Monsieur Salut writes: At half time, Sunderland having defended reasonably well without offering a threat to the Everton goal, went behind when Fabio Borini failed to track back and a swift move down the right ended up with the ball in the back of the net. Pete Sixsmith, suffering at Goodison, felt there was ‘no way back’. There were signs of better in the second. SAFC won a corner after Defoe hit the bar and – you guessed – the ball went straight down the field and Lukaku made it two from a one-to-one on Jordan Pickford. Prepare for a push for promotion …
Graeme Holmes* is an Everton season ticket holder whose globetrotting, groundhopping activities make our own Pete Sixsmith seem like an armchair supporter. He’s at a match as a neutral most nights to add to those huge number of Everton games he’s seen over the past 38 years. He has obviously come across Sixer on his travels and it is that connection that introduces him to Salut! Sunderland. Welcome, Graeme …
Monsieur Salut interrupts the usual business of trying to get heating, hot water, internet and the rest working again in France to announce the return of Guess the Score after the recent, perhaps merciful break from premier League action. No Anichebe, sadly, but if Oviedo, Gibson, Pienaar and Rodwell are available, David Moyes’s faith in former Everton players may be about to be put to a stiff test …
The recent double-prize edition of Guess the Score attracted no correct entries, which is not surprising since few of us seriously hoped for a 4-0 win at Crystal Palace and even fewer feared we’d then surrender by the same margin at home to Southampton.
So as we launch the competition for the game at Everton, we can be excused for wondering which Sunderland to expect to turn up this time.
John McCormick writes: I was thinking of updating our “Relegation watch” this weekend, seeing as there’s no football on, but with a couple of days to go before the transfer window shuts it feels like it’s too early to complete the “before and after” picture. I could have given you my view of Deloitte’s Money Football League but in recent seasons that has been pushed into the summer and I like it there. So I’ve decided to do another of my occasional visits to clubs on this side of the Pennines, where there is plenty of food for thought.
… in which Pete Sixsmith looks back on the good, bad and exceedingly ugly FA Cup 3rd Round ties he remembers with affection or disgust …
Excitement levels among Sunderland supporters, it has to be said, have not been high over the impending FA Cup tie with Burnley.
I have my ticket due to the Cup Ticket option but am considering missing out in order to watch a tasty FA Vase tie between Shildon and Atherton Collieries. But it did get me thinking about epic and disastrous third round clashes in the past.
Monsieur Salut says: the international break makes me twitchy. No serious interest in the football, lots of time to worry about Sunderland. So let’s have a poll …
Are we, then, resigned to Jordan Pickford becoming another Jordan Henderson, red-and-white through and through but grasping, understandably, at opportunities higher up the footballing ladder than where Sunderland find themselves placed?
Do we reluctantly accept that pressure from Everton, or West Ham or someone else with pots of money to spend and heads to turn, will lure away Lamine Kone in January?
And could we live with one or both departing provided – are you listening, Mr Short? – adequate replacements are secured before anyone is let out of the door? So not just Vito Mannone fit again – though that matters, too – but people coming in, and coming in as a pre-condition of anyone else’s departure.
Anyone who watched the otherwise one-to-forget Everton match on the TV, and plenty of those inside the stadium, will have had their hearts warmed by the sight of little Bradley Lowery, the SAFC mascot for the game.
Bradley is fighting a form of cancer called neuroblastoma and needs costly treatment in the USA. A good piece about the way sporting and other personalities, from Jordan Henderson to Katie Price, who have rallied to the cause appears at the Sunderland Echo site, this link
“As soon as I read that Lukaku hadn’t scored for six months my heart sank.”
When I heard the commentators on Sky saying pretty much the same I had similar feelings. You just knew he would score. But for the first half I thought we did OK, although our midfield couldn’t find Defoe, who battled in vain. Perhaps I have a rosy view, however, as TV doesn’t always show what went on all over the pitch. For a fuller picture we need to call on Pete Sixsmith, who was at the match and who witnessed that second half capitulation first hand:
John McCormick writes: I hate Monday games. I always have. I never expect us to do well in any televised game but I have the worst forebodings on Mondays. So it came as no surprise to me that we got nothing today.
But the nature of that nothing – that wasn’t something I expected. I gather that it also came as a shock to our new manager judging by the letter he sent to M Salut (and perhaps a couple of others) immediately after the game:
Pete Sixsmith sent a text at half time:
“Competed well against a strong Everton team”,
which I thought was a pretty fair description of the game up to then.
His second text was also a pretty fair description. You’ll find it below, where it conveys a message that doesn’t bode well for Spurs: