Rochdale vs Sunderland: aiming to make it three wins in three

Jake: ‘Click the image to reach Salut! Sunderland’s home page’

The most important point to be made about tomorrow night’s game at the Spotland Stadium is that we must aim to remain unbeaten.

But a draw would be a disappointment. Sunderland really need to maintain the momentum, indeed the winning feeling, after a comfortable league cup visit to Accrington Stanley and a gritty home victory over much-fancied League One promotion rivals.

The spirit that helped secure the three points against Pompey, plus the quality that Jack Ross has in his squad, should in theory be enough to bring us a first away win in the game at Rochdale, against whom we achieved a league double last season.

Read moreRochdale vs Sunderland: aiming to make it three wins in three

Rochdale vs Sunderland: hard acts for Dale fans to follow

Jake: ‘a home win on the board so let’s start doing it away, too’

Ahead of another important test for Jack Ross’s new-look squad, Salut! Sunderland poses a few questions to Rochdale fans in our own new-look Who are You? format.

We no longer launch searching parties for suitable candidates for each Sunderland game but are this season throwing open the exercise to all opposing supporters who stray on to our pages.

Read moreRochdale vs Sunderland: hard acts for Dale fans to follow

Portsmouth then Sunderland, Ipswich, Rotherham, Peterborough and Coventry top our poll. But where are Lincoln?

On Friday we had over 3,000 visitors, followed by a quiet weekend. Not everyone took part in our top six poll  but over 1200 votes (not voters) have now been cast. That’s not bad, I suppose, for a League One fans’ site but I am expecting a few more will chip in before the season kicks off.

Early results suggest the headline I used then – for which I visited a couple of betting sites to find the promotion favourites – was on the right lines. Of the six clubs I named five are in the top spots. Lincoln (currently lingering in 8th place) are the exception with Sunderland, unsurprisingly, replacing them. There’s a gap – slight but quite evident – between the top three and the next three,  after which numbers drop off, so Lincoln and Doncaster, who made last season’s playoffs and now lie seventh, have quite a bit of ground to make up.

All of the clubs in the League received votes, which I’m taking to signify that we  managed a wide reach. It will be interesting to see if enough fans of so-called smaller clubs, which are predominantly towards the bottom of the poll, visit in large enough numbers to move their favourites upwards. Crowdwise, numbers are against them but we have only small numbers voting so you never know.

Read morePortsmouth then Sunderland, Ipswich, Rotherham, Peterborough and Coventry top our poll. But where are Lincoln?

Ipswich or Portsmouth? Rotherham or Peterborough? How about Lincoln or Coventry? It’s your choice

Last season our punters got it more or less right and correctly predicted most of the top six. Luton were missed but that was mainly down to the Coventry Ninjas, whose hijack of last year’s poll pushed them (Luton) out of the top places.

Maybe the ninjas or another club’s fans will do the same again this season. As far as I’m aware the polldaddy vulnerability that allowed multiple voting still exists and all I can do is disable the ability of readers to see the results in real time. That might change how the poll coding works (it’s built-in and can’t be changed) but it takes something away. A pity, but there we go.

I’ve got a lot on for the next few weeks so I won’t be conjuring up a novel method of tracking and displaying our chosen clubs’ progress or the lack of it. All I’ll be doing is monitoring the accretion of points for now, though I might come up with something different later in the season.

As always, your comments are welcome. We hold posts for moderation but they do go up eventually, subject to meeting commonsense rules of decency, manners, libel etc.

Read moreIpswich or Portsmouth? Rotherham or Peterborough? How about Lincoln or Coventry? It’s your choice

From MK Dons to Rochdale via Oxford, Peterborough and Portsmouth: it’s a short financial ramble

It was on 18th June that I put up the first in this series, covering the League One clubs beginning A-L, apart from Bury, Blackpool and Bolton. This, part two, was intended to cover the back end of the alphabet but, at 2,300 words, ended up far too big for a single webpage.

There was only one answer. I had to split the piece and cover only five clubs, meaning there will be a part three for the last five and part four for the Lancashire Bs and Sunderland. These will arrive at some yet undetermined point in the future, bet you can’t wait.

Read moreFrom MK Dons to Rochdale via Oxford, Peterborough and Portsmouth: it’s a short financial ramble

Salut! Sunderland’s HAWAY award-winning entry and two noble gestures from Bristol Rovers and Walsall

Doug Shields before Rovers 0-4 Doncaster. ‘The only time I smiled that day.’ Click on the photo to see all Who are You?s in the season just ended

Monsieur Salut writes: by tradition, Salut! Sunderland reproduces the Who are You? interview that has won our top HAWAY award. There is a twist, and a much-appreciated one. Doug Shields, a Bristol Rovers fan and the author, said he would prefer his prize to go to ‘a decent charity in Sunderland’. The runner-up, Richard Hall (Walsall), immediately made a similar gesture, asking for a replica top to go to an inner-city Sunderland school, perhaps as a prize for its summer fete. There you have it: football’s antidote to the shame brought by lowlife hoodlums running amok in Portugal in pretence of supporting England.

I shall offer an Art of Football print – the Sunderland range can be seen here and is superb – to the newish Sunderland fans’ museum and am open to suggestions as to the school. If I receive more than one approach or recommendation, I shall draw a winning school at random (provided it broadly fits Richard’s geographical preference). Thank you, genetlemen …

Read moreSalut! Sunderland’s HAWAY award-winning entry and two noble gestures from Bristol Rovers and Walsall

Salut! Sunderland’s HAWAY awards: Bristol Rovers, Walsall and Rochdale take the honours

Jake: ‘thanks to all who participate’. Click this image to see all of this season’s interviews


The season is over and Sunderland couldn’t quite
get across the finishing line. But there were positives, says Monsieur Salut, despite the failure to achieve what everyone wanted and the club needed.

Salut! Sunderland‘s modest contributions to the season’s brighter aspects included a good deal of fine writing for which credit is due to Pete Sixsmith, Malcolm Dawson, John McCormick, Wrinkly Pete, Rob Hutchison, Bob Chapman, Paul Summerside, Bill Taylor, Lars Knutsen, John Marshall and whoever I have overlooked.

And then there were the Who are You? interviews, in-depth interviews with fans of opposing teams before each game.

Our fellow League One clubs proved a tremendous source of wit and wisdom as the interviews mounted up. It is now time to offer some rewards to those responsible for the best of them.

Read moreSalut! Sunderland’s HAWAY awards: Bristol Rovers, Walsall and Rochdale take the honours

The Salut! Sunderland Haway awards: Peterborough, Wycombe, Rochdale and Bristol Rovers in the running

Jake: ‘thanks to all who participate’. Click this image to see all of this season’s interviews


It has become
a bit of a stuck old gramophone record, Salut! Sunderland‘s pride in a tremendous season of Who are You? interviews with opposing supporters.

Judging is at an advanced stage for our HAWAYs – annual awards for Highly Articulate Who are You?s – and with only a couple of sets of votes still awaited, front-runners are emerging.

League One has been a goldmine for the series (not forgetting our cup-game interviewees from other divisions)

As Monsieur Salut put it when writing to the judges: “I could have put them all in a hat and drawn three at random, so good have so many of the interviews been.”

Read moreThe Salut! Sunderland Haway awards: Peterborough, Wycombe, Rochdale and Bristol Rovers in the running

Sixer’s Sevens: a good day for Sunderland at Rochdale, Burton and Luton

John McCormick writes:

do games get much closer than this? To come from 1-0 down to win 2-1 away, with a last minute goal from a captain who came on as a sub. And this on a day when Barnsley lost and Luton only managed a draw at home. And, if my maths is correct only Peterborough can deny us a playoff place. They need to win every game and overturn a 26 goal deficit to do it, though with results elsewhere going our way we’ll be looking to not need that chance.

Pete Sixsmith’s report will be here tomorrow with an introduction from Malcolm, who was also there, so that’s something not to be missed. Here’s a taster, in seven words, no more, no less – plus Jake’s essential scoreline banner …

Read moreSixer’s Sevens: a good day for Sunderland at Rochdale, Burton and Luton

The First Time Ever I Saw Your Ground: Rochdale and Spotland

John McCormick writes: My mam worked in a munitions factory during the war, so I suppose she was – “the girl who makes the thing that holds the oil that oils the ring that works the thing-ummy-bob that’s going to win the war.”

You might ask why I’m telling you this.

It’s because  Pete Sixsmith resumes his journey around football grounds and his “First Time” series with a visit to Rochdale, home not only of the Pioneers, Cyril Smith, Lisa Stansfield and a football ground once known as Spotland but also Gracie Fields, who sang some excruciating songs before heading off to Capri, much to my mam’s relief.

Over to Pete…..

Read moreThe First Time Ever I Saw Your Ground: Rochdale and Spotland