If this doesn’t inspire the Lads against West Bromwich, nothing will …

Jake: 'you know what's required, Lads'
Jake: ‘you know what’s required, Lads’

Sunderland cannot save themselves with one game, as we did when West Bromwich Albion visited the Stadium of Light on May 7 2014. But that was the last-but-one mat ch of the season. We’d done the hard work under Gus Poyet, beating Man United and Chelsea at their own places and walloping Cardiff at home. We sent Norwich down by beating Albion 2-0.

This, ahead of another home game to WBA that is nevertheless of immense importance and could well influence our fate, is how Pete Sixsmith recorded that fabulous night. His Soapboxes are always great reads; they are not always happy ones. This, for those who do not stray here often enough to know, is how Sixer does happiness. Let it inspire Vito, DeAndre, PvA, Younes, JoS, Lamine, Jan, Wahbi, Jeremain,Jack, Seb, Fabio, Dame, Jermain – already too many, so whoever turns out – to do what is necessary on Saturday. Now, over to Pete, version 2014 …

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Praising Cattermole for what he is, and what he is no longer

Jake: 'Lee Cattermole - pleasing the crowd, pleasing the pundits'
Jake: ‘Lee Cattermole – pleasing the crowd, pleasing the pundits’

It was clear the moment Monsieur Salut nominated Lee Cattermole as Sunderland’s player of the season so far (at ESPN: see http://www.espnfc.com/barclays-premier-league/23/blog/post/2129545/the-best-20-premier-league-players-so-far-this-season) that the North East’s football writers would feel obliged to follow suit. In fact, they’ve gone one step beyond and made him their player of 2014. Pete Sixsmith discusses a top three selection with a distinctly Sunderland flavour …

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Catts for us, Colback for Newcastle in list of top Premier performers

Jake: 'deserved praise for Catts'
Jake: ‘deserved praise for Catts’

What do Alexis Sanchez,
Diego Costa, Adam Lallana, Sergio Aguero, Angel Di Maria and Lee Cattermole have in common? Oh, and I almost forgot to mention Jack Colback, also in the list.

Each has been chosen as his club’s star performer of the season so far by the team of bloggers who write about Premier League football at ESPN. That team includes Monsieur Salut.

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Farewell Jack Colback. Newcastle’s prodigal did a good job for Sunderland

Jake captures that rare moment  as Colback celebrates his goal
Jake captures that rare moment as Colback celebrates a cracking goal in the rout of Newcastle Mark II

At the time of writing, no one has yet confirmed that Jack Colback’s free transfer to Newcastle United has finally gone through. But it’s all over the internet, with the Sunderland Echo and Sky among many reporting the deal.

ESPN was sufficiently sure of the transfer happening to ask for a quick piece on players who have made the Wear-Tyne or Tyne-Wear switch, or just played for both clubs. As I said there, supporters on each side of the divide have little need of record books to rattle off a parade of names.

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Peruzzi, Colback and other transfer sagas


Jake detects thinking
Jake detects thinking

There has been a lot of transfer activity to reflect on already this summer, writes Stephen Goldsmith. We all expected a total overhaul, to be fair, and the appointments of Roberto De Fanti and Valentino Angeloni certainly suggested that we’d be generally looking abroad for our new a acquisitions. One potential signing in particular stands out in terms of quality, according to those in the know, while one potential outgoing transfer has me especially curious…

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O’Neill is no longer resuscitating Bruce’s Sunderland: midfield is dead on arrival

Stephen Goldsmith writes: I refuse to get too carried away with all the doom and gloom just yet – as tempting as that may be! You certainly won’t be hearing me shout for a change in management amid all this poor show of form. The national media are particularly mystified as to why the Sunderland fans are keeping their patience with O’Neill, in an almost identical manner in which they were mystified as to why we wanted their pal Bruce out last season. Double standards springs to mind. The crux of it all is that last season’s mini-revival highlights the amazing impact that O’Neill had when he came here. Who can argue that the Ulsterman’s arrival resulted in a below average squad performing above themselves? They have now plateaued and it isn’t pretty. Had Bruce still been here we would be playing Championship football, a fact which nobody should doubt.

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