-we-go-up? poll …

It’s hardly Man City at the Etihad or even Derby County at the Stadium of Light.

But at least Sunderland’s unwelcome visit to the third tier, for only the second time in club history, kicks off with a home game and the opposition is Charlton Athletic, beaten playoff semifinalists last season.

With that element of importance – big club negotiating troubled waters versus once biggish club, both trying to recreate past glory – comes a first taste of televised action for Sunderland in the 2018-2019 League One season. The game has been switched to a 1230pm kickoff.

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Read moreCharlton at home to start. Seaside promotion party at Southend to finish?

Come what may, can Sunderland go up?

Jake: ‘when will we next see sunny times for Sunderland AFC?’

 

Whoever turns out to be Sunderland’s next manager will soon – and let us hope it is soon as the club’s recent experience of delayed pre-season planning is a depressing one  – have to start a substantial overhaul of playing staff as we approach an August kickoff in League One.

With the ownership change moving along but not yet settled, no appointment is likely for another week or more depending on how long the EFL takes to approve the Stewart Donald takeover.

Read moreCome what may, can Sunderland go up?