Salut! Sunderland is awash with people who have taught the nation’s young (to which may be added those, like Monsieur Salut, who proved impossible to teach). And today is a day for former pupils. Pete Sixsmith, away watching this and that in Tenby, promises one of his will be submitting a report from last night’s 3-0 friendly win at Livingston, Jeremain Lens again scoring to remind us of what we missed and – presumably – will still have to miss.
And now, Ken Gambles delays important business in York – a few pints with friends – to introduce someone who once sat in his classroom. The images you see are the Lego models this ex-pupil, Chris Smith, has created to depict the Stadium of Light. Let Ken briefly fill us in ….
Pete Sixsmith had other plans after the Bury game so no one from Salut! Sunderland was at Easter Road for the 2-2 draw against Hibs.
Khazri and, believe it or not, the lesser-spotted Jeremain Lens scored good goals to put SAFC in a commanding position that was duly sacrificed as the home side scored two in three minutes and then went close to grabbing a winner. The clip shows excellent finishes for our goals and woeful defending for theirs.
Both of our scorers were surely in the shop window though imagine what assets they could be in the Championship if they stayed and were committed to the cause.
Last December, we reported the death of an electronic friend, a fellow-Sunderland supporter known from the Blackcats e-mail forum for both his allegiance to our club and his sharp wit. George Pitcher‘s widow, Kathy, now feels able to share a little more about the life of the Newcastle-born, Sunderland-mad man she loved – the ‘red sheep’ of the family as he put it himself – starting with an illustration of George’s passion for the game and mention of another tragedy that struck the family in the same year his own illness was diagnosed …
Here’s a very quick posting of the last of Pete Sixsmith‘s New Year trilogy … plus excuses for absence from the Reebok ..
Peter Sixsmith began his New Year footy fix with a trip to Whitby where he saw the home side come …
Pete Sixsmith began a busy week of football with a trip over the moors to Whitby. He proceeds to Anfield …
Pete Sixsmith goes to Edinburgh, inspects the Fringe programme and then sees a match that makes him question his decision to watch football and not a spot of drama. A question reinforced by grim post-match encounter with the non-attending Hibs “casuals”, desperately sad and sub-human relics of football’s dark, yob days …
What is it with our pre-season and heavy rain?
Three years ago, a downpour of biblical proportions deluged Dublin, leading to the cancellation of our game with Shamrock Rovers, two years ago the heavens opened as we arrived in Amsterdam, soaking those of us who had packed, rather than worn, waterproofs while last year we were soaked in Sinsheim prior to the Hoffenheim game.
This year, it was Scotland’s turn to turn the water on Wearside’s finest, as the rain came down in stair rods over that nation’s capital, turning Easter Road and its environs into a passable imitation of the streets of Venice at low tide. When it rains in Scotland, it does so with a vengeance, almost as if it wants to wash away the memories of Union in 1707.
Without the slightest disrespect to York City, Kilmarnock, Hartlepool and Darlington, the four teams we have beaten in the friendlies, it is fair to assume Liverpool will present a somewhat tougher obstacle in the opening Premier League game at Anfield next Saturday.
Ewood Park, for Blackburn v Sunderland on a bitterly cold Monday, requires dedication.
Pete Sixsmithhas it in abundance and will be there. He even warmed up for the challenge, if that is the right description, by subjecting himself to a blast of wintry Scottish weather, catching a Hibs v Rangers game that enabled him to see how a couple of our old boys are faring …
So, what to do the day after the day after Christmas? The Chocolate Fudge has been eaten from the last selection box, the DVD of Hilarious Footballing Gaffes Presented By DJ Spoony has been watched and proved to be as funny as a performance by Sting on his lute and the last of the relatives is still hanging around, desperately hoping for a New Years invite before they go back to the Salvation Army Hostel.
The prospect of “going to the sales” is about as enticing as an afternoon in the Strawberry with Ant and Dec, while the cinemas are showing nothing but rubbish – and American rubbish at that. What’s wrong with British rubbish? Where is Sex Lives Of The Potato Men when you need it?
A glance at the fixture list throws up Arsenal v Villa (too far away), Hull City v Manchester United (no chance of a ticket) and Hibernian v Rangers. Why not? Edinburgh’s not that far and it should be easy enough to get in, so let’s go, and leave the elderly relative on the doorstep for the Sally Bash to collect.