MON day: a fine start?

M Salut
offers some advice to Martin O’Neill on the fines he may wish to consider imposing after yesterday’s defeat-from-the-jaws-of-victory at Molineux …

The competitionclick here – to come up with a new name for Martin O’Neill column at Salut! Sunderland is still open.

OK, the new manager does not yet know he’s to have one. But whether he chooses to sent out post-match e-mails or rely on simple statements and comments, his thoughts will be distilled on these pages just as Steve Bruce’s were.

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The Aston Villa Soapbox: must we settle for mildly entertaining?

Aston Villa, M Salut decided as he walked away from the Stadium of Light, are not a team of thugs. Darren Bent is doubtless “one greedy b******” (there are sensitive souls looking in), though I quarrel with the “only” of the chant; Agbonlahor gives a decent impersonation of a man in training for an Olympics diving medal and Richard Dunne can act like an immature and unpleasant schoolboy, as he did after conceding the foul that led to our second equaliser. For all that, it was not a dirty match and both sides did try to play. But Pete Sixsmith wonders whether “mildly entertaining” football is what both sets of fans must accept as their lot …

Twelve months ago, I was sitting in a darkened room with a cold towel over my head as I tried to get over the 5-1 drubbing at Sports Direct Park. It was probably the worst result in my Sunderland watching experience and, to be honest, I still haven’t fully recovered from it.

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Soapbox: Blackpool rocks, Bent saga rolls on

With a long wait before our next game, we must now endure a week of speculation about comings and goings (surely Ricardo Fuller, a sub more often than he starts at Stoke, is not really demanding £60,000 a week as reported today; what will Mr Bent make of that?). Pete Sixsmith, has all these things in mind as he returns from a happy trip to the seaside …

That’s more like it. After a week where of non stop chat from players, managers and fans, we finally got down to what the game is all about – actually playing football.

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Brushed-up images of Steed and Kieran, noble words from Bent

More graphic design wizardry from addick-tedKevin, but also a few words of appreciation for the efforts so far from two of our players – plus unqualified admiration for Darren Bent’s outstanding response to a worthy honour…

First of all, on the eve of Sunderland v Arsenal, let us hear it for two stars of our (slowly) improving season.

Steed Malbranque’s performances have oozed class, and even a level of stamina we didn’t know he possessed.

And Kieran Richardson, not always as convincing a member of our first team squad as discerning SAFC fans would like, has surely confounded critics with a string of excellent displays in a left-back position he was asked to fill in the first place because there was no one else good enough.

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Should the Lee Bowyer question replace the Eduardo question?


Fans with highly developed abilities to read lips and interpret body language detected attempts by Lee Bowyer to influence decisions by the referee, Anthony Taylor, in Saturday’s match against Birmingham City.

In particular, Bowyer – old pic courtesy of “Michael Kjaer”‘s Flickr pages – stands accused of trying to persuade Taylor to reduce us to nine men by sending off Kieran Richardson.

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