SAFC supporters: not-so-great expectations vs ‘Messi would be rubbish here’

The Brains Trust, by Jake
The Brains Trust, by Jake

A fascinating debate has developed at the Blackcats e-mail forum about Sunderland fans, their expectations and their demeanour. Some readers are also in that loop and will have seen the thread. For others, I present – with their consent – the exchanges of two leading participants, NZ-based Geoff Bethell and, from much closer to home (Chester-le-Street), Mick Goulding, both occasional Salut! Sunderland contributors. Since Monsieur Salut once managed nought out of 100 for general science – very unfair as they marked it out of 45, doubled the resulting figure and added on five for the percentage; I was denied my five – he is the last person to advise on this particular application of the Oort Cloud

Read more

Responding to that Newcastle view of PDC: ‘our SAFC commitment comes first’

Mick Goulding with young admirer
Mick Goulding with young admirer

Monsieur Salut writes: yes, Drummer (comment yesterday), we ALL hope to win some football matches soon. But the piece by a Newcastle United fan writing under the nom de guerre of @BallstheCat, describing PDC’s appearance in the Steve Harper testimonial and analysing his controversial political utterances and gestures, was interesting, conscientiously researched and well written. It has attracted a lot of attention among Sunderland supporters and, in my view, deserved an airing here. An occasional Salut! Sunderland writer, Mick Goulding, who contributed an excellent, balanced article* during the PDC appointment furore, made a response that cries out to be reproduced, too …

Read more

Salut! Sunderland’s end-of-season reviews: (2) agony, ecstasy, service as normal

Jake as Tony Roffe's caption writer
Jake as Tony Roffe’s caption writer

The end-of-season reviews are beginning to trickle in. In principle, the series will continue until the flow halts or threatens to turn into a flood. Pete Sixsmith will as usual close the series. Now let’s hear from Mick Goulding, whose occasional contributions are always welcome. He pinpoints MoN’s decline, offers a bleak assessment of a squad PDC may be unable to change as much he’d like and urges Ellis Short to back his gamble with cash …

Read more

Memo to Ellis Short: how it feels – thank heavens for the Lasses

Photo courtesy of the Sunderland Women's Football Club*
Photo courtesy of the Sunderland Women’s Football Club*

If you want to re-inject into your lives a little pride in being a Sunderland supporter, consider this:
1 Sunderland 12 9 3 0 27 30
2 Watford 12 7 4 1 12 25
3 Leeds United 11 7 1 3 8 22
Yes, the Lasses won yet again, at Barnet, and are now five points clear at the top of the FA Women’s Premier League. Back to them shortly. Mick Goulding, meanwhile, had his weekend football a few miles away in west London. This, from the Blackcats list, is his account of heroic efforts at QPR to prevent a rare London excursion being completely ruined by the Sunderland team running out …

Read more

Salut’s Week: Hillsborough reflections, the McClean tweet and preparing for Liverpool

Jake captures the theme

Much space at Salut! Sunderland has been devoted this week to articles that I am proud to have published on this site but wish had never been written. Naturally, I refer to the impassioned, decent and – yes – angry pieces written by individual Sunderland supporters with voices worth hearing on the Hillsborough disaster and this week’s shamefully late official exoneration of the Liverpool fans who were cynically blamed for its occurrence.

Read more

Hillsborough: truths that were always known, a victory that remains bitter-sweet

Scarves and flags at the Hillsborough memorial, AnfieldImage: Ben Sutherland

In his moving words here yesterday on the long-delayed vindication of Liverpool supporters caught in the horror of Hillsborough 1989, Jeremy Robson mentioned being at one non-Sunderland game that afternoon as news of the disaster spread and thinking instantly of a close friend who was another, the Liverpool-Notts Forest FA Cup semi-final. That friend was Mick Goulding and this, reproduced with his consent from the Blackcats email list, is how Mick recalls an avoidable tragedy and the systematic distortion of the reasons it occurred …

Read more

Dear Steve Bruce: this is how it feels …

Bob Stokoe's handMrs Logic seeks a helping hand

Apologies to supporters in Crook, Norway and elsewhere who had to wait to see their comments appear – M Salut was away all day yesterday – and also to those who cannot bear to read another word about Sunderland 0 Fulham 3. Sorry, but there’s an awful lot to say. Salut! Sunderland readers include Steve Bruce champions, even in these straitened times but Mick Goulding is not among them, His depressing but incisive and heartfelt thoughts were first expressed at the Blackcats list, but could serve to perfection – with a couple of change, making Bruce read “you” – as a response to the manager’s post-match e-mail …

Dear Steve,

Read more

Handing it to Villa

Plenty to say about a needless exit from a competition in which we had the chance to make a serious attempt at winning a trophy. First, Mick Goulding, a regular supplier of astute analysis of SAFC matters at the Blackcats list, explains why he is so angry …

I’m still seething over this. We were the better team, had most of the game, even towards the end of normal time when Villa put us under pressure a bit we never looked in danger.

But we couldn’t score and it had 0-0 written all over it. Then we get a massive break.

Read more