Sixer’s Everton Soapbox: Toffees chewed up, now Bent on a Villa clincher

Two wins in a row and Jake is perfecting Sixer's smile
Two wins in a row and Jake is perfecting Sixer’s smile

We’ve all seen false dawns but no one can seriously doubt the impact Paolo Di Canio has had or where we would be, for all his feelings of being hard done by, had Martin O’Neill stayed. Pete Sixsmith wonders whether the same commitment from players and fans seen on Saturday can propel SAFC to safety at Villa Park next Monday night. He also detects the essential changes evident from two marvellous wins against NUFC and Everton. MoN, if he were an avid reader of Salut! Sunderland, might say Sixer identified similar improvements when he first took over and he’d be right. But can PDC sustain this progress where the Ulsterman, sadly, could not?

Read moreSixer’s Everton Soapbox: Toffees chewed up, now Bent on a Villa clincher

The Robson Report: PDC makes it so simple; why couldn’t O’Neill?

Jeremy Robson
Jeremy Robson

Some of the most thought-provoking analysis of things that matter to Sunderland AFC supporters comes from the great Mackem diaspora. This comment on the Blackcats e-mail list – “the older I get the more I become convinced that it really is a simpler game than the coaches, tacticians and (especially) pundits would have us believe” – emanated from the region (Mick Goulding in Co Durham) but set Jeremy Robson, over in Canada, thinking about some of the basic failings of the Martin O’Neill regime and the equally basic remedies Paolo Di Canio is applying. In an interesting riposte, Moscow-based Andy Potts sees similarities in the early achievements of both men …

Read moreThe Robson Report: PDC makes it so simple; why couldn’t O’Neill?

French Fancies: Newcastle 0 SAFC 3 un show unique, says L’Equipe

No need to translate: for L'Equipe, it was 'une victoire amplement méritée'
No need to translate: for L’Equipe, it was ‘une victoire amplement méritée’

It is not often that a Sunderland game features so prominently in the French press. Even though the sports daily, L’Equipe, covers the Premier League reasonably well, you can guess which teams dominate their columns.

Today is different. Paolo Di Canio’s exuberant celebration of each goal at St James’ Park gets the generous illustration you see and is then described in full in the text.

Read moreFrench Fancies: Newcastle 0 SAFC 3 un show unique, says L’Equipe

Paolo’s Pow-Wow: Newcastle Utd 0 SAFC 3 – ‘my perfect warriors’

PDC captures the points. Jake captures the man
PDC captures the points. Jake captures the man

Not for nearly half a century has there been precisely this scoreline from St James’ Park though we remember or know about the later 4-1 variation. That was Gary Rowell’s game. This was Stephane Sessegnon’s. It was a truly outstanding performance in a team display that had many very good ones. Paolo Di Canio can bound up and down the technical area as much as he wishes when celebrating events such as these. This is his verdict on a mighty and mightily important win …

Read morePaolo’s Pow-Wow: Newcastle Utd 0 SAFC 3 – ‘my perfect warriors’

Sorry Martin, but Salut! Sunderland has shaken off the past

SImple but slick. Jake's new banner
SImple but slick. Jake’s new banner

Well, it had to change.

The departure of Martin O’Neill came at an unexpected time and his image has continued to appear at the top of each page of Salut! Sunderland as part of Jake’s montage of Sunderland-related illustrations.

Read moreSorry Martin, but Salut! Sunderland has shaken off the past

The Chapman Report from Chelsea: must do (even) better

Jake's your man, Bob, if young David still needs help with art
Jake’s your man, Bob, if young David still needs help with art

Jamie Redknapp’s bits-and-bobs column in the Mail made depressing reading. ‘Will they (Newcastle) send Sunderland closer to the drop next week? … At Chelsea, PDC went for Wickham to lead the line – a young player I like – and he played well. But I worry where their goals are coming from.’ But there is hope. Robert Chapman is a home-and-away stalwart and left Stamford Bridge feeling a little perkier. Let’s hope his assessment proves truer than Young Redknapp’s and that PDC’s powers of motivation, and his own home tutorial skills with Young David, prevail …

Read moreThe Chapman Report from Chelsea: must do (even) better

Sunderland and Paolo Observed: beyond the media frenzy

Pete: strange times
Pete: strange times

Once again, The Observer called on Pete Sixsmith to sum up a week in the life of Sunderland AFC. This was written and, of course, appeared before the Chelsea game but remains a valid assessment of extraordinary events in the life of our club …

Read moreSunderland and Paolo Observed: beyond the media frenzy

Chelsea v SAFC Who are You?: ‘PDC’s a gamble but you’ll stay up’

Jake asks the question
Jake asks the question

Paolo Di Canio takes Sunderland to Stamford Bridge on Sunday for a routine outing against the side that has just turfed Man Utd out of the FA Cup and has top four written all over it. Or will the fear of PDC make them all play as they did at Southampton? A baptism of fire for Di Canio, maybe, but no members of his squad will be under any illusions about how passionate to win he will expect them to be once kickoff comes. Del Oldfied* is a London cabbie and Chelsea nut. He thinks PDC’s appointment is risky but already thought we had “enough quality`” to stay up. That said, Del also expects us to face a confident bunch of Blues …

Read moreChelsea v SAFC Who are You?: ‘PDC’s a gamble but you’ll stay up’

From West Ham, another Di Canio article without the F-word

pdc 3

Matthew Kemp* is a Hammer with Salut! Sunderland connections, having written here about his team’s promotion and then answered questions in our ‘Who are You?’ series. Here, he gives a West Ham fan’s honest view of the Paolo Di Canio experience we – and, even more, the players – are about to undergo (he did make one passing reference to that word but we have deleted it in response to popular request) …

Read moreFrom West Ham, another Di Canio article without the F-word

Di Canio and me: ‘nothing will stop me supporting my club’

Jake asks the question
Jake asks the question

The Blackcats forum has, as ever, responded to a controversial matter – now which one could we be talking about? – with a varied but always thoughtful set of views from Sunderland supporters scattered around the word, from Wearside to Down Under. Many of the contributions could be be reproduced here and add to the debate but one fan and occasional Salut! Sunderland writer, Mick Goulding, specifically gave consent for his to appear. No one who feels the topic has been done to death needs to read on but I hope readers of this site, all of whom surely want the club to succeed or at least survive come what may, will not fall into the easy, lazy trap of suggesting the row has ‘all been got up by the press’. If there were no genuine issue involved, hundreds or even thousands of non-press people would not have insisted on having their say one way or the other …

Read moreDi Canio and me: ‘nothing will stop me supporting my club’