Danny Welbeck’s England chance is Sunderland’s glory, not Manchester United’s

Image: addick-tedKevin


A Sunderland supporter has commented elsewhere today on his unease at having three first-team players in action for Ghana tonight, with an important Premier game coming up, against a seriously below strength England.

“Is it just me, or should we be worried that we have three of our lads playing against a bunch of England B players hoping to make a name for
themselves and actually trying?” was his question, and I knew exactly what he meant.

Read moreDanny Welbeck’s England chance is Sunderland’s glory, not Manchester United’s

Liverpool’s Friendly fire: wrong on the penalty, wrong on the red

John MensahImage: Addick-edKevin

Throughout a lively, mostly healthy but at times acrimonious debate with Liverpool fans, we have made no attempt to disguise the shortcomings of Sunderland in Sunday’s match.

We have said firmly that we lost not because of bad decisions by match officials but because we could not muster a shot on target for 86 minutes.

And we are generally consistent in our acknowledgement that referees and their linesmen rarely cheat but are as prone as players, managers and fans to human error. Indeed, players make many more errors and these often lead to lost games or lost leads.

Read moreLiverpool’s Friendly fire: wrong on the penalty, wrong on the red

Now Steve Bruce passes the Mensah test

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Fingers crossed that it’s true: we naturally hope at least one other signing will be made before the transfer deadline at the end of the month (that goalie crisis rings a bell), but this could prove to be the deal of our close season ….


SEE UPDATE, WITH OFFICIAL CONFIRMATION(-ish) IN THIRD COMMENT BELOW

The one person who should know whether or not a player has signed for Sunderland is the player himself.

On that basis we ought to be shouting from the rooftops in praise of Steve Bruce and Niall Quinn for clinching the return of John Mensah to the Stadium of Light.

NB: Apologies if you found Salut! Sunderland inaccessible while our friends at Footballunited.com carried out site maintenance in the early hours of Fri Aug 6. They promised it was all in a good cause.

Read moreNow Steve Bruce passes the Mensah test

John Mensah: will the real Steve Bruce please stand up?


In all the current transfer talk, one subject occupies Colin Randall‘s attention more than most: the future of a player who excelled in South Africa, just as he did – when fit – for Sunderland last season. The signals from the Stadium of Light are mixed …

Steve Bruce was in understandably dismissive mood when presented with a list of the players he is allegedly trying to sign.

Read moreJohn Mensah: will the real Steve Bruce please stand up?

World Cup Soapbox: keep your head up, Big John Mensah

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John Mensah may have adopted the Mickey Gray approach to penalty taking – I draw the line at saying the “Jeff Whitley approach” – but he played his full, lion-hearted part in a thrilling game, and a team display that will have had most of the world saddened by a cruel defeat. Pete Sixsmith concurs …

What a game between Uruguay and Ghana. I thought it had everything – pace, skill, vision and the most incredible finish I think I have ever seen in a game of such importance.

Read moreWorld Cup Soapbox: keep your head up, Big John Mensah

World Cup Soapbox: bring on the Germans – or maybe not

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England v Germany. Not a sporting occasion that always brings out the best in Her Majesty’s Tabloid Press. Pete Sixsmith dreads a deluge of red-top Germanophobia, but also wonders whether our boys can throw off the sluggishness that threatens England’s progress …

Sitting here, I am surrounded by the efforts of 300+ young people in their recent GCSE History exam.

A number of the questions on that paper rake over Britain’s stormy relationship with Germany in the 20th Century, a relationship that is about to be tested again at Bloemfontein on Sunday.

Read moreWorld Cup Soapbox: bring on the Germans – or maybe not

The report card: (2) passing the Mensah test

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Jeremy Robson may be in Canadian exile but he keeps fellow subscribers to the estimable Blackcats forum entertained with his trenchant thoughts on everything from the possible shelf-installing skills of Daryl Murphy to the competing merits of obscure rock bands. For his contribution to our series of end-of-season reviews, Jeremy chose to conduct a time and motion study on John Mensah since his arrival on loan from Lyon. His conclusions are illuminating …

Highs and lows. Peaks and troughs. The agony and the ecstasy. Great triumphs and complete humiliations.

Read moreThe report card: (2) passing the Mensah test

Soapbox: Man City slickers nearly slip up

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At long last, Sunderland are showing signs of being the useful team we thought Steve Bruce had assembled when we were beating Arsenal and Liverpool and getting so close to victory at Old Trafford. Pete Sixsmith awards warm praise where it’s due, but wishes we could have kept those signs evident for 94 minutes, not just 45 …

If you had been a Martian visiting our planet and been told there was a football match taking place between the richest club on Earth and a team struggling at the wrong end of the table, and the person telling you had forgotten to mention which team was which, you would have assumed yesterday that the one in Red and White stripes represented Croesus and the Blues were the strugglers.

Read moreSoapbox: Man City slickers nearly slip up