With a break this weekend it’s time to revisit our “Ones to watch”.
If you’ve been following this series you’ll remember that we’re tracking six clubs over the course of the season. The six were chosen by a people’s vote, that new tool of democracy, with the club which came top of the poll – Coventry City – also providing a baseline against which the other five will be compared.
If you’re wondering how Coventry came to be chosen click the hyperlinks at the bottom of the page. (And if you want to see how I’ve followed our selected teams in previous seasons you can follow this link ).
John McCormick writes: if you want to know the origin of the headline you’ll have to read on to the middle of this piece, where Malcolm, our esteemed deputy editor, has reworked a version of the old Fulwell End favourite “Monty is better than Yashin” following a recent barrage of voting from the Sky Blue bit of the West Midlands.
I have to say I found that barrage a bit strange. After all, when a blog adopts a title which includes the phrase “dodgy numbers”, and then ends with a disclaimer which states “the arithmetic’s correct, it’s just the rest could be a bit wonky” it’s best not to take it too seriously.
And when it says “unless new voter(s) decide to cast vote(s) for only one team and to throw rationality to the winds – and why not, it’s what football’s all about”, which is what I wrote in my last post, you might get some idea that we welcome other clubs’ fans and enjoy hearing from them.
UPDATE: we saw the poll had grown, improbably, to 11,000+ votes with Coventry way out in front on 26 per cent. Couldn’t blame Jimmy Hill this time but something was clearly up. For the culprits, go to the Coventry site Sky Blues Talk … but don’t get too cross as our lot would gladly have done the same to them. The poll, unsurprisingly, is suspended …
After Colin reposted our “who’s going up?” poll (on the left, below) in one of the Question and Answer sessions with our owners there was brief flurry of voting, as you might have expected given the number of visitors we had. And then things slowed down until, by the weekend, things were at a trickle, although votes were and are still coming in. Again, this was to be expected as the eyes of the football world were on Russia, where eight or nine ex-Sunderland players were taking part in the World’s most prestigious competition outside the Third Division. We now have over 800 votes cast, which is enough to be going on with, although Colin in his gut feeling poll, had almost as many when only one vote was allowed per person.
When I first put this poll up, a mere week ago, I wrote
“this is predominantly a Sunderland site and we aren’t claiming results are totally unbiased… …Nevertheless, I think it’s fair to say that SAFC fans have not been blindly optimistic.”
After only a week I would not able to add a lot to this statement, were it not for two things. The first is that the poll was tagged to promote it to all League One fans for over 24 hours before it was promoted on our facebook page and then on Colin’s subsequent posts on this site. This gave us a small (very small, as it happens) hint of what the whole of the League One fanbase might think. The second was that Colin’s own poll closed, with some findings we can bring to bear on this one.
And so we have it: the fixtures are out. You’ll be getting your fill of dates, and conjecture from all over, no doubt, and enjoying the pre-season buzz of anticipation that it brings.
But when you’re tucked up under the sheets, reading Charles Buchan’s “Football Monthly” with a torch and reality bites, do you think you’ll win League One?
Or even get promoted?
If you do, please let us know. If you don’t, let us know who you think will make the grade.
Pete Sixsmith is not dewy-eyed about Jeremy Corbyn, whose victory in the Labour leadership poll was announced as he (Sixer) was gawping at Michael Foot memorabilia at the National People’s Museum. He just cannot get that song by a Sunderland-supporting folk singer, Bob Fox, out of his head. Labour’s post-war victory, so it went, would mean jobs and holidays in the sun for all and the Lads to win the cup. Package hols were the easy part, the jobs bit never happened and it took 28 years for the cup prediction to come true. We’ll leave Sixer to muse over how long it will take Corbyn to get the Lads back to a winning Wembley visit. Here’s what else he did on Saturday …
Steve Bruce had every right to rub the noses of media pundits in the mess of Stoke City’s collapse at the Stadium of Light.
Football, as Plymouth Argyle said in a club statement justifying the sacking of one of Bruce’s Sunderland predecessors, Peter Reid, is a results business.
It was the week that started badly, with a thumping at Eastlands, and could therefore hardly get worse. Salut! Sunderland got its hand-wringing out of the way as early and as best it could before moving on to other things …
One day soon, a mug like that could be yours. Well, we’ll still designing it but the idea is to make a modest start to Salut! Sunderland merchandising.
The text sizes obviously need adjustment. You might even suggest a better slogan: “Salut! Sunderland – not as bad as you thought” springs to mind. “Buy a mug? You’re having a laugh”? “M Salut! & Sixer; two prize mugs”? There could even be a Newcastle version with the handle inside the mug.
So what, if you haven’t been paying proper attention has been going on here this week? Click on any sub-heading to see the full item …
It is baffling how some people manage to look back on Peter Reid’s time at Sunderland and remember only the atrocious slump that brought his reign to an end. Inspired by a excellent Louise Taylor article on the fight Reid has on his hands at Plymouth Argyle, Pete Sixsmith applies some balance – and wishes Reid well in the uphill struggle he’s taken on …
Louise Taylor wrote a super piece in yesterday’s Guardian about Peter Reid and his travails at Plymouth Argyle. The gist was that Reidy was the guy who was holding Argyle together as their financial crisis reached Irish government proportions. No owners, no money, a points deduction and almost certain relegation to the bottom division – and the very clear possibility of liquidation.
It was a very affectionate article from someone who probably had dealings with Reid when he was in his pomp at Sunderland. He was not universally popular amongst the press corps. Apparently, he could be witty and amusing but also rude and boorish and I am sure that Louise witnessed both sides of his character.
Right: a busy run-up to Arsenal at Saturday lies in prospect with at least two Who are You? features lined up. A good time, then, to let Pete Sixsmith get a few things off his chest about the state of modern football …
It’s a bright and breezy Wednesday and I have spent the day with ten 16-year-olds while suffering from a cold that has made me feel that my head is in a vice.
The papers and the internet are full of the usual Ferguson complaints about referees and there are pics of the incredibly smug Frank Lampard banging in the winning penalty at Stamford Bridge last night.