From the Republik of Mancunia came Scott the Red‘s customary questions. Not so much about Sunday’s match, more on last season and this one’s prospects. The first three comments attracted by Monsieur Salut’s interview for his site all cockily predict a United win on Sunday. More responses may be expected once the USA and Far East get up and running today or tomorrow …
Scott the Red, the driving force behind the Republik of Mancunia website certainly provoked reaction from the Sunderland faithful with his reaction to last season’s Poznan. Pete Sixsmith is perhaps less provocative when reciprocating with his responses to the questions put to him for publication on their site. What follows is the set of questions and Sixer’s answers.
1. Why have Sunderland been so poor this season?
We have never got going. The first home game was postponed, there were two international weekends, the new players (Johnson in particular) took time to settle in, some of the others had a poor pre-season and have not found form. There is no single reason. Most of the players are good enough and the manager is as good as anyone a club like ours can get. Hopefully, we are on the up now – just in time to meet the league leaders.
2. How highly do you rate, O’Shea, Brown and Campbell?
Campbell has been very unfortunate with injuries and will be leaving at the end of the season when his contract ends. Brown has been out for 12 months and is, apparently, close to a come back. Hmmm. O’Shea is a good player but his distribution is awful and is reminiscent of the central defenders that Mick McCarthy brought to the club. There is always room to hide at Manchester United; there is nowhere to hide at Sunderland – we don’t have the players who can cover up any deficiencies.
3. Were you sad to see Richardson leave?
Like O’Shea, he was a good player, but had a tendency to flatter to deceive. He will never be forgotten for rattling home a free kick that beat the Mags four years ago.
4. What do you make of Sunderland fans celebrating City winning the league on the last game of last season?
I saw it as quite funny. I am sure that you know that MUFC is not universally loved and that the manager, although admired, does annoy many opposition fans. The reaction was as much to the incredible turn of events as anything else.
On a serious note, I spent the last 10 minutes of that game watching Paul Scholes, who stopped playing and wandered around, finding it hard to believe that he was likely to win a League Championship medal after coming out of retirement.
And remember, we did take 4 points (should have been 6) off your “noisy neighbours”. I mean, if you can’t win at Wigan…………
5. If you could have any United player at Sunderland, who would it be an why?
Where to start. A fully fit Vidic would settle us down at the back, where we have started to give away silly goals. He is a beast of a player. I can’t think of any supporter who wouldn’t love to have van Persie. If Steve Bruce were still manager, he would probably sign Bebe.
6. What would realistically make this season a success for Sunderland?
The ideal position for me would be 17th with Newcastle United 18th by a point – we sneaked one off them in October thanks to Demba Ba deflecting a John O’Shea header into the net. Even better if they had Shearer back as manager. An old man can dream………
7. Prediction for the weekend.
I saw us win at Old Trafford 2-1 in 1968, the day that City last won the title prior to 2012. We nearly did it a couple of years ago and the chances of doing it this year are about as good as those of Sooty failing to cover Harry Corbett in ink or water. I am pretty sure you will win, but I travel in hope.
Bye bye everybody. Bye bye.
See the MUFC v SAFC ‘Who are You?’: https://safc.blog/2012/12/the-manchester-united-who-are-you-go-down-sunderland-for-poznan-stunt/
See also: Monsieur Salut talks all things Sunderland at ESPN FC: http://soccernet.espn.go.com/blog/_/name/sunderland?cc=5739
Goldy came up with the idea of introducing a new category reproducing articles inspired by collaboration with the sites of other clubs. Here is the first example, an interview with our old friend Scott the Red for The Republik of Mancunia. Crosstalk seemed better than Crossfire as a generic title …
Scott the Red came back from the Manchester United website Republik of Mancunia to renew our warm relations and pose some questions about the new season. This was before the highly encouraging draw at Liverpool, but the answer still stand. One of the United fans leaving comments at RoM said: “Sunderland is officially my 2nd favourite team!” …
This, following a similar exercise with The Chelsea Blog, is Scott’s report and the interview:
Scott the Red comes calling from time to time, with questions he wants Salut! Sunderland to answer on issues affecting both his club, Manchester United, and ours.
Our signings of Wes Brown and John O’Shea offered a good enough excuse for Scott to return with to ask what we made of them, and Steve Bruce’s other dealings.
Here is the questionnaire, plus a few of the Republik of Mancunia readers’ responses. See whether you agree with me or them or none of us!
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 …
Even before his two-goal exploits against Everton last night – and how frustrating that he couldn’t quite make it three and secure the win – Danny Welbeck was transforming himself from underperforming, out-of-position passenger into exciting, goalhungry potential matchwinner.
Scott the Red, our pal at the Republik of Mancunia site*, had asked a few days before the game how we thought Welbeck, on loan from Scott’s beloved Manchester United, was getting on with us. Rather better, was the gist of Pete Sixsmith‘s reply, given without knowing Danny would grab another two goals last night, than some of us were willing to give him credit for. What a tragedy, then, that his exceptional recent displays, at Spurs and Chelsea and against Everton, may make it all the less likely that Sir Alex will let him come permanently – or that he may even demand Welbeck’s recall to Old Trafford.
Or will the player, as has already been suggested here, become part of the haggling if/when SAF comes calling for Jordan Henderson? This was Pete’s view, as expressed pre-Everton, to the United fan site. …
No, we’re not having a go at the geographical disposition of United’s support, or trying to wind up the occasionally oafish Gary Neville or his professionally grumpy (and phenomenally succesful) manager. We’re actually sympathising with the club’s travelling fans …
Being refused permission to stand up at football is not something that should, in all honesty, bother me.
When the chant goes up to “Stand up if you … ” love or hate this or that, him or them, and is most commonly followed by “hate the Mags”, my heart is with the rival group that responds with “Sit doon if you hate the Toon”.
But there are times, even after rather too many decades of watching the game, when I am moved to rise to my feet because something is happening on the field to bring hope, fear or excitement – or maybe just because I need to be high enough above fans ahead of me to be able to see at all.