Soapbox: how we subdued Man City’s £85 zillion superstars

Despite the undoubted luck we enjoyed when Carlos Tevez decided to make tappy-in seem like brain surgery, we played well enough in the second half to merit our win. For once the “if onlys” are on the lips of others, leaving Pete Sixsmith to salute a notable team performance …

Buzz, buzz, buzz. I usually write these pieces a day after the game, so I can take a more detached, less emotional view of the game. But not this time.

This was the reason why I, and 30,000 others, cough up for a season ticket and sit through the occasional stinker. I am still buzzing and I almost wish I was back at work tomorrow in order to share the buzz with all and sundry – that’s how satisfying this was.

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Sunderland 2 Colchester 0: slim pickings before Man City slickers

See also: Who are you? An award-winner from Man City

Teacher turned part-time postman, Gordon Taylor* joins the illustrious band of Salut! Sunderland writers but is given the hardest of first-day-at-school tasks: make SAFC v Colchester sound fun …

Did you see the interview with Ancelotti at the weekend where he was asked why his Chelsea team never seem to ease up towards the end, whoever they are playing, however many they have scored? He said something like “The supporters pay to watch 90 minutes of football, so we play for 90 minutes”! Simple, but brilliant.

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Who are you? An award-winner from Manchester City

Still to come, the view from Abu Dhabi. But let’s begin our build-up to Man City at home on Sunday by welcoming back the winner of the 2009-2010 Salut! Sunderland “Who Are You?” award, Martin Haworth. His responses were described by one of the judges, Mike Amos, himself an award-winning journalist (marginally better than being called an accomplished burglar), as “an appealing mix of passion, knowledge, honesty and occasional humour”. It seemed right to invite Martin, a lifelong City fan exiled in the North East, to do the honours again …

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How the Salut! Sunderland jury voted


Honourable mentions, too, are due to our other shortlisted candidates – read the full list by clicking here – but here are the citations from our judges for their Top Three choices in the annual Salut! Sunderland awards …

So the shortlist for the Who Are You? competition stretched to 10 entries, chosen by me from the dozens published at Salut! Sunderland – more than the number of teams we played since there were often two or more contributors – during the 2009-2010 season.

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Those Man City, Hull and Wolves victories: coincidence or conspiracy?


Lord Triesman’s capacity for suspecting foul play has spread. Was our competition result fixed to ensure some reflected Mackem glory? Where’s Melissa Jacobs, and the transcript of her text messages, when you need her? Writs may follow …

The first stone has been thrown.

From one Dewsburywolf, at the Molineux Mix site, comes the first challenge to the integrity of the four wise men who judged Salut! Sunderland’s glittering Who Are You? competition and, on an aggregate of their votes, awarded the prizes to 1) Manchester City 2) Hull City and 3) Wolverhampton Wanderers.


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From Arsenal via Hull to Wolves: our honours shortlist


Who are you? The winners, that is, in Salut! Sunderland‘s grand Who Are You? competition. Could it be Fatima al Shamsi (pictured with reading matter prescribed by us to cure her of supporting Arsenal)? Or the others shown below? The results won’t be known until the season ends. Read on to see if your contribution – or your club if you don’t support Sunderland – made our awards shortlist …

Judging has now begun. The famously half-decent football magazine When Saturday Comes is on board among prize donors. And some time soon, just after the end of the Premier League season, we will announce who has been chosen in first, second and third places for the wit, warmth or wisdom of their replies to the questionnaires we present to at least one opposing fan before each Sunderland game.

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Soapbox: how Manchester City nearly ruined Dad’s birthday


Games against Man City, home and away, get the best – OK, oldest – of us wallowing in nostalgia. The 1973 FA Cup replay, an improbable 4-0 win at Maine Road with an even more improbable John Hawley hat-trick (1980), a relegation clincher in the last game of 1990/91. And Pete Sixsmith cannot think about Sunday’s clash without reflecting on some priceless family memories …

tell us that we have lost the last nine games to Citeh*, which makes for pretty dismal reading. I do remember beating them in the Reid era at the Stadium, and of course, they were our first visitors in 1998. I didn’t go to that game on account of how I was still sulking after the relegation of the previous season.

Over the years we have had some momentous moments with the Manchester Blues.

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