Farewell Bardo. Now enjoy Stoke’s lesser red and white stripes

Leading the way as Jake captures moments from Phil Bardsley's SAFC career
Leading the way as Jake captures moments from Phil Bardsley’s SAFC career

Forget the Man Utd old boy nonsense. Phil Bardsley may be a Salford lad, a United fan and a player who’d give his right arm to have had a proper Old Trafford career. But he was barely part of the playing set-up – eight appearances in five years. Until this week’s move to Stoke, he has effectively been Sunderland and Sunderland alone, with a commendable 200 games, seven goals (some of them spectacular and rather important) and just a few loan spells, all pre-SoL, at Rangers, Burnley, Villa and Royal Antwerp, to modify the impression of a solidly one-club man…

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Phil Bardsley: in praise of the prodigal son

Hamish McBardsley, by Jake
Jake: Hamish McBardsley makes light of brick walls

We rightly point to the Mannone saves, Ki’s creativity and composure, Wes Brown’s rocklike defending. Let’s hear it for Phil Bardsley, not yet forgiven by all but playing an important role in Sunderland and Adam Johnson’s improved form. The man himself tells the Hartlepool Mail “the boys are willing to throw their bodies on the line and run through brick walls for each other. That’s what it’s all about at this football club” …

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Bardsley: like him or loathe him, we can’t leave him alone

Michael Lough: Giving his view on Bardlseygate
Michael Lough: Giving his view on Bardlseygate

John McCormick writes: M Salut is out of contact as he makes his way from the depths of France to Swansea, so it’s down to me to keep things ticking over – [thanks – M Salut] – until he returns to tell us how the Lads played. This means it’s me you can blame for the small picture of our guest writer Michael Lough, who whets our appetites for Saturday by giving us his views on the Bardsley saga. You might be feeling a bit of déjà vu if, like me, you’ve just come away from the ALS website, whose almost simultaneous posing of a similar question is pure coincidence. My advice – read on, you can never have too much SAFC. Now, over to Michael …

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Phil Bardsley: how to make friends and influence people?

bardoPhil Bardsley’s latest failure to engage brain before doing something he considers amusing but others find especially stupid may or may not materially affect his status.

We know he’s on his way out and would probably have gone had he not broken his foot playing, at 28, for the Under 21s. Now, of course, he’s been suspended by Sunderland for a daft case of social media-itis.

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Two hands clapping for Di Canio’s way with school dunces: (1) just desserts

... Jake suspects PDC may have overlooked a change in the law.
… Jake suspects PDC may have overlooked a change in the law.

There has been lots of media coverage of PDC’s stern ways with lack of effort, truancy, inappropriate behaviour out of school and seriously bad marks. We’ve done our share at Salut! Sunderland and this is something Monsieur Salut prepared earlier – namely for his pages at ESPNFC.com. When I said in my most recent piece there that we could expect more of the same to come, I was aware of the anonymous player who’d called in claiming to be suffering from food poisoning before retreating into telephone silence for hours. I was unaware of the Bramble fine for whatever it was he did or didn’t do in training.

But this – and it could become another series – is my way of welcoming at that ESPN site a tougher approach to player power …

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Bruce spot-on with Bramble; Bardsley needs a rocket too

Is it a breach of Salut! Sunderland‘s policy of getting fully behind the Lads before matchday to support Steve Bruce’s comments on the Titus Bramble affair? I don’t think so.

Bramble has been suspended pending a club investigation into those aspects of the early-hours Yarm incident that concern club discipline. He therefore plays no part in the approach to West Brom at home tomorrow.

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Bardsley’s Chelsea ‘stamp:’ just when you hoped it couldn’t get worse …

Phil Bardsley - Sunderland - Premier LeagueImage: Addick-tedKevin

What did others – Blues fan included – make of the alleged Bardsley stamp? Was my own defence of him naive? STOP PRESS: see Fitz’s comment – no appeal, now confirmed by safc.com. which suggests we must accept the worst interpretation of the episode. There was, sad to say, no need for quotation marks around the word “stamp” in my headline …

One of the few Sunderland players to perform with consistency and unlimited passion over the past year or so has been Phil Bardsley.

I like to think of him as an honest player with shedloads of enthusiasm and courage. He has limitations but plays to his strengths as a solid defender who offers a bit of menace, and even a decent shot, when going forward. And he does it just as well if forced to play out of position.

But is there a dark side, too, to Phil? I hope not.

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Manchester United v Barcelona: rooting for ‘worst United side in years’

Diplomatic relations were established between Salut! Sunderland and Republik of Mancunia a couple of seasons ago. Scott the Red is the republik’s head of state and comes here from time to time to offer his thoughts or ask for ours on SAFC/United-related matters. Who better to preview the Champions’ League Final from a United perspective? And while we’re on, congrats are in order: Scott’s site came second in the EPL Talk blog-of-the-year awards (M Salut prefers to draw a veil over our final position). He’s a bit pessimistic about tomorrow night but loyally predicts a United win all the same …

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Bravo Bardo – a winner four times over

The boot goes in next week when our end-of-term, end-of-season reports start running. Well, that may be putting it harshly since at least one of the contributors we have lined up will be making a strong case for the defence.

But for now, let us hail another man who has been making a compelling case for the defence all season. Step forward Phil Bardsley, winner of the official Player of the Season poll run by the club to add to the similar honour he collected in the SAFC Supporters’ Association awards. And he ends the season a winner on four counts, if you include the internal players’ vote and his debut as a McInternational.

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