The Chapman Report from Gillingham: We just can’t carry on like this!

John McCormick writes: when the fixtures came out this one was on my list, though as things turned out I never had a chance of making it. From this report, by the much-travelled and ever-present Bob Chapman, I don’t appear to have missed anything. Would that the team could play as well as Bob can write.

I have no doubt many of our readers will have something to say after reading Bob’s report. Alas, our site seems to be as unfixable as our team. If you do wish to leave a comment of your own please visit the bottom of the page

Read moreThe Chapman Report from Gillingham: We just can’t carry on like this!

The Chapman Report from Gillingham: We just can’t carry on like this!

John McCormick writes: when the fixtures came out this one was on my list, though as things turned out I never had a chance of making it. From this report, by the much-travelled and ever-present Bob Chapman, I don’t appear to have missed anything. Would that the team could play as well as Bob can write.

I have no doubt many of our readers will have something to say after reading Bob’s report. Alas, our site seems to be as unfixable as our team. If you do wish to leave a comment of your own please visit the bottom of the page

Read moreThe Chapman Report from Gillingham: We just can’t carry on like this!

Sixer’s Substitute Sevens: Gillingham corner Sunderland at the death

John McCormick writes: Pete Sixsmith has assumed his Santa duties and wasn’t at Gillingham, which he wasn’t going to visit anyway, so there were none of his usual texts at half time or at key points during the game.

What, I wonder, would he have sent after 80 minutes when Charlie Wyke’s goal was disallowed?  Or nine minutes after that when Gillingham snatched a winner?  Or five minutes later when the ref finally blew?

My thoughts at the final whistle are below, followed by a more accurate summary from travelling stalwart Bob Chapman, which arrived later in the evening:

If you wish to leave a comment of your own please visit the bottom of the page

Read moreSixer’s Substitute Sevens: Gillingham corner Sunderland at the death

Sixer’s Gillingham Sevens – Jozy’s looking good right now


John McCormick writes: Although comments are still not being processed, which must put a dampener on participation, Wrinkly Pete did manage to get this into the system after Pete Sixsmith’s review of the Roy Keane era:

What a fitting way for the website to close – a Sixer Series. Fascinating too that he should choose the managers to focus on…. ”the ones what always gets the blame”. I look forward to episode 2.

Wrinkly Pete is totally correct in his appreciation of the other Pete, but not totally correct when he says the site is closing. It is true that the site is winding down but it will be around at least until fees already paid run out, and who knows then? So it’s quite possible there will be posts into 2020, and I’m sure some traditions will continue, one of which is a seven word text at the conclusion of each game.

In Mr. Sixsmith’s absence someone else does the text, which explains the asterisks at the start of each text, but not any superscript numbers.

Read moreSixer’s Gillingham Sevens – Jozy’s looking good right now

Sixer’s Gillingham Soapbox: ‘I worry about the state of the club’

Sixer as an unwanted replay looms: ‘The way we are playing at the moment, we could do without any kind of game’

AS YOU ALL KNOW, WE ARE CURRENTLY UNABLE TO PUBLISH COMMENTS. BUT THANKS TO JEFF BELL, WHO TRIED TO POST THIS: ‘A fabulous report from this fabulous site. We will miss you more than you know.’

Monsieur Salut writes: after our announcement of imminent demise, Salut! Sunderland has the look of the undead. There are a few weeks to go before we cease to function as an active site (Dec 31) and much will continue as before until then.

For Pete Sixsmith, suffering at the Stadium of Light as Sunderland failed to overcome Gillingham and advance in the FA Cup, much continued as before on the pitch. He describes an afternoon he would sooner have spent elsewhere and frets about the state of our club.

M Salut would like to thank the many readers who have left kind messages on social media; these will be collated and reproduced in due course …

Read moreSixer’s Gillingham Soapbox: ‘I worry about the state of the club’

Sixer’s Sevens: Sunderland 1 Gillingham 1 is not a good omen

Pete Sixsmith has sent some interesting seven word texts in recent weeks, many of them on the pessimistic side. The most recent alluded to the probability that we won’t make a trip to Wembley in the EFL Trophy, although our cause is not yet dead.

This weekend’s game also provided an opportunity to travel on the Wembley Wagon. At half time Pete texted “comfortable without being totally convincing”, and how many times have we got to that stage thinking a 1-0 lead wasn’t enough? Of course, it wasn’t as Gillingham equalised almost from the kickoff and then held on for the draw.

So our journey’s not yet over although if Pete’s texts – two of them again – are any indicator we won’t be going anywhere soon. Or will we?

(We still can’t post comments on this site. If you wish to make an after- match, or any, comment of your own you can always have your say at Salut! Sunderland’s Facebook group. Click on any of the preceding four words. If you are told that you need to join the group, you can do so easily. Approval is very quick.)

Read moreSixer’s Sevens: Sunderland 1 Gillingham 1 is not a good omen

Sunderland vs Leicester Under 21s and Gillingham: welcome cup excitement or just more distraction?

A third season for Sunderland in League One seems unthinkable. If failure to win promotion last season was a failure, as the owners and then manager Jack Ross admitted would be the case, another stumble would be hard to bear.

Phil Parkinson, working with his inherited squad, has had a patchy start as Ross’s successor, three away defeats mitigated by three home wins, cup ties included. The league part of that short record – two wins, two defeats – is not the stuff of automatic promotion. Without significant improvement, we will remain playoff contenders.

Read moreSunderland vs Leicester Under 21s and Gillingham: welcome cup excitement or just more distraction?

Portsmouth then Sunderland, Ipswich, Rotherham, Peterborough and Coventry top our poll. But where are Lincoln?

On Friday we had over 3,000 visitors, followed by a quiet weekend. Not everyone took part in our top six poll  but over 1200 votes (not voters) have now been cast. That’s not bad, I suppose, for a League One fans’ site but I am expecting a few more will chip in before the season kicks off.

Early results suggest the headline I used then – for which I visited a couple of betting sites to find the promotion favourites – was on the right lines. Of the six clubs I named five are in the top spots. Lincoln (currently lingering in 8th place) are the exception with Sunderland, unsurprisingly, replacing them. There’s a gap – slight but quite evident – between the top three and the next three,  after which numbers drop off, so Lincoln and Doncaster, who made last season’s playoffs and now lie seventh, have quite a bit of ground to make up.

All of the clubs in the League received votes, which I’m taking to signify that we  managed a wide reach. It will be interesting to see if enough fans of so-called smaller clubs, which are predominantly towards the bottom of the poll, visit in large enough numbers to move their favourites upwards. Crowdwise, numbers are against them but we have only small numbers voting so you never know.

Read morePortsmouth then Sunderland, Ipswich, Rotherham, Peterborough and Coventry top our poll. But where are Lincoln?

Ipswich or Portsmouth? Rotherham or Peterborough? How about Lincoln or Coventry? It’s your choice

Last season our punters got it more or less right and correctly predicted most of the top six. Luton were missed but that was mainly down to the Coventry Ninjas, whose hijack of last year’s poll pushed them (Luton) out of the top places.

Maybe the ninjas or another club’s fans will do the same again this season. As far as I’m aware the polldaddy vulnerability that allowed multiple voting still exists and all I can do is disable the ability of readers to see the results in real time. That might change how the poll coding works (it’s built-in and can’t be changed) but it takes something away. A pity, but there we go.

I’ve got a lot on for the next few weeks so I won’t be conjuring up a novel method of tracking and displaying our chosen clubs’ progress or the lack of it. All I’ll be doing is monitoring the accretion of points for now, though I might come up with something different later in the season.

As always, your comments are welcome. We hold posts for moderation but they do go up eventually, subject to meeting commonsense rules of decency, manners, libel etc.

Read moreIpswich or Portsmouth? Rotherham or Peterborough? How about Lincoln or Coventry? It’s your choice

Rambling through Accrington, Coventry and Ipswich to Lincoln. How do Sunderland’s rivals shape up financially?

League One comprises 24 clubs. Three of them, Bury, Bolton and Blackpool, are entering, exiting or plodging in the clarts of receivership. Leaving them and Sunderland aside gives us twenty clubs.

I thought I’d take a look at their finances. Nothing detailed, just a skim through any entries at Companies House and a quick perusal of a search engine, enough to kill some time I have and satisfy idle curiosity. My idea was to divide the twenty into two and cover 10 clubs each time. After that matters should have moved ahead with the Lancashire Bs and Sunderland’s takeover and I should be able to revisit these four.

Read moreRambling through Accrington, Coventry and Ipswich to Lincoln. How do Sunderland’s rivals shape up financially?