Pete Sixsmith didn’t get to this game (I bet he’s glad about that) and we’re relying for Bob Chapman for tomorrow’s report. It might be a little later than usual but, as all things Bob, it will be very welcome.
Unlike the result, the red cards and the 7 word text that winged its way northward immediately following the final whistle.
Sunderland’s games again Peterborough United last season epitomised the problem with our Who are You? series. As happened all season, we were able to publish terrific interviews – but with the same opposing fan each time. For his efforts, James Bloodworth went close to winning a prize in our annual HAWAY (Highly Articulate Who are You?) awards.
But it is embarrassing to have go cap in hand to the same candidates. And finding new ones is a time-consuming and often frustrating exercise. Salut! Sunderland’s limited resources are constantly stretched and no one, in honesty, has time to pursue opposing supporters, cajole them and then set up and publish the interviews.
So as with all other games so far this season, we present a shortened version of the customary questions to Peterborough fans in open letter format*. Please use the Comments field to answer any or all the questions posed.
An interesting dilemma faces Jack Ross ahead of Peterborough away.
He made eight changes for the Carabao Cup visit to Burnley and watched in admiration as the team came from behind to secure a marvellous 3-1 win and a third round trip to another Premier League side, Sheffield United.
There were excellent individual performances – Denver Hume, Luke O’Nien, Jack Baldwin and George Dobson being among the names that stood out in the commentary – but above all it seems to have been an exemplary team display.
So the winning side picks itself for Posh? It does not. The team Ross played in the last league game, at home to AFC Wimbledon, also won 3-1. Aiden McGeady and Chris Maguire, absent on Wednesday night, will surely be among the first names on the team sheet for this Saturday and it is difficult to see other than a return in goal for Jon McLaughlin,well as Lee Burge played at Burnley.
On Friday we had over 3,000 visitors, followed by a quiet weekend. Not everyone took part in our top six poll but over 1200 votes (not voters) have now been cast. That’s not bad, I suppose, for a League One fans’ site but I am expecting a few more will chip in before the season kicks off.
Early results suggest the headline I used then – for which I visited a couple of betting sites to find the promotion favourites – was on the right lines. Of the six clubs I named five are in the top spots. Lincoln (currently lingering in 8th place) are the exception with Sunderland, unsurprisingly, replacing them. There’s a gap – slight but quite evident – between the top three and the next three, after which numbers drop off, so Lincoln and Doncaster, who made last season’s playoffs and now lie seventh, have quite a bit of ground to make up.
All of the clubs in the League received votes, which I’m taking to signify that we managed a wide reach. It will be interesting to see if enough fans of so-called smaller clubs, which are predominantly towards the bottom of the poll, visit in large enough numbers to move their favourites upwards. Crowdwise, numbers are against them but we have only small numbers voting so you never know.
Last season our punters got it more or less right and correctly predicted most of the top six. Luton were missed but that was mainly down to the Coventry Ninjas, whose hijack of last year’s poll pushed them (Luton) out of the top places.
Maybe the ninjas or another club’s fans will do the same again this season. As far as I’m aware the polldaddy vulnerability that allowed multiple voting still exists and all I can do is disable the ability of readers to see the results in real time. That might change how the poll coding works (it’s built-in and can’t be changed) but it takes something away. A pity, but there we go.
I’ve got a lot on for the next few weeks so I won’t be conjuring up a novel method of tracking and displaying our chosen clubs’ progress or the lack of it. All I’ll be doing is monitoring the accretion of points for now, though I might come up with something different later in the season.
As always, your comments are welcome. We hold posts for moderation but they do go up eventually, subject to meeting commonsense rules of decency, manners, libel etc.
It was on 18th June that I put up the first in this series, covering the League One clubs beginning A-L, apart from Bury, Blackpool and Bolton. This, part two, was intended to cover the back end of the alphabet but, at 2,300 words, ended up far too big for a single webpage.
There was only one answer. I had to split the piece and cover only five clubs, meaning there will be a part three for the last five and part four for the Lancashire Bs and Sunderland. These will arrive at some yet undetermined point in the future, bet you can’t wait.
John McCormick is editing this in Liverpool, where one of the clubs could win the Champions League, not to mention the Premier League, and the other’s just put four past Manchester United. When he has finished he’ll be seeing daughter Helen and her Spurs supporting boyfriend Will off to Lime Street Station, from where they’ll get to Euston in time for Will to travel up the Northern line to a brand new state of the art stadium and a team that’s hoping to qualify for Europe without having to win the Champions League, which they could also do. Such is life outside County Durham, where a different form of reality is emerging from the ashes of a long hard season.
Pete Sixsmith – to be found on BBC Radio Newcastle’s Total Sport between 6pm and 7pm on Wednesday, ie tomorrow – picks up the story:
Is there another twist to come? With only two or three games left time is not on our side, and nor are the fixtures. We might yet do it, and at the very least we have the playoffs, so all is not yet lost, but…
…which means this away draw, against a tough team, is not one we can take any pleasure in, as Pete Sixsmith makes abundantly clear in this seven word, post-whistle text: