At the start of the season some 7,696 votes had been cast in our relegation poll. As you can see below, the clear favourites to go down were AFC Bournemouth, Watford and Sunderland, with Norwich then Leicester following behind. Aston Villa and NUFC were also given as possibilities; Villa weren’t far behind Leicester but fewer people went for NUFC and even fewer opted for a club outside the chosen seven.
Monsieur Salut has already – a little gloomily – speculated that next Saturday’s game at home to Norwich may be the season’s first relegation six-pointer. He also had a conversation with a French acquaintance who remembered almost every detail of Yann M’Vila’s fall from French international grace.
Leicester left Pete Sixsmith in downbeat mood, too, but not enough to put him off scuttling back from the Midlands to catch a Sunderland Under 21s match – against Norwich. He saw a win but also an embarrassing start to M’Vila’s SAFC career …
It is fair to say Pete Sixsmith does not care greatly who wins the Premier League title, at least not while we seem not quite up to the challenge ourselves.
So do not be surprised that he gives a different answer to the question depending on when he is asked.
There’s a week to go, more or less, to the big kick-off so it’s time to revisit our dodgy numbers relegation stakes. 6,373 votes were cast in our poll, with Bournemouth and Watford being consistently clear favourites for the drop since the early days:
Casual visitors to this site might might not be aware that at the start of last season I made a prediction about who would suffer relegation from the Premiership and then tracked those clubs (and SAFC, of course) over the season. At the end of my final post of the series I set up a poll to see who readers thought would be relegated at the end of the coming season.
With almost four hundred votes cast you might think the results bear scrutiny. But think again. The average PL attendance is 36,000. MOTD can attract over 4 million. More than 26 million viewers watched FA Cup action on TV during last January. So a few hundred’s really small beer, especially as each reader can have three votes.
John McCormick writes:
So you’ve been onto the SAFC home page, clicked the appropriate icon and found the fixtures. No need for me to do much then, is there? Only, M Salut, who is travelling today, would be delighted to find the site that carries his name has not ignored this (pretty much) inauspicious occasion.
John McCormick writes: back in January various sources ran the news that all of 2013-14’s Premiership clubs were in the world’s top 40 in terms of revenue. While Norwich, Fulham and Cardiff won’t stay there for 2016 I expect Burnley, QPR and Leicester to replace them. Looking ahead to 2017, Burnley, Hull and QPR should drop out with Norwich reappearing, along with Watford and Bournemouth; that’s the power of the Premier …
The dummy run was a success in my eyes, writes Stephen Goldsmith. Well, the thirty odd people I paid to listen to it thought so as well. Seriously, we will be finding a permanent home for it and it will always be available for Salut! readers to access – as long as things continue as we expect and hope.
Saying a defeat is hard to take would become a bit repetitive if we were to say it every time the lads lost a game. The manner of the Q.P.R defeat wasn’t acceptable, however, not by a long shot. Plenty to talk about in the podcast this week regarding that. All in all, it runs a little like this…
- Myself, Salut’s Gareth Barker and the Northern Echo’s Richard Mason are in the studio.
- Gary Gowers from My Football Writers joins us on the phone to discuss things from the Norwich end.
- We hear from Martin O’Neill.
- Music from The Rivals.
It’s Soundcloud again for you if you want to download or listen directly, enjoy: https://soundcloud.com/stephendgoldsmith/salut-sunderland-podcast-1
See also: Monsieur Salut, aka Colin Randall, at ESPN: http://espnfc.com/blog/_/name/sunderland/id/1210?cc=5739
See everything Salut! Sunderland has been up to of late – including the SAFC v Norwich Guess the Score by going to the home page: https://safc.blog
Stephen Goldsmithwrites: It can be a cruel game this football carry on. Not only did chicken dancing, Sunderland slaying Kevin Nolan nab a point for West Ham against the lads in the last minute on Saturday; he cost me three points in the Salut! Predictions League. How DARE he!
As that gifted 3 points to Colin and Jake, both rather predictably leap-frog me in the table. It’s a sorry state of affairs indeed when you have to rely on a Newcastle win to gain yourself a solitary point.
As Malcolm’s e-mails notifying me of the league standings get quicker by the week, it’s safe to assume that he is going well at the top of the table, along with the reliable John Mac. There was nobody who went pointless this weekend, though Jeremy remains the only person yet to predict a correct scoreline this season. As I am sucked back down towards the basement like some sort of metal object towards this huge magnet of despair, I can only but be glad there was no wagers placed on final league standings.
Colin is actually only above me on the alphabetical technicality. Nope, that statement didn’t make me feel any better.
Here’s the table:
|Correct Results||Correct Scores||Points|
Stephen Goldsmith writes: I was really tempted to pick some obscure and irrelevant fixture in addition to the lads at West Ham and Newcastle at home to a Michael Turner inspired Norwich this weekend.
But as Sky Sports salivate in anticipation of a handshake and a possible lack of respect displayed from a segment of mindless fans, I felt it was only fair to offer the Liverpool v Man Utd game to our enthusiastic panellists. I think if we’re all honest, it’s a game that is of monumental proportions in this day and age and it’s always one to look forward to.
Without further ado, the predictions are:
West Ham v Sunderland
Sixer: Big Sam is out-thought by the tactical genius known as Martin O’Neill – although Jedward have a better grasp of tactics than the gum chewing former Sunderland centre half. 1-2.
Colin:As I have written at ESPN, it won’t be 8-0 to them as in 1968 but beyond that I am unsure so will allow loyalty to dictate. 1-2.
Bill: This should be the three-point game we need. The Cats are gelling and, we must hope, building full match-fitness. The Hammers have a perfect home record so far but I think this flatters them. 0-2.
The Rest: Jeremy:2-1. Goldy: 0-1. Robert 1-3. Jake 1-1. Malcolm 1-2. John Mac 1-1.
Newcastle v Norwich City
Jeremy: 1-2. Former boss gets a warm reception at the Temple of Darkness on his return. Canaries battle hard against their hosts and emerge victorious in 3 goal thriller, taking all 3 points back to East Anglia.
Jake: Can’t see Norwich getting anything from The Sports Direct Arena, and on top of Ba stealing three points from me at Everton last week with that late goal, I’ll probably get nowt here either. My guess, for what it’s worth is 2-0.
Malcolm: I’ll let the head rule this time. I’m afraid that Magpies are bigger and stronger than Canaries who won’t be singing when the final whistle blows. 3-0.
The Rest: Sixer 3-0. Colin 3-1. Bill 3-1. Robert 2-1. Goldy 2-0. John Mac 2-1.
Liverpool v Man Utd
Robert: Liverpool are coming off what they will see as a disappointing draw with Sunderland. United are coming off a resounding win against Wigan. Naturally I’m going to pick Liverpool to get their first win of the season. I think they’ll finally put an entire performance together and get a sneaky 2-1 win.
Goldy: These games are always bouncing and I can’t wait for it. Man Utd to lead for the most part but Liverpool to claim a point much to the delight of an emotional Anfield. 1-1.
John Mac:A home win after a defensive error and a dead ball into the box. 2-1.
The Rest:Sixer 1-3. Colin 1-2. Bill 2-4. Jeremy 0-3. Jake 0-3 Malcolm 1-2.