Sixer’s pre-season soapbox: normal service resumes at Darlington

Malcolm Dawson writes….I was in the environs of Darlington yesterday afternoon and pondered whether to hang about and take advantage of the cash turnstiles to get my first look at the revamped (work in progress) Sunderland AFC but decided that whilst my mobility is a lot better than it was this time last year, my knees are still not up to a couple of hours of standing, so I went home and defrosted the freezer. Try as I might I couldn’t find any reference to the use of the essential tools in the instruction manual, but aren’t you supposed to use a bread knife and 12lb lump hammer? The France/Belgium commentary played in the background and Pete Sixsmith‘s short and sweet texts brought me up to date on events at Blackwell Meadows, whilst I worked feverishly chipping and thawing and wondering why I have so many tortilla wraps, hidden away amongst the frozen prawns and mixed veg?

This morning Peter brings me and you a more detailed view of last night’s proceedings and here it is……

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Sunderland, West Ham and Moyes. Sixer takes on Marco

Jake: ‘could Marco partner Grabban up front?’

It might be an exaggeration to say that pouring over the misfortunes of Sunderland AFC, and its sod-the-press-I-only-do-tame-inhouse-interviews owner, has become an international sport. But it’s certainly keeping the media busy.

BBC Radio Newcastle’s Total Sport programme had the benefit of our Pete Sixsmith’s wisdom last night. He spoke gloomily about our immediate prospects – he fears another relegation – and holds David Moyes to no small extent culpable for our present malaise.

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Ryan Noble sprints clear of the peloton as Paris fetes Bradley Wiggins

Sixer by Jake

Pete Sixsmith has long drooled over the Tour de France. Another Salut! Sunderland split: whereas Monsieur Salut accepts that the race passes through breathtaking scenery, and takes his beret off to Wiggo’s superb achievement and excellent French, the event itself leaves him cold. We both agree on the quality of Ryan Noble’s exciting winner in South Korea but only Sixer would have thought to link the two …

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The Roker End: still standing, on a great site

Mrs Logic**
Hats off to Brian Leng and all others concerned with a website called The Roker End*.

Technically home to the Sunderland Former Players’ Association, it is packed with material of interest to every supporter of Sunderland AFC – and a good many supporters of other clubs, too, especially those our players also served.

There are interviews galore, proper features and Q&As, news of events and more besides. Try this list for size and quality: Len Shackleton, Johnny Crossan, Johnny Mapson, John Byrne, Nick Sharkey, Ritchie Pitt, Chris Makin. All of them – and more, yes King Charlie included (see comment) – have been interviewed or quoted. Some quotes are familiar – Shack’s “Listen, I’ve nothing against Newcastle – I don’t care who beats them!” – others less so (Mapson: “For the one and only time in my career, I received an approach to throw a game”).

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Clough or SuperKev or Marco?


Must be something to do with watching Diego Milito’s sublime finishing for Inter Milan last night and wondering whether he’s had time to consider a move to Sunderland, where he and Darren Bent could strike up a useful partnership – and challenge for places in our parade of best-ever strikers …

There are
things that happened last week that I barely remember. The memory of Brian Clough’s ultimately career-ending injury, colliding with Bury’s goalkeeper Chris Harker in the light snow of Roker Park, is so clear that it might have happened earlier today, rather than Boxing Day 1962.

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