Colin Randall writes: I’ve seen us beat Manchester United at home, at least – but probably only – once, unless I’ve forgotten another one, at Roker Park and once (League Cup) at the Stadium of Light. Others will have seen more, plus those crucial away wins and the League semi-finals home and away. I cannot pretend to be optimistic about Sunday, but who knows? Our United man of wit, warmth and wisdom is Nick Duckworth, who feels we will profit from a season, maybe two in the Championship and that Moyes would be the man to get us back. Interesting responses all round; how many of us, asked to name the best United player in a recent history that includes Cantona, Scholes, Ronaldo (who gets an honourable mention)
and David Bellion, would have said Ryan Giggs? …
We awoke to the realisation that yet another defeat, yet another game without hint of a Sunderland goal except from Anichebe’s deflected shot, had indeed happened, writes Monsieur Salut. It wasn’t a bad dream. Nor were the Leicester chants directed at David Moyes: “You’re getting slapped in the morning.”
And we also awoke to reports that Sunderland’s former chief executive Margaret Byrne, who resigned over the club’s deeply questionable handling of the Adam Johnson scandal, is collecting a whopping £750,000 payoff. What heartwarming news! Anything that brings happiness to human beings must surely be welcomed.
So on to another Guess the Score, Salut! Sunderland‘s enthusiasm for the competition kept alive only by the knowledge that Bradley Lowery’s fund is helped a little in the process.
What better way to get over the serial disappointment of following Sunderland’s first team than to take a look at the young ‘uns bursting with ambition and talent? That was Pete Sixsmith‘s theory. At least he saw Jan Kirchhoff’s return from injury (not that Man Utd seemed to care too much whether they inflicted another one on him) …
It was hoped that Monday’s Under 23 game with Manchester United might wash away the blues after the miserable weekend that we had just experienced. Our lads had just qualified for the latter stages of two cup competitions, we were in a decent place in the league and they were near the bottom, we had the promise of a return for Jan Kirchhoff and Lynden Gooch and George Honeyman were both scheduled to turn out.
As usual, it was a let-down.
… in which Pete Sixsmith looks back on the good, bad and exceedingly ugly FA Cup 3rd Round ties he remembers with affection or disgust …
Excitement levels among Sunderland supporters, it has to be said, have not been high over the impending FA Cup tie with Burnley.
I have my ticket due to the Cup Ticket option but am considering missing out in order to watch a tasty FA Vase tie between Shildon and Atherton Collieries. But it did get me thinking about epic and disastrous third round clashes in the past.
John McCormick writes: I wasn’t surprised at Ndong’s error but thought Denayer’s was even worse. Perhaps it was tiredness, perhaps just someone failed to move into a space when he expected otherwise. Whatever, those mistakes cost us dear as without them it would have been 1-1, thanks to a goal by Borini. Or would it? Did Man Utd always have enough in reserve to hold on once they’d opened the scoring? Over to Pete Sixsmith, who was there, for an unbiased opinion:
If we can go on scoring goals like this, from Fabio Borini and only by then for pride and goal difference, we’ll be all right.
Having spent Christmas in France – just three nights – I was driving home when the match against Manchester United kicked off. I’d boldly gone for 1-1 at ESPN FC, more from the heart than the head though I did think we had a chance.
David Moyes didn’t have a happy return to Old Trafford as he watched us twice give away possession and then concede. You can find what he thinks of this by sneaking a peek at the carefully crafted letter he wrote to M Salut, and maybe one or two others, immediately after the game:
What would your seven be? Mine would be “Sloppy, sloppy, sloppy, and it cost us”.
The truth is we were always chasing the game after the first goal but giving away the second and third killed us, especially as we, as Pete Sixsmith says in seven words ...”scored the best goal of the game”.
Pete also sent a text saying “Some encouragement but tired last quarter” which perhaps explains not only Man Utd’s last two goals but also Pete’s final seven words, which make my judgement seem a little harsh:
It’s a familiar question in the ‘Who are You?’ series: what do you think, we ask opposing fans, of Sunderland – the club, the fans, the city and region, David Moyes?
This is how Dale O’Donnell, our Manchester United interviewee (he’s editor of the the Stretty News fan site), replied:
‘Yeah, I thought we looked after you a bit when Steve Bruce was in charge with the likes of Brown and O’Shea. Then your fans took the p*** a bit and Poznan’d at our expense. That has to be one of the worst small-time things I have seen as a football fan, and I highly doubt it will happen this season if Sunderland face the inevitable.’
After reading Dale’s replies, which I generally found thoughtful and knowledgeable, I asked him: ‘… was it more petty to do it, or more petty to take it seriously?’ He generously allowed for ‘a bit of both maybe’
But what better, I thought, with no football until Boxing Day, than to offer you once again Stephen Goldsmith‘s thoughts on the subject. Stephen, you may recall, once graced these pages, which he also used with Gareth Barker to promote and develop the Wise Men Say podcast until they Poznaned off to the brighter lights of ALS. He’s fondly remembered all the same and this is probably the third time his piece, slightly modified, on the subject has had an airing (so apologies if it feels a little familiar and pardon the outdated references to Sir Alex – the thrust of the article remains valid) …
It may be a long way to Tipperary but that’s the part of Ireland from where Dale O’Donnell* hails. And his heart lies at Old Trafford. Dale is the editor of Stretty News, which describes itself as ‘one of the most popular Manchester United related blogs in the history of man’. His passion is almost tangible and, while we may question the collective sense of humour breakdown (suffered by him, too) concerning that little Poznan dance at the Stadium of Light when City pipped them for the title, it is refreshing to encounter a United fan able to ‘enjoy these testing times’ …