Fabio Borini and Sunderland: what, in honesty, are we to believe?

Borini by Jake...
Borini by Jake…

Gus Poyet said the deal had been agreed. Brendan Rodgers likewise. People ‘close’ to Fabio Borini insisted he had no wish to rejoin Sunderland, this time permanently, and would hold out for a Serie A move or stick it out at Liverpool. Who knows? Rob Hutchison has the fan’s view ….

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Brazil 2014: my ‘super Saturday’ of hot Chile, Colombian gold and Metallica

From those busy lads at Campo Retro
From those busy lads at Campo Retro


Rob Hutchison, a Sunderland-supporting southern exile, is also a man of music. He found himself torn (but not, Natalie Imbruglia is relieved to hear, trust, ‘lying naked on the floor’) between Uruguay vs Colombia and Glastonbury. It all turned into Rob’s ‘super Saturday’ …

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Wembley and Safe (2): soiling the hands to get at the gleaming coins

Jake is sleeping soundly again
Jake is sleeping soundly again

Colin Randall writes: the Wembley and Bust Safe series will now get more controversial. It is possible to rejoice at our salvation, and acclaim the manner in which is was achieved, while considering the season as a whole, with obvious moments of exception, to have been dire. Rob Hutchison did modify his review after the victory over West Brom. I wonder how he’d change it again after joining the London and SE branch of the SAFC Supporters’ Association for the train journey to the final game …

Read moreWembley and Safe (2): soiling the hands to get at the gleaming coins

Best away game in ages: still drooling about Chelsea game and Seb

Jake captures the man who's given us hope
Jake captures the man who’s given us hope

Salut! Sunderland readers are generally too sensible to get carried away, says Monsieur Salut. Maybe because I need something to take the mind off Sunday, I cannot get enough of the post-Chelsea reflections. Keir Bradwell has been on detention, aka a wifi-free Center Parcs break (do they really spell it that way?), but keeps promising his ratings, now amounting to a mini-backlog. While we wait, here is what our old friend Rob Hutchison made of it. I love his opening three words as much as anything that follows them …

Read moreBest away game in ages: still drooling about Chelsea game and Seb

Van Halen, Mackems in exile and a daughter’s stout defence

Rob on an earlier transAtlantic trip

This is Rob Hutchison‘s entertaining account of a memorable stay in Canada that had almost nothing to do with SAFC, beyond the passion he and his his host, Salut! Sunderland’s resident controversialist, Jeremy Robson, share for the club. It was written a few months ago but then went astray in email exchanges. Now it resurfaces with its story of fabulous hospitality, Sunderland-related reminiscence and good music – and it deserves an airing however belatedly. Monsieur Salut could add his own testimony to the fierce and impressive loyalty of Gareth Hall’s daughter – he ought to be proud of the way she sticks up for him – but won’t for now …

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Lyon outclass Arsenal, Barnet beat Sunderland: just a man’s game?

That’s the Sunderland Women’s Football team you can see. Their exploits deserve more publicity (as well as a fairer deal from the FA). French media, on the other hand, gave good coverage to the Lyon women’s team which beat Arsenal Ladies 2-0 in the first leg of the Champions’ League semi-final with two excellent finishes by Lotta Schelin (*see footnote for clip). More than 20,000 turned up at OL’s Stade de Gerland; let us see whether the Gunnerettes can overturn the lead in tomorrow’s return game in London. To Rob Hutchison, the notion that women can actually play quite well is relatively recent. But he’s a convert …

For years, I’d scoffed at the thought of girls, yes girls, playing football.

They ain’t strong enough, they can’t tackle, they can’t kick a ball properly, they can’t head it, they’re too soft. All are comments so often heard when “blerks” talk about women’s football. But gradually the profile is rising, with more internationals on free-to-air TV and more and more media coverage.

Read moreLyon outclass Arsenal, Barnet beat Sunderland: just a man’s game?