Monsieur Salut wrote: the old ones are not always the best, but our current plight – described with melancholy beauty in Pete Sixsmith’s report of Sunderland 0-4 Southampton – and the poor health suffered by a friend prompted me to dig out this piece, first published in November 2008.
The original article began with some references to racist behaviour, happily rare and irrelevant to today’s situation, so I will skip them here. The rest seems all too applicable now, though I have slightly edited it.
Fill in the gaps from your own experiences (mass walk-outs, instant social media responses etc have become features of some supporters’ lives since this posting first appeared) of following SAFC through thick, thin and thinner. And please get better Graham Noble, friend, former colleague and the subject of the final anecdote …
Jake sent a message with the graphic on the left:
“Another false dawn is snuffed out.”
Is there any hope?
David Moyes suggests there is, other results suggest there may be.
But, for the real truth, there’s only one place to go. Pete Sixsmith – he’s seen it all, he knows what’s what.
Over to Pete:
John McCormick, feeling really let down and thankful he didn’t go, writes:
The boys fly off to the States this week. If you were Donald Trump would you let them in?
And if they get in who do you hope stays there?
It doesn’t sound as if we were destroyed in David Moyes’s post match missive. He thinks we didn’t deserve to be 2-0 down at half time. But we were, and we did:
John McCormick writes: We do make it difficult, don’t we? But have we made it impossible? Results elsewhere may mean we haven’t but, really, we can’t live in the Premiership with a team that provides, to quote Pete Sixsmith, in exactly seven words:
“Another embarrassment that sorely tests our patience”
In fact, we have to admit we were:
John McCormick writes: The weekend starts today, with the bike pump coming out and the casey being inflated. Once that’s done the dubbin’s taken down from the shelf and rubbed in, and then some of the dubbin goes onto the boots as well. A quick check of the studs while we’re at it, do any new ones need to be nailed in?
After that comes a personal grooming check – is there enough brilliantine to make sure the short back and sides doesn’t get in the way during the game? It wouldn’t do to miss that crucial header because your quiff fell down.
Are we meeting Southampton at the right part of the season? Are they far enough up the league to be relaxed and not inclined to fight as hard as some more desperate clubs might? Will they be distracted by Wembley and not focused on their immediate game?
Somehow, I don’t think so. They’re a well-run, professional club and the manager knows what he’s doing. But, even so, we must have a chance.
However, today’s well informed guest, Alex Crook, doesn’t think we’ll win. He predicts a no-score draw.
What else does he think? Find out for yourself as he fills the hot seat on this week’s “Who Are You?”
Monsieur Salut writes:
There is already a Guess the Score prize competition running for SAFC v Tottenham at this link. Check it out if you haven’t already.
Tomorrow (Sunday) I leave on holiday, entrusting the safe stewardship of the site to Malcolm, John, Pete and Jake in the knowledge that there will also be a steady stream of first-rate contributions from Wrinkly Pete, Bob Chapman, Ken Gambles and so many more, who will have the foresight to send their words to email@example.com as well as to me.
And for the small matter of taking nine points from the three games in my absence on holiday, I leave the club in the safe hands of David Moyes and our splendid players, who will naturally be welcoming some top new colleagues before Wednesday.
No fewer than 1,228 of the 21,460 crowd on a Wednesday night at St Mary’s were in the away end and you can bet a few more Sunderland supporters were dotted around other parts of the ground. And for what? Rob Hutchison was among them and can tell you it wasn’t much: ‘Sterile, tame performance. Did any of the players want it? Sideways, misplaced passing all night long.’ Quite simply Sunderland, bottom the league without a win or – it increasingly seems – a hope, do not deserve this extraordinary support. Here are Rob’s one-word ratings …
John McCormick writes: Just before he slid on to the team coach for the long journey home (having exerted his authority and taken the whole of the back seat so he could kip) our manager penned a letter to M Salut (and maybe one or two others). M Salut, generous fellow that he is, kindly let me see it but told me to keep it to myself.
How could I do that?
So here it is, but don’t let on where it came from
Monsieur Salut writes: I rely tonight on Benno and Barnes who acclaimed Sofiane Boufal’s wonder goal that beat us, praised Djilobodji for perhaps his best game since signing, considered Ndong ‘awful’ and agreed our first touch and passing were generally poor. No Pete Sixsmith this time so it is a substitute Seven …