The Chapman Report from Arsenal: maybe Moyes had used the cattle prod

not giving up

Pete Sixsmith’s season done, the baton is handed once again to Robert Chapman, ever present even though home games involve a 460-mile round trip. After the Swansea mess, he might have been forgiven for not bothering with the remaining away games, closer to home though they may be for him. He stuck to his principles and was pleasantly surprised at Arsenal, not by the predictable result but by the effort he witnessed from our side …

When we were finally relegated against Bournemouth the other week, my wife asked whether I would bother going to the remaining fixtures.

Even I, the eternal optimist, knew we were going to be relegated some time ago. I told her that as long as the team tried – by which I mean giving 100 per cent – I would carry on to the bitter end.

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The Chapman Report from Leicester: Moyes tardy on substitutions but deserves time

Robert Chapman: ‘stick with Moyes’

For Robert Champman, homes games mean a long old haul from the Home Counites. So Lweicester was a doddle. Here are his measured post-match thoughts and a conclusion about David Moyes that may generate discussion. The headline sums up his outlook – and no, by ‘deserving time, Bob doesn’t mean the boss should be chucked in jail …

Having already decided that I wouldn’t be returning, almost certainly, to the moronic clappers’ stadium (Pete Sixsmith description) next season, I was in relaxed mood setting off in the late afternoon for the short drive up to Leicester.

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The Chapman Report: Watford and gap take on new meaning for Sunderland

Robert Chapman: ”

We went into the weekend with only the faintest of hopes. Surely the Lads couldn’t fire yet another blank. They’d be really up for it, for the two wins in four days that might, just might spark revival. Robert Chapman, standing in once again for Pete Sixsmith, saw the reality. Another lame defeat and the Gap grew wider at Watford. Robert looks back on a match that seemed, despite the premature mathematical interpretation, to dump Sunderland into the Championship …

So it was April Fool’s Day; a day for surprises and stunts. Could Sunderland possibly call all the pundits wrong, get three points and embark on the next great escape?

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Bournemouth banter: (1) even the home fans acclaimed Jordan Pickford

Robert Chapman: 'can we keep doing that?'
Robert Chapman: ‘can we keep doing that?’

Monsieur Salut writes: in the absence of Sixer, almost recovered from surgery but giving this long trip a miss, Robert Chapman was given the Soapbox-ish commission as we stood waiting outside the Sir Percy Florence pub in Bournemouth, which was operating a one-in-one-out entry policy. Maybe wiser counsel should prevail: one win in 11 is not exactly top six form. But hey, it was our one win in 11 and the fabulous support was for once rewarded, so this is the first of two special reports from the south coast

The Observer’s Alan Smith was good player, is good company (I sat beside him the press box for an England game at Europe 2000 and once saw Niall Quinn’s face light up on meeting him at the SoL) and a good analyst. But he was hopelessly wrong to say Sunderland were ‘second best in every facet of the game’. Unless that is, superb goalkeeping, backs-to-the-wall resistance when a player short and robust hold-up play are not facets of the game. Yes, Bournemouth had possession and chances galore and looked smarter on the ball for most of the game, but we were well on top in the second half until Pienaar’s dismissal and had been a match for the home side for what remained of the first half after Anichebe’s equaliser.

Now over to Bob …

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The Chapman Report from Fulham: ‘most important hat-trick of my lifetime?”

Jake presents Bob Chapman, Sixer's supersub
Jake presents Bob Chapman, Sixer’s supersub

Once again, the ever-present Robert Chapman, snapped up in a Salut! Sunderland editorial swoop on the White Horse in Parsons Green, steps up to cover for Peter Sixsmith, who missed out on the bargain train fares and gave Fulham away a miss. He did see Shildon beat Consett 2-0 and doubtless was kept in touch with events at Craven Cottage by more comprehensive means than Monsieur Salut’s mistyped texts. Robert, who also supplied the seven-word verdict immediately after the game, reports on a marvellous afternoon to be a Sunderland supporter …

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