As Sunderland settle in the lowest position of our 140-year history, 13th in the third tier, Pete Sixsmith continues his ramblings through the snow in his daytime job and his rambling through his memory in his spare time. But when it comes to his writing does he ramble? No, most certainly not. He does, however, have a fondness for a ’conspicuous repetition of identical initial consonant sounds in successive or closely associated syllables within a group of words, even those spelled differently´ (thank you, Wikipedia). So be prepared for a stirring story, a heartwarming helping, an intelligent interlude, a… … let’s just let the man himself do the business.
Manchester United vs SAFC: recalling a glorious win when Jozy shone too
Four wins in seven games have given us all a lift – and Sunderland a chance. We know Old Trafford presents a stiffer test than Hull, Watford or hungover Leicester at home, or Bournemouth away for that matter.
But it is a test to which Sunderland have risen and should be capable of rising again. If a Manchester United victory seems the logical outcome, David Moyes has to persuade his men to believe they can cause an upset and play accordingly.
Towards the end of the 2013-2014 season, having already been there and won a League Cup semi-final on penalties, albeit as a bad a shoot-out as anyone could remember, Gus Poyet’s Sunderland went to Old Trafford on the back of great wins at Chelsea and at home to Cardiff, and a draw that ought to have been a win at the Etihad. Could we do it again and more or less ensure Premier League survival?
Pete Sixsmith was there. Let us start with Malcolm Dawson’s perfect scene-setting introduction and then marvel at the beauty of Sixer at his best – in each case as written in early May 2014
Chelsea out West: from R&W stripes to Las Vegas blues for Poyet
David Millward – universally known as Sid, after his band-leading uncle (Salut! Sunderland’s own Pete Sixsmith was very fond of Sid Millward and the Nitwits) – is a Chelsea fan who has graced at least two Who are You?s at this site.
When Sid, now exiled in New England, said he was heading west to Las Vegas for a convention of football’s most lovable fans – all based in the USA so presumably untarred by the Paris Metro brush – and that Gus Poyet would be the guest of honour, we felt a piece coming on. ‘Sure,’ he replied, ‘but it will be rather Chelsea focused. We went last year, the player who showed up was Michael Duberry, a lovely guy. This year we get Mario Melchiot as well as Gus.’
Well, he did warn us. All the same, here – for some midsummer quiet-time madness – is his account. He did try to mention us, but couldn’t quite suppress the temptation to be snooty …
Sunderland Season Reviews: in conclusion, hope eternal and thoughts of Harry Hood
John McCormick writes: while we don’t know what the future will bring, although we know it won’t be orange, we do know what the past was like. It was like the season before, and the season before that. You know what I mean, a typical Sunderland season in which we beat the Mags, had a brush with relegation, changed managers, stayed up, hey hum…
That’s the bare bones of it.
And to put flesh on those bones, here is Pete Sixsmith with his conclusion to our “End of Season Reviews”
The Robson Report: in Short we could do with another Advocaat
The whole Salut! Sunderland team owes our old mate Jeremy Robson a huge apology. He was one of the first …
Nil Desperandum: Why relegation will not lead me to despair
Malcolm Dawson is of pre-Premiership pre-Sky vintage. He remembers a time when teams like Aston Villa, Nottingham Forest and Derby …
West Ham United vs Advocaat’s Sunderland: Guess the Score rollover
A new era, even if turns out to be a mini-era, dawns. It is fitting that the first Guess the Score with Dick Advocaat in charge of the team should be a rollover, offering two mugs from which to drink your generous servings of what Wikipedia calls “Advocaat or Advocaatenborrel, a traditional Dutch alcoholic beverage made from eggs, sugar and brandy”.
Sympathy for Poyet as Wrinkly Pete turns to Shirley Bassey for reassurance
The latest crisis at SAFC had Peter Lynn rummaging through all those vinyl discs in his loft again. He dipped his hand into the box of discarded LPs, EPs and singles and out came Shirley Bassey. Let him take up the story; let us hope Dick Advocaat has the Goldfinger touch and that the title of a long-forgotten promotional single Bassey made for the London tourist board, There’s No Place Like London, can be extended on Saturday night to read ‘There’s No Place Like London to Start the Revival’ …
Sixer’s Goodbye to Gus: ‘my seat will be empty if SAFC go down …’
This is the essential piece on Gus Poyet’s dismissal. Over to a gloomy Pete Sixsmith …
And so the deed has been done. The general consensus here in the North East is that it had to be after that performance on Saturday and that the club and the former Head Coach can now move on and achieve success with someone else.
Ellis Short helps Gus Poyet hop on the bus. But what now?
This will be short and to the point. Gus Poyet, as the world and perhaps even Roy Keane’s doing, now knows, has gone.
Have your say below on who should come in, on what basis and with what hope. Let’s pray an early announcement makes that exercise academic … there is no time to lose.