Ten Years After: recalling McAllister’s dive, Danson’s reds and other refereeing horrors

Jake: ‘no mind-expanding drugs were taken in the making of this design’

Monsieur Salut writes: on quiet days, two thoughts cross the mind: one of relief that Sunderland are not playing, therefore cannot lose, and a second on what to put on the site to stop interest flagging. The slack times would be unimportant if our readers generally had the habit of dipping into a substantial archive of material  accumulated since Salut! Sunderland breathed its first in early 2007. They do not.

Perhaps we need to give more thought on how to make historical items attractive and easy enough to look up. We were better at this in the past, but much of the ‘furniture’, the links that appear in the sidebar column to the right as you look at this page, vanished either when the site crashed under cyber-attack a while ago or when our much-missed web guru Sam later sorted out lingering problems.

Let me introduce Ten Years After, not the ancient rock band but a new category to accommodate articles from 10 years ago that may still have merit, whether because they have historical interest or because they may stir memories or simply entertain. Our associate editor John McCormick, has other ideas for doing more to alert today’s readers to what Salut! Sunderland has got up to and these will be implemented where possible.

Ten Years After starts with a piece that first appeared about but not exactly 10 years ago, ie on Feb 22 2007, and looked at some rotten refereeing decisions of what was, already in 2007, the past. I will make minor tweaks to take account of the passage of time. You may have better examples from before or since …


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How Dare We? SAFC lucky with refs or Untold Arsenal just bonkers?

Jake suspects a fondness for making mischief
Jake suspects a fondness for making mischief

OK, Untold Arsenal freely acknowledges that it reports on football “from an Arsenal perspective”. Just as we all recall instances of crass refereeing decisions against us in encounters between our clubs, Gooners assume victimhood from other occasions.

But this Arsenal site is trying to persuade readers that Sunderland did rather well out of match officials’ wrong decisions last season.

That is an acceptable argument, even if analysis of the 19 games they didn’t scrutinise might well reveal a different story. What was just a bit rich was the suggestion that pro-Sunderland bias on the part of refs and/or their assistants could lie behind the scoring. We probably need to let John McCormick loose on them (PS: we did and it’s at https://safc.blog/2013/08/the-north-south-divide-long-may-it-continue/

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Arsenal’s 12th man: Danson in the dark at Highbury

Source: Rankopedia

My first notion was to direct visiting Arsenal supporters immediately to Tom Watt’s great interview. On second thoughts, they should go there only after a quick look at Pete Sixsmith‘s amusing reminiscences on a past Arsenal v SAFC encounter enlivened – even if Pete’s detail may be open to question – by a man for whom the chant “You Don’t Know What You’re Doing” may well have been composed …

Paul Danson. Remember him? Premier League referee from the mid 90s. Came from Leicester; refereed the game at Highbury in September 1996.

That’s the one. Useless little sod who sent off Martin Scott and Paul Stewart before half time for absolutely nothing and left us trying to defend as best we could with nine men. A game never to be forgotten in the annals of Great Crimes Perpetrated on Sunderland AFC.

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Soapbox: Arsenal here we come (be afraid)


Earlier in the season, it seemed we could pick up points against the top teams while underperforming against the rest. Now we just underperform against everyone. Or can we snatch victory – even in the shape of a draw – from the jaws of much predicted defeat at the Emirates tomorrow? Pete Sixsmith prepares for a long day ..

So, Saturday sees my first Sunderland away game of 2010. Having missed Chelsea (too expensive), Portsmouth in the Cup (preferred Roker Park, Stotfold in the FA Vase) and the midweek excursions to Goodison and Fratton Parks (thanks, PL Computer), I am back on the road at 6.30 am tomorrow, armed with Walkman, Guardian, book, reading light, pies and sandwiches, heading for Ashburton Grove in order to watch the third best team in the Premier League play the thirteenth.

Do I travel with any degree of optimism? Well, you have to hope, but I can’t really see anything coming of it. We have a reduced midfield and a defence that leaks more readily than an embittered civil servant. Recently, we have slung away eight points because of shoddy defending in the last 10 minutes. Had we held on for two of those games, we could be looking upwards at Fulham rather than downwards at Wolves.

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