Hail Jermain Defoe, Sunderland and – once more – England

Bravo, Jermain

Among the things it seemed impossible to believe, Jermain Defoe’s England recall was up there with “of course the pound will recover from Brexit” and “Sunderland won’t go down”.

Monsieur Salut can live, just, with the former being a somewhat improbable development – while allowing himself a mischievous chuckle at what’s it’s done to Magaluf spending dosh – and meekly accepts the latter is a forlorn hope.

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SAFC vs Burnley ‘Who are You?’: Dyche, Barton, Bob Lord and us

Duncan Sutcliffe (on the right, with his dad Colin): ‘sorry, Sunderland, you’re the worst we’ve seen at the Turf’

Colin Randall wites: What a fabulous set of answers, from a proper supporter of a proper football club, brought to us by Pete Sixsmith, who met him on holiday in Italy and tried to lead him astray (ie by persuading him along to some some Under 23s reserve game Sixer had spotted in the local paper). As I read the first, long answer from Duncan Sutcliffe* I wondered whether the interview ought to be cut in two. I decided against, because a) it’s the sort of read I’d personally want to see in one go and b) because Salut! Sunderland readers generally warm to exchanges of this kind and this quality with people who essentially, share their outlook on football. Great stuff, if ultimately grim reading for us, Duncan – what a pleasure to have you back again ….

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Jermain Defoe looked unhappy but who wouldn’t? SAFC absolutely must keep him

Oxford vs Portsmouth (CC BY 2.0) by quisnovus

Monsieur Salut writes: I got into trouble with a Salut! Sunderland reader, ‘Maw’ over at Twitter when I tweeted Jermain Defoe and said that while I might understand him wanting to leave at the end of the season, would he please stay for now? ‘Grow up,’ was the gist of my critic’s response and, while there was a germ of a serious point in what I had said, I ended up conceding defeat. The serious point holds good, especially if it is true, as speculated, that Defoe’s body language on Saturday suggested restlessness; whatever restructuring is needed – and by whom – come the summer, Defoe is our main, perhaps only hope of salvation between now and then. Alex McMahon agrees …


Jermain Defoe is one of the best strikers in the Premier League. The Sunderland man may be 34, but he certainly has not lost his mojo. The former England man has scored 12 goals and created as many chances in 21 Premier League appearances so far this season. That’s 57 per cent of the goals Sunderland have scored.

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Defoe: West Ham’s insult, Premier interest and red lines Sunderland must impose

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ESPN FC ran a fascinating survey on whether their blogger for each Premier League club – Monsieur Salut does the honours for Sunderland with occasional stand-ins by Mr Sixsmith (think Colin Todd on the bench for Gareth Hall and you get the picture) –  would buy Jermain Defoe and if yes, what they’d pay.

The brands – so many of whose supporters find it a struggle to locate “their” club by pointing to a map – all voted the same way: No.

Everyone else, save for West Brom, jumped at the idea.

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Calling Defoe, West Ham, SAFC: (1) stay, (2) dream on, 3) keep

Sunderland have rejected a £6m bid from West Ham for striker Jermain Defoe, Sky sources understand

Salut! Sunderland pays relatively little heed to rubbishy transfer window speculation.

In the past, much or maybe most turned out to be untrue, no more than the manipulations of clubs and agents or the imaginations of football journos.

But these days, clubs – some clubs, then only sometimes – are more open about their wishes and their dealings. We already know Slaven Bilic fancies bringing Jermain Defoe back to West Ham. We know Crystal Palace, absurdly located in one of the worst places to get to in London, even from London. want him, too.

These are my messages more fully:

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Sixer’s Liverpool Soapbox: surprised, nay shocked, nay absolutely gobsmacked

Sixer, our man at the match

Malcolm Dawson writes: New Year’s Eve and the aftermath was spent down in the Midlands, with my mate the Leicester City fan who is convinced that he will be off to Cardiff to see the Foxes in the final of the Champions League, despite my reminding him that I have seen Leicester City play more often than he has over the past 30 years.

I travelled up the A1, kind of hoping that the accident which slowed my progress might delay me sufficiently to make the trip to the Stadium of Light impracticable. I had told the Liverpool fan I got talking to over breakfast at the Little Chef (excellent black pudding btw) that I was expecting a 3 or 4 nil hammering but I got through and made it to Sunderland just in time to park up and hear the team news on Radio Newcastle, before re-claiming my scarf from a certain Mr Sixsmith, who had taken it from my car after the Chelsea game, donning my thermals and making my way to my seat.

Well worth the effort and a typical experience for Sunderland fans everywhere. We can get beaten by poor sides then play well against the title challengers but, unlike when we played the Pensioners, we got a point from a decent performance. I’ll let Peter take up the story.

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The £5.53m joke: tell Crystal Palace, West Ham £40m couldn’t buy Defoe

***         Jake: ‘Jermain, you’re a star’         ***

Like most people, I have no idea what Jermain Defoe’s contract says about his right to leave Sunderland in the event of this or that bid being made.

Like most people, I know that Slaven Bilic rates him as highly as we do and knows his movement and his goals make him an unusually gifted striker. And our old pal Big Sam would apparently love to get him down to the backwaters of south London.

And like all Sunderland supporters, I believe that if Defoe shows the slightest hint of being tempted to join either club, or anyone else, Ellis Short should throw whatever it takes – money, the freedom of Sunderland if he has the ear of someone at the council, even David Moyes’s famed £30,000 watch – to keep him.

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