Sunderland vs MK Dons. How many of SAFC’s Bramall Lane stars will feature?

Jake: ‘now for some points on the table … please’

Football talk thrives on whats ifs.

What if Jack Ross, suitably impressed by his much-changed team’s latest winning exploits in the Carabao Cup, decided the same side can surely coast past MK Dons in the more important matter of the League One promotion race?

It was, after all, a fine 1-0 win against Sheffield United, albeit also much changed after their 2-0 Premier League triumph at Everton.

But we know it won’t happen because football doesn’t tend to work that way. A few of Wednesday night’s stars may get into the squad but the chances of Ross announcing an unchanged side are less than zero.

Read moreSunderland vs MK Dons. How many of SAFC’s Bramall Lane stars will feature?

Sixer’s Soapbox. Bolton Wanderers 1, Sunderland 1. Why am I not surprised?

John McCormick writes: Two seasons ago I was at Bolton to witness a torrid game, where we could not neither keep a clean sheet nor score against a Bolton side that were pretty much useless. We went down a few weeks later; they stayed up. Now fortune brings us together with situations near enough reversed. We have survived financially, rebuilt and (allegedly) are poised to mount a challenge for promotion. They have survived but that’s about it and few can see them staying up.

So we should have wellied them, shouldn’t we? But we are Sunderland, and we all know what that means. Cue Pete Sixsmith, also there last time, to tell us how things have changed

Read moreSixer’s Soapbox. Bolton Wanderers 1, Sunderland 1. Why am I not surprised?

Sixer’s Sevens: Bolton Wanderers and grand larceny of the highest order

Malcolm Dawson writes:

However you look at it, this was a poor day in Lancashire.
Gary Bennett was not happy. The crowd was not happy and Pete Sixsmith was not happy. His series of texts throughout the game read…”a dismal first half, support not happy and unlikely to change”, then after Wyke came on for Maguire “the crowd have turned on the manager” and as the 4th official indicated 5 minutes of stoppage time, with the score still 1-0 to Bolton he sent his 7 word summary with the p.s. “whatever the result.” One minute later we got a penalty which McGeady converted with more confidence than his midweek effort. There then followed another text “McGeady penalty changes nothing”. It did, but not in relation to his verdict,. which we print below although there was still time for another text as the full time whistle sounded….”grand larceny of the highest order. 

Read moreSixer’s Sevens: Bolton Wanderers and grand larceny of the highest order

Bolton Wanderers vs Sunderland. Wanted: another winning trip across the Pennines

Click on the image above, post your scoreline prediction

Just for fun, we have taken to saying about our regular slot inviting readers to predict Sunderland scorelines, says Monsieur Salut.

It hasn’t been much fun being a Bolton Wanderers fan. The club almost driven out of existence and all those goals shipped. I have no idea as I write on Monday morning, before a week’s break, whether they will go into our game buoyed by a midweek win at home to Oxford United – or how we did against Rotherham.

But gallows humour comes easily to Sunderland supporters and even before last Saturday’s latest walloping for Bolton – 6-1 away, almost inevitably to our own midweek opponents, Rotherham – one was moping at Twitter that Wanderers would probably start their revival against us.

(Of course we now know both teams came away with a point in midweek, Bolton claiming they were unlucky not to take all three  whilst those who saw or heard or followed our game in some other way can’t help but feel we dropped two points after the perfect start against the South Yorkshire side. Bolton of course brought in nine players on the last day of the transfer window and those players will now be getting up to speed, so we are unlikely to be facing the Trotters’ U18 side. This on paper should make it a tougher ask for our boys and my own personal opinion is that the wave of negativity surrounding a club that has still only lost 6 of its last 54 league games can’t be doing anything to help. The fact we are playing away might take some pressure of our boys but even if we emulate Ipswich, Rochdale, Tranmere and Gillingham by sticking five past Wanderers it won’t stop some saying we should have done better. MD)

Read moreBolton Wanderers vs Sunderland. Wanted: another winning trip across the Pennines

Sixer’s Sevens: Rotherham earn a point as Sunderland miss a penalty.

It was almost half-time when I realised Pete Sixsmith had not checked in from the Stadium of Light. That’s almost as surprising as a penalty miss at home, or not conceding in the first 45 minutes. Checks with Malcolm and Colin revealed all was well; Malcolm suggested “nervy finish after 20 minutes of dominance” for a half-time summary while Colin forwarded a text from the man himself: “great start but haven’t built on it”

Some time during the second half normal service was resumed in more ways than one. Pete sent a text which got through – “equaliser arrived after the usual appalling defending”.

And that’s how the game finished, leaving us on exactly the same number of points as at the same stage last season, but with a worse goal difference and no clean sheets, and a final seven words from Pete:

Read moreSixer’s Sevens: Rotherham earn a point as Sunderland miss a penalty.

Sunderland vs Rotherham United. A big game, make it a big result for SAFC

Jake: ‘and the score will be …’

A good result at Accrington Stanley propelled Sunderland back into the top six.

Isn’t the mark of a successful side at any level that it wins even when not playing that well, Monsieur Salut asks?

On to Rotherham at home. Who will win? By what score? Tell us below – I am sorry but we are still in just-for-fun mode, but that will change if Salut! Sunderland‘s fortunes change.

Read moreSunderland vs Rotherham United. A big game, make it a big result for SAFC

Sixer’s Accrington Sevens: when the result matters and the team delivers it’s a good day, despite…

Pete Sixsmith gives us value for money on yet another trip across the Pennines.

He sent a pre-match text telling us he had arrived on a warm afternoon, followed that with texts commenting on woeful defending – both ours and theirs – then gave us a seven word text telling us about the first half – “Stuttered at start but superior at end”.

Then he capped this with a final seven word text as the whistle blew to set the scene for Tuesday and also for tomorrow’s match report.

Read moreSixer’s Accrington Sevens: when the result matters and the team delivers it’s a good day, despite…

Accrington Stanley vs Sunderland: just as we were enjoying a break from football …


Yes, it’s back. Proper football, I mean, says Monsieur Salut.

Along with plenty of others, if probably still a minority, I tend to regard international breaks as weekends without football. At the very least, it’s a time to welcome not being too bothered about results.

Delighted though I am that England won against Bulgaria, and much as I hope they also beat Kosovo handsomely, I do not lose sleep over the international side’s ups and downs as I do over Sunderland. I am not in England just now and it took me a day or more to remember to check online for the Bulgaria score.

That sums up my interest in the national side though I was amused to see that here in France, they played the Andorran national anthem instead of Albania’s and then, after kickoff was delayed for the mistake to be rectified and the Albanian players assuaged, offered hearty apologies to Armenia.

Even in France, I suspect, protective labour laws and the abolition of execution by guilltoine may not be enough to stop heads rolling.

But football – for us – is back on Saturday and this is your chance to tell us, without selfish thoughts of reward, whether Sunderland will get the promotion drive back on course after the bad defeat at Posh.

Read moreAccrington Stanley vs Sunderland: just as we were enjoying a break from football …

No need to panic but Sunderland are doing worse this year than last

You might not like this post. You might be able to ignore it. And in truth it probably doesn’t matter too much, being so early.

We’ve had the naysayers making their presence felt after we began with draws. We’ve had the eternal optimists metaphorically singing, maybe even swinging, from the rafters after three wins on the trot. And we are in the playoff positions, so all is not doom and gloom. What’s more, compared to some of the promotion candidates chosen in our poll, we’re doing very well.

Read moreNo need to panic but Sunderland are doing worse this year than last

Sunderland’s likely new owners. A Premier League return is the aim

Salut! Sunderland, like most supporters, has no special insider knowledge of the reportedly imminent conclusion of negotiations with the would-be new owners of Sunderland AFC, says Monsieur Salut.

I have been too busy to badger my old colleague Charlie Methven and Charlie would have been too busy or too cautious to shed much light if badgered. As my granddaughter would say, “how are we supposed to know?”.

Read moreSunderland’s likely new owners. A Premier League return is the aim