Countdown to Wembley: not daring to dream

Jake: 'oh Vito Mannone'
Jake: ‘oh Vito Mannone’

Still they keep coming. Eric Sweeney has not written for Salut! Sunderland for some time but, like so many others, has been spurred into action by the heartwarming Wembley run (s), Gus Poyet’s battling leadership and that familiar enemy – hope …

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Sweeney’s Cut: is Arsène Wenger the new Bruce?

Eric, flanked by friend and brother

Monsieur Salut is an unashamed admirer of Arsène Wenger’s. But Eric Sweeney, an occasional additional voice at Salut! Sunderland, combines appreciation for the job Martin O’Neill is doing at Sunderland with serious misgivings about yesterday’s once-mighty opposition …

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Sweeney’s Cut: how Martin O’Neill is eliminating cynicism

A bit early for a mid-term report on Martin O’Neill, but these are potentially exciting times for Sunderland supporters who suddenly see their team written and spoken about in glowing terms, even in defeat, by the Londoncentric media. Eric Sweeney sees further progress ahead and, unlike M Salut, believes MON when he says he hasn’t yet thought about specific transfer window targets.

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Niall Quinn: maybe gone sooner than we think – but never forgotten

The words will flow thick and fast about Niall Quinn and his departure from role of chairman of Sunderland AFC. No one beyond his immediate circle can really know what to make of the new role “spearheading international development”, though there are theories aplenty on that, too. But nor should anyone forget all Niall has done for SAFC. Here is one tribute, with sharp injections of realism, from Eric Sweeney

Niall Quinn is a Sunderland legend. As a player he formed one half of the most potent strikeforce we ever had. A gentleman on and off the field he will be remembered for his love and affection for the Sunderland faithful and more recently his commitment to the club in spearheading much needed investment and leadership.

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Salut! Sunderlands week: stuffing Stoke, cheering up Reidy, facing Norwich

The long break between games made it a quietish week, but there is still plenty to look back on if you missed a daily dose of Salut! Sunderland

It was good to have an upbeat Bruce’s Banter, the e-mail Steve Bruce sends out after each game. Click here to see what he had to say about the 4-0 win against Stoke City. He mentioned some big individual performances but stopped short of naming names.

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Gyan: not the money man?

A last outing for Addick-tedKevin's image?

In his latest guest posting, Eric Sweeney reflects on the depressing saga of Asamoah Gyan’s loan transfer and concludes that Sunderland may be better off avoiding overseas prima donnas who see us as a mixture of cash cow and stepping stone. It is probably stretching things to suggest greed is confined to foreign players. But Eric knows his mind and there was neither a “not” nor a question mark in the headline when it left his keyboard …

Ghana for a short time had become Sunderland’s second home in Africa.

John Mensah, the Rock of Gibraltar, came to the club and was arguably our best player: big, strong and composed but also, unfortunately, injury prone.

There was no way the club could sign him permanently despite his great performances and popularity in the dressing room. The fee was simply too high and the risk too large.

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Why Sunderland need Bruce more than we needed Bent

Eric Sweeney* is the latest addition to Salut! Sunderland‘s stable of writers. A lot of us have been fretting about false dawns. Eric – flanked in the photo by friend and brother – rightly identifies the substantial positives we sometimes overlook …

As another transfer window
draws to a close it’s worth reflecting on how far Sunderland have come in the past four years.

Niall Quinn brought with him serious investment that propelled the club back to the Premier League where we know the club belongs. Roy Keane seemed to be buying a new player each passing week and our potential knew no boundaries.

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