From the archives: as John O’Shea departs, let’s look back at looking at Paolo

'You decide,' as Jake used to say. But is there a middle ground?
‘You decide,’ as Jake used to say. But is there a middle ground?

Monsieur Salut writes: Pete Sixsmith’s piece on the departures of John O’Shea, Robbie Stockdale and Adrian Tucker – a fond farewell but measured and excellently argued – got one or two talking about Paolo Di Canio. ‘JoS stood up to the ridiculous bullying of Di Canio,’ Pete wrote. Jeff, in response, felt PDC went ‘because players didn’t want to work hard and John was part of that’.

I have a good anecdote that concerns the infamous drinking culture at the club and supports the Sixer view of John O’Shea, but it is probably not one I can yet share without my informant’s consent. Ken Gambles, however, reminds me of a piece he wrote here back in 2014, at the time of the controversy about PDC’s man-management techniques and that can be repeated ….

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Sixer says: goodbye John O’Shea, Robbie Stockdale and Adrian Tucker

John McCormick writes: in this short piece Pete Sixsmith casts his eye over a couple of the more minor changes that have happened to our club in recent days. I say minor, that’s just in comparison to what else has gone on. We have lost three of the more successful, and more unassuming, people at the club.

At least, that’s Pete’s view. It’s one I happen to agree with; how about you?

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Sixer’s Bristol City Soapbox: another pointless exercise at the Stadium of Light

Malcolm Dawson writes………..I am not one of the multitude calling for Simon Grayson’s head for the simple reason that at the end of last season I decided that I would not renew my season card and would not return to the Stadium of Light until I felt the club was able to offer me something in return for what was (up until May) my loyalty.

There is only so far blind faith can take you and my eyes are open. So I’m not calling for Grayson’s head purely because I haven’t been able to judge personally how inept he really is. For that I’ll rely on Pete Sixsmith‘s first hand verdict, first in his report from yet another frustrating afternoon spent in Sunderland and then later in the flesh when I see him at the U23 game. You see I haven’t given up entirely …

Bristol City H

Every team, bar one that I have seen at the Stadium of Light this season has had a number of common characteristics, the common one being that they are well organised with their players appearing to know what their roles are within the team structure.

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Sixer’s Carlisle Soapbox: At least our name’s in the douli for the next round

Malcolm Dawson writes……….Pete Sixsmith made the trip across the Pennines to Brunton Park last night and saw us win our way through to the next round of the competition which I still call the League Cup. We got through but was it a comfortable victory or a fortunate one? Here’s what Pete thinks.

Carlisle United (away) Caraboa Cup

Tomorrow is the day when the English Football League draws the next round of this competition that has been ticking over since the 1960-61 season.

Our first game in it was at Griffin Park, Brentford on the 26th October. We lost 4-3 after having been 3-1 up at half time thanks to goals from Ian Lawther, Willie McPheat and Amby Fogarty. Later that week, the draw for the next round was made at the Football League headquarters in Lytham St Annes, at the posh end of Blackpool and I presume that the Football League panjandrums who drew it included Alan Hardaker, the formidable secretary of the League and Barnsley Chairman Joe Richards who was the President of the League at the time.

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Memo to Ellis Short: ‘please not Karanka, think John O’Shea’

That’s Barry on the far left (not his political position)

Barry Emmerson is a footballing man in the mould of Pete Sixsmith. In other words, he knows his stuff. He told Ellis Short as much when they found themselves answering the calls of nature at the same time at the Stadium of Light recently. Barry modestly suggested he could sort out Sunderland’s troubles and handed the owner his business card. Chances are it will be used only if Mr Short ever needs Barry’s comfortable private-hire limousine rather than to talk football. But let’s hope the owner is an avid reader of Salut! Sunderland and, having parted company with David Moyes, gives some thought to Barry’s views (he has already floated the idea of a Keano-O’Shea dream ticket, though that might require a major act of Irish-American reconciliation …

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Our best defenders: part 2, in praise of John O’Shea

Jake’s take

We started our season at Leicester with a line up that included Seb Coates and Costel Pantsilimon. Substitutes included Adam Matthews, who came on for Billy Jones.

By the time we got to the final game Seb Coates, Costel Pantsilimon and Adam Matthews were no longer at the club. Billy Jones, subbed 12 games previously and subsequently dropped, came on for the final fifteen minutes, replacing DeAndré Yedlin, who hadn’t featured at Leicester.

They weren’t the only changes. Our manager had long gone, as had Danny Graham, Stephen Fletcher, Emanuelle Giaccherini, and Liam Bridcutt, all subs for that first game.  Our new manager had made room for players who could bolster a leaky defence and strengthen a porous midfield.

They were Lamine Kone, Whabi Khazri and Jan Kirchoff.

And the rest is history

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Our best defenders: Part 1, individual comparisons


When I did my analysis of our midfield I said it would probably be one of two posts but there was so much to collect and compare that I decided to split the second part into two.

To begin, I’m using stats from  hosted, and my own sums to look at individual performances.

Who do you think is better – Coates, Kaboul or Koné? How do they compare to John O’Shea?

And would you rather have Billy Jones than DeAndré the Throw-in Slayer?

Read on, and all will be revealed.

Or maybe not.

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