The Chapman Report from Ipswich: Maguire makes a difference

Malcolm Dawson writes………..Pete Sixsmith is cutting down on his travelling to away games this season and e-mailed this afternoon to say that he is becoming increasingly disillusioned with SAFC and the game in general.

He’ll still be back on his soapbox after our Carabao Cup tie at Accrington on Tuesday, but gave yesterday’s long trip to the Suffolk wilds a miss, so Bob Chapman was our man at Portman Road. Bob doesn’t have many good memories of that particular ground (he must have missed the game in 1998 when John Mullin scored one of the best team goals I have ever seen MD) and yesterday was no different. His succinct summation was “absolute garbage again.” His more detailed report follows …

Bob Chapman: less than impressed

The last time I visited Ipswich was for a 3-1 defeat in 2006. I missed out on our last visit two seasons ago in the Championship as I was on holiday in Kerala, South India. I have followed Sunderland from this part of the world on a number of occasions. The most memorable being the win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in one of the great escape seasons of 2013/4. It was certainly a weird experience having to watch it in total silence to avoid waking my wife at the same time. There was no repeat for the Ipswich match. I had to follow it on the internet and gave up and went to bed when we went 3-1 down. I didn’t even check the final 5-2 score until much later the following morning. Already the rot had set in, I thought, and we hadn’t even got to October.

I have been to Portman Road numerous times over the years and to be honest I don’t have many good memories. I was there 15 years ago for a third round Cup win, but apart from that, defeats have been the usual fare. I well remember a marauding Titus Bramble in 2000 inflicting a 1-0 defeat on us. He was only a young lad at the time and I thought he would go on to be a top class act. Unfortunately he didn’t and ended up playing for us instead! By the way he was decent enough and I always quite liked him.

So, after last week I was pretty much expecting a similar result. I had so little confidence that I had compiled a Seven for Pete in advance on the journey there. I was going to go with “Tractor Boys plough Sunderland to another defeat”.

Arriving in town for 11.30 we headed to the Station Hotel. With parking nearby and only a five-minute walk to the ground it was an obvious choice. Decent beer and good company was spoilt by a lack of facilities. However that is no excuse for some men to think it is OK to use the ladies toilets and sinks as an alternative.

Off to the ground to find just two changes from last week.

Within minutes we were on the back foot. If you are going to score goals you need to get players into the box. We just don’t do that well enough. In fact the first half was so inept that the only point worth noting is their goal. Garbutt picked up a loose ball on the edge of the box and ran with it before shooting between McLaughlin’s legs at his near post. The keeper will be disappointed no doubt, but we didn’t deserve any better to be honest. It really was dreadful stuff being served up for the travelling support.

As I made my way down to the concourse at half time I passed Gerard Woods. We greeted each other with the word shocking at exactly the same moment! Nothing else needed to be said, it really couldn’t get any worse. Having watched 135 minutes so far of a new season I had seen two shots on target of which one had been a penalty!

Made a difference second half

The second half couldn’t be this bad I thought and to be fair it wasn’t. Maguire was brought on and we had reverted to a more conventional back four. Like so many times last season we managed to get ourselves back in the game. A long clearance by the keeper was being shepherded out by Chambers for a goal kick. Perseverance by McNulty allowed him to get possession and then pick out Gooch who side footed the ball into the net.

Once we had equalised we picked up a little. The introduction of Maguire a half time had certainly made a huge difference. For the remainder of the half neither side’s defence was put under much pressure and the inevitable and all too common 1-1 resulted.

I am unable to get to the Accrington match on Tuesday, but I am sure I will see a number of changes made. Hopefully these changes pay off and the manager will have a side confident enough to tackle Portsmouth next Saturday. If there is no improvement then I can see there being problems and the change the manager bandwagon will understandably continue to roll on.

For myself, I hope he gets it right as this club needs stability and he needs time to build a side. However I am sure many will disagree and that we need to do the change now before it gets too late. If all we can hope for is a possible Wembley visit next May, I would be pretty confident of predicting the outcome of that!

Match highlights are available via


Sixers Sevens: Gooch rescues a point at Ipswich

Jake: ‘Sixer (or his sub) does it in seven words, no more, no less – unless he miscounts’

Malcolm Dawson writes….with Pete otherwise engaged today Bob Chapman was our man at Portman Road. Do people still do the pools? If they do then no guessing which team’s fixture should be marked with an X on Littlewoods or Vernons. 

We went behind. No surprise there then. We equalised. Not unusual either. I don’t suppose Paddy Power or BetDaq offer very long odds on any game involving Sunderland finishing 1-1. Our forwards have been getting stick for not scoring enough but the BBC stats show only 3 shots on target to the Tractor Boys’ 16, with the Suffolk side managing 6 on target to Gooch’s solitary effort for us so it would seem that maybe the problems lie further back.

A point gained or two dropped? A more detailed appraisal will follow and while we wait here’s Bob’s seven word summary.

10 August Ipswich Town 1 (1)  Sunderland 0 (1) *Decent recovery from absolutely shocking first half

3 August Sunderland 1 (0) Oxford United 1 (1) Looks like a repeat of last season


Ipswich Town vs Sunderland: would a win silence the doubters?

Jake: ‘the mean sod has withdrawn the prize for this week’

Football fans are not known especially for their powers of measured reflection, that ability to take a realistic view rather than jump in at the first opportunity with both feet raised. Or so says Monsieur Salut.

Accordingly, the Ross Out chorus has begun. We’ve played all of one game. There are 45 to go in the league alone. We played badly by all accounts and questions have been raised about the team selection. All the same, as I said at Twitter while acknowledging that disdain for the manager is not purely a kneejerk reaction to the opening-day failure to beat modest opposition, calling for his head now is the sort of thing that takes us into laughing stock territory.

Read moreIpswich Town vs Sunderland: would a win silence the doubters?

Ipswich fans. Your chance to tell us all about yourselves – and Sunderland

Jake: ‘a good one to win’

A couple of responses from Oxford fans ahead of Sunderland’s opening game hardly counts as a storming start to the labour-saving device of inviting opposing fans to send their thoughts on forthcoming matches between our clubs.

But let’s persevere, says Monsieur Salut. We’ve had good Ipswich Town Q+A interviews in the past and must hope a few Tractor Boys (or girls) feel inclined to answer one or more, or indeed all, of the questions below.

If this lazy version of our superb Who are You? series works, there’ll be the usual prizes at the end of the season for the best interviews. We’ll see …

Read moreIpswich fans. Your chance to tell us all about yourselves – and Sunderland

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?

Viewed from Ipswich, Jack Ross’s strong start is a reason for jealousy


Source: Sunderland AFC via Facebook.

It may seem fanciful to suppose a team that beat us twice last season, and comfortably each time, and plays in a higher division should feel any need to envy Sunderland and Jack Ross. But look at Ipswich’s current plight – winless and second bottom of the Championship while two disappointing home draws have failed to push SAFC out of the League One top four – and you begin to see why William Sundin, the Tractor Boy (and Sunderland University graduate) writing this piece, is wondering which club is better off  …

Ipswich Town fans started this summer in a situation familiar to Sunderland supporters, having taken the plunge and finally said goodbye to Mick McCarthy.

Fortunately, Ipswich didn’t do as Sunderland once did and turn to Roy Keane, as they’d made that mistake a few years previously instead [though taking Sunderland from bottom to top may be seen by some as less than a mistake – Ed].

Instead, Ipswich’s owner Marcus Evans sought an exciting young replacement not yet entrenched on the managerial merry-go-round. Evans was keen to wait for Paul Hurst to complete his playoff adventure with Shrewsbury, but the other standout candidate Jack Ross was not so keen to wait around.

Read moreViewed from Ipswich, Jack Ross’s strong start is a reason for jealousy

A champion Championship series: the first time Sixer saw your ground or your team

Sixer tastes the tropical flavour of a County Durham winter as he delivers the papers

Most weeks, readers of Salut! Sunderland drop by on Friday morning to catch the latest instalment in Pete Sixsmith’s twin series, The First Time Ever I Saw Your Ground (if the game in question is away), Team (if it’s at the Stadium of Light).

This week, the Millwall edition was posted earlier than usual – namely at this link.

Read moreA champion Championship series: the first time Sixer saw your ground or your team

Sixer’s Ipswich Soapbox: a waste of time and money

Pete Sixsmith

John McCormick writes: I started Pete Sixsmith‘s report on yesterday’s game at 11.01 on Sunday. It took me about 20 minutes. I can’t tell you how long Pete spent writing it but given its usual high standard you can be sure he put some effort into it.

If you felt so inclined you could calculate how much Jack Rodwell earned in that time*.  Or estimate how much effort was made yesterday. Alternatively, you could ask yourself – why bother?

Read moreSixer’s Ipswich Soapbox: a waste of time and money