Sunderland’s Twelve Days of Christmas: (8) Manchester City and Ji

Salut! Sunderland wishes all readers a happy, prosperous and relegation-free 2014

Some games will never be forgotten and Pete Sixsmith has identified a few of them already in his Twelve Days of Christmas series. Cast your minds back two years back to New Year’s Day 2011 when Martin O’Neill’s ‘new manager bounce’ was still reaching extraordinary heights. Manchester City were on their way to their first top-flight championship in nearly half a century. Citeh fans will tell you the balance of play suggested a 24-0 away win. In stoppage time, ti was still 0-0. Step forward a certain South Korean …

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Paolo Di Canio versus the players, his own choices included

One day we'll find it possible to be positive, thinks Jake ...
One day we’ll find it possible to be positive, thinks Jake …

Andrea Dossena, a left-sided defender from Napoli, and Liverpool’s out-of-favour striker Fabio Borini are all but signed on season-long loans, according to reports. But Paolo Di Canio has still to convince us that anyone he brings in, or has brought in, will be an improvement on the most gifted, if also most erratic, member of his squad, Stephane Sessegnon, seemingly bound for WBA (assuming the Qatar deal is really off). ButMonsieur Salut has something else on his mind ….

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Sixer’s Palace Soapbox: it’s grim down south!

A trip to South Norwood was a trip too far for the intrepid Sixer. Having had a few days in the deep south before the Southampton game, followed by three days watching Durham revive their County Championship hopes at Scarborough, Salut’s Pete Sixsmith chose to watch his local Northern League team take another step along the road that leads to Wembley followed by Sky’s coverage of the latest counter revolutionary action at Selhurst Park. It had the makings of a good afternoon but alas the real ale bars of Darlington took a hammering on Saturday night. At least Durham CCC won!SoapboxPALACE

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Salut! Sunderland Podcast: what’s gone wrong with Ji Dong Won?


On time again, says Jake
On time again, says Jake

One of the most encouraging things about the live podcast last week was seeing many journo and editor types in the audience, writes Stephen Goldsmith. This was particularly pleasing as it meant I could remind them face to face about their assurances of featuring on the podcast.


James Hunter from the Evening Chronicle was one the recipients of this direct method and popped in to the studios to discuss all things SAFC. Being the Sunderland correspondent in a Newcastle paper, it was a change in environment for James, here he could witness Sunderland fans moaning instead of Newcastle fans goading over airports or housing estates that aren’t even in the same county. Gareth Barker and I were also joined by Craig Clark from over at Roker Report who sparked off a massive Phil Bardsley debate at the live pod last week. If he hadn’t have asked somebody else would have in all fairness.

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Soapbox: Gardner digs in – we told you he was good

Recovering from the rigours of marching for public sector pension rights, Pete Sixsmith allows himself an “I told you so” moment on Craig Gardner, which just about makes up for the appalling headline pun he requested …

Another day, another new player, as the arrival of Connor Wickham was followed by Craig Gardner signing on the dotted line in a £4.5m deal from relegated and financially troubled Birmingham City. He’s 24, a former England U21 player (not that that means a great deal – most English-born players are nowadays) and he scored 10 goals for the Blues last season. It looks like a good signing.

He came on for Birmingham at half time in the opening game of last season and changed things very much for the better for them. I wrote at the time; “Gardner carried the ball effectively and allowed Larsson to push forward. He is an underrated player and looks a better bet than either Bowyer or Ferguson.”

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Gardner and Dong-Won transfers: more news to welcome

Mrs Logic* likes new signings too

Salut! Sunderland continues to be impressed by Steve Bruce’s close season shopping exploits.

We’d love to reproduce the photo of Bruce with one of the latest new signings, Craig Gardner, showing our acquisition from Birmingham City looking suspiciously like Niall Quinn. But we’ d only have the heavies from the Football Data Co down our throats if we did so you will have to go to the offical club site for that.

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