Beauties and beasts: (2) how Cabral’s shirt embraces our pain and expectation

    Cabral: all the pain and absurdity of our passion encapsulated in one item of clothingAll the pain, passion and absurdity wrapped in one item of clothing

For the second in our new series of supporters’ recollections of specific Sunderland AFC shirts, Keir Bradwell pauses in his preparations for a trip to Swansea tonight to look back on one that promised so much but proved as invisible as the intended wearer.

‘I went to sign Cabral at 2am in a restaurant and I was not leaving until I got his signature,’ said Roberto de Fanti, our hapless director of football at the time, of one many players foisted on Paolo Di Canio. ‘Then 48 hours later he had offers from two clubs in the Bundesliga. If we had waited longer we would probably not have Cabral.’ Sounds now like a spectacularly missed opportunity to miss an opportunity … …

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Keir’s Sunderland Player Ratings after Newcastle beaten again

Jake: have your say on Keir's assessments
Jake: have your say on Keir’s assessments

We probably need a psychiatrist to decipher Keir Bradwell‘s comment on Connor Wickham. Otherwise his marks go pretty much as you’d expect, with plaudits all round and special mention for an “all right goal”. Newcastle’s star man? Monsieur Salut! is tempted to say Tim Krul for his spontaneous act of sportsmanship, patting Defoe on the back in the tunnel at half time for a super strike, and managing to annoy Jamie ‘you can’t do that in any game, especially a derby’ Carragher in the process. Let’s more Spirit of Krul, less Snarl of Carragher ….

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Masochism (2): Sunderland’s player ratings vs QPR. ‘Worse than Norwich away’

Jake: have your say on Keir's assessments , then guess tomorrow night's score
Jake: ‘does last night make us underdogs at Bradford?’

If you thought Rob Hutchison was harsh with his one-word verdicts and low player ratings after the shambles of last night, prepare to reconsider. Rob was positively benign compared with Keir Bradwell, who cannot bring himself to award higher than an average of 3/10 for the starting 11.

Keir uses that infamous defeat at Norwich City last season as the benchmark for Sunderland awfulness. I am sure we can all come up with other contenders (including a few from this season, Southampton (a), Fulham (h) among them).

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Keir’s Player Ratings and QPR Guess the Score

Jake: have your say on Keir's assessments , then guess tomorrow night's score
Jake: have your say on Keir’s assessments , then guess tomorrow night’s score

Apologies to all for pulling these two items together, a necessity given constraints on time between the two games, at Swansea on Saturday and at home to QPR tomorrow. Agree or disagree with Keir Bradwell’s man-by-man ratings from the 1-1 draw at the Liberty Stadium and then have a stab at the scoreline in tomorrow’s crucial game…

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Keir’s ratings: Burnley and Fulham – who’s good? Who’s best?

Jake: 'Keir has made a real effort this term to get his work in on time'
Jake: ‘Keir has made a real effort this term to get his work in on time’


John McCormick writes: In the 1960s, when most of the Salut team had just graduated from short pants, about 80,000 people a year got 5 or more O levels, an achievement which was guaranteed to impress not only Grandma but also employers. Now almost 80,000 people are awarded First Class Honours every year. By the time young Keir Bradwell reaches graduation age he’ll likely need a couple of PhDs to get a job, so it’s no surprise he occasionally needs to prioritise commitments.

However, he hasn’t forgotten us. He sent his Burnley ratings a couple of days ago with a message that it might be worthwhile holding them until after Fulham and doing a double post.  I originally decided to jump the gun but now I’m able to give you his ratings for both games:

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Keir’s Sunderland Player Ratings: he wants Larsson made captain

Jake: 'that's hard to take'
Jake: ‘that’s hard to take’

We are running a little to stand still here. But in an effort to catch up, here is a quick posting of Keir Bradwell‘s man-by-man SAFC ratings. Rob Hutchison‘s one-worders, and his more measured account of the game, will follow when we can get to them. Who would have been the Spurs man of the match: Danny Rose maybe. Monsieur Salut would have given the BBC Radio Newcastle commentator Nick Barnes eight out of 10 just for nearly referring to a Sunderland striker called Daniel Defoe – author of both Robinson Crusoe and The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders

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Keir’s Sunderland Player Ratings: ‘Rodwell my star at Manchester City’

Jake: 'at least we gave them a fight'
Jake: ‘at least we gave them a fight’

Almost too late to be publishable, Keir Bradwell comes up with his man-by-man SAFC assessment of the New Year’s Day defeat at the Etihad. His intention was to combine that game and the Leeds FA Cup tie in a double header. But he was not at the cup match and there were no streams or TV coverage, hence what he terms ‘some phenomenally late ratings for Manchester City 3 – 2 Sunderland’ …

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