Gareth Barker is half of the dynamic duo that brings you the regular Salut! Sunderland podcast. There is no requirement to go along with a word he now has to say, It is, as he freely acknowledges, a rant. But a rant from the heart …
After much stewing and engagement in argument/discussion across social networking sites, I came to the conclusion I needed to write down all of my thoughts on the sacking of Paolo Di Canio.
Gareth Barker introduces the latest edition of the Salut! Sunderland podcast created by those fine lads, Gareth and Goldy, in the appropriate guise of Wise Men Say. Is is wall-to-wall gloom after the dismal start to the season, with the major challenge of Arsenal at home to come? Scroll down, hot the link and find out …
It always seems that Stephen Goldsmith and I are like coroners at an inquest when it comes to recording the Wise Men Say podcast and this week was no different.
One of the most encouraging things about the live podcast last week was seeing many journo and editor types in the audience, writes Stephen Goldsmith. This was particularly pleasing as it meant I could remind them face to face about their assurances of featuring on the podcast.
James Hunter from the Evening Chronicle was one the recipients of this direct method and popped in to the studios to discuss all things SAFC. Being the Sunderland correspondent in a Newcastle paper, it was a change in environment for James, here he could witness Sunderland fans moaning instead of Newcastle fans goading over airports or housing estates that aren’t even in the same county. Gareth Barker and I were also joined by Craig Clark from over at Roker Report who sparked off a massive Phil Bardsley debate at the live pod last week. If he hadn’t have asked somebody else would have in all fairness.
After last week’s lapse with the podcast, not posted here until after the Fulham game, the lads have made no mistake this time. M Salut has just listened to it and it’s cracking stuff with the panel talking in front of, and to, a live audience. See the link below …
Gareth Barker has been thinking about Mark Hughes’s appointment as replacement for the sacked Tony Pulis at Stoke City and this led him to reflect again on Sunderland’s dramatic change from Martin O’Neill to Paolo Di Canio. In his parallel Sunderland universe, Gareth sees another 1-1 draw. Both clubs, he argues, got it right …
And so another season draws to a close. It’s fair to say the contrast in the campaign’s two managers couldn’t be greater, in both playing styles and in their individual personalities writes Stephen Goldsmith. The overwhelming opinion of Di Canio appears to be that he is either going to be a resounding success or rip-roaring failure of an unparalleled kind. Football never gives you a respite from its uncertainty and excitement. That’s why we all love it, right? You do. You love it.
Gareth Barker joins myself in the studio as always, as we discuss the fall outs from the whole season. As I’ve mentioned previously here, the show always has a loose agenda to follow. The idea behind this is to just give it some direction and a focal point for people to comment on, which in turn, gives others the opportunity to divert away from. This week’s, however, was the most spontaneous and improvised yet. And it was great.
I’d like to thank all the guest that have appeared on the show in the three months it has aired. Without them and their enthusiasm and interest it would be a non starter. I can honestly say that the standard of guests has amazed me and I’m extremely grateful. Many’s former favourite Martin Smith was a highlight last week, as was speaking to his former team mate Darren Williams on the phone. Journalists Richard Mason and Gary Foster have
given up their time to help us out, as has writer Andy Dawson – yet all three also asked if they can return. Must be doing something right. The standard of guests we’ve had on the phone in representation of each of our opponent’s fans have been the most surprising, and nothing short of tremendous. Thanks to each and every one of them. Roker Report paid us the ultimate compliment by throwing their support behind the podcast and I can’t thank them enough for that, while Michael Graham was a great guest himself of course. This week we’ve had bloody rock stars on man, it’s a huge climb from Gareth and I sitting in a pub – having first laid eyes on each other – with a shared idea.
But I have to say that a special, special, special thanks goes out to Tom Lynn and Simon Patterson who have also given up their time and helped us out when we really needed it. Tom must have been sick of me texting him and hounding him those first few weeks. Both were excellent and will be back on next season if they so much as wish. Onwards and upwards, hopefully.
Back to this week’s podcast, we had:
Gary Foster from Shields Gazette giving his thoughts to all the discussion points.
Frankie and Michael from Frankie and the heartstrings, just one of a fine group of bands representing Sunderland in modern times. We hear their latest single Nothing our way.
A debate on what went wrong for O’Neill, as we critique his playing style and question his signings.
Speak about what we think the future holds with Di Canio and whether his ‘hand grenade’ approach is the right one.
Gareth Barker imagines what an onlooker from his own parallel universe might have made of the dismal display against Manchester United that was quickly followed by MoN’s exit, looks back on Paolo Di Canio’s mostly winning start and gets reacquainted with enjoying life …
When Adam Johnson finally beat the first defender with a corner at Loftus Road, but only by lofting the ball behind the goal, it was a piece of comic cuts football that seemed to encapsulate his season. The expensive move, the high wages and the perception of underachievement have weighed heavily in worrying times for Sunderland. But prompted by a tweet from @GhostofRoker – “For all the stick Johnson is getting, he has got goals and assists to his name, something which we’ve not had from a winger for yonks” – we wondered whether anyone might be willing to take an objective, even complimentary look at the player. Gareth Barker obliged …