Southend Who are You? Marathon man hopes Jack Ross rests key Sunderland players

Ian Charnock: this one will run and run. Click his photo to see all the League One Who are You? interviews

Monsieur Salut writes: this was to have been our promotion party, the last game of the season with a return to the Championship already sealed or to play for. Well, we know what happened to that pipedream. Sunderland can improve their playoff position by winning, and gain a modest boost to morale in the process, but that is all.

For our last Who are You? interviewee for a league game, Ian Charnock*, it’s a question of survival. It is tight at the bottom with Bradford City already relegated but Ian’s team, Southend, one of five desperately trying to avoid the other three places.

We found Ian via the football site Over the Bar, for which he has written, and thank them for putting us in touch with him …. his excellent interview could be a late candidate for one of our HAWAYs (Highly Articulate Who are You? awards)

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Sixer’s Substitute’s Southend Soapbox: Sunderland leave Shrimpers high and dry

Sunderland 3 Southend United 0

Malcolm Dawson writes……don’t be deceived. This was no walk in the park, though we did finish the game as comfortable winners.

More comfortable than the Sunderland supporter who appeared on Friday’s edition of Mastermind, anyway. If you didn’t see it and want to catch up on the i-player I won’t spoil it for you but I managed to get 11 of the specialised questions right to his 12 and beat him on the General Knowledge round, though admittedly I was sat at home with a brew and not in the “chair of doom” with a spotlight and a studio audience focused on me.

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Sixer’s Southend Sevens: M Salut’s first visit, McGeady’s first goal (for a while)

John McCormick writes: As the only member of the Salut! brigade not at the match it’s left to me to mind the store.  No doubt M Salut will provide details of his trip in due course, and Pete Sixsmith will provide his normal match report, while Malcolm’s observations might come a little later but be all the more trenchant (look it up like I did) for that.

In the meantime, to keep us going, here’s Pete’s instant post match summary, in a seven word text that really says it all.

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The First Time Ever I Saw Your Team: Southend United

John McCormick writes: Southend, nope, I don’t think so. I’ve not seen them. This week’s Who Are You guest, Rhys Ellingham, wrote about us playing them in 06/07 but the only time I  got to the SOL that season was on 11th November, when we drew with Southampton, so I missed them by a good three months, just as I missed them on all their previous trips.

But, then, even Pete Sixsmith has missed one of their visits:

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‘SAFC for promotion, Southend to emulate Swansea and aim high’: The big Who are You?

Rhys Ellingham, the home-and-away Southend fan who became a club official

Monsieur Salut writes: it is not often we get a club official to sit in the ‘Who are You?’ hot seat but Rhys Ellingham*, head of commercial for Southend United, immediately agreed to answer our questions. Rhys says Sunderland won’t be the last big club to tumble through the divisions but predicts a rosier future – with a possible playoff place for his own club, which he believes will be capable, with a bigger new ground, of matching the rise of pre-relegation Swansea City. Read on …

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Sunderland vs Southend Guess the Score. Serve up another win against the Shrimpers

Maybe yes, maybe no

Should I offer a prize for the SAFC vs Southend United Guess the Score? Monsieur Salut asks himself the question and cannot decide. The prizeless Donny edition still attracted a healthy enough batch of entries and I am not yet recovered from my bout of skintness, a feeling many readers will know.

I think I shall keep you guessing, not only on the score in Saturday’s game against the Shrimpers but on whether the winner will get a mug.

If the game goes well for us, I may well relent; if we lose or only draw, only a mug should expect a gift in the post. That should serve as a tip for any Southend fan minded to enter: you’re most welcome but go for a home win scoreline if you actually want even a chance of winning a prize. Life can be unfair.

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Burton, Scunthorpe or Peterborough – who’ll join Sunderland, Barnsley, Charlton and Portsmouth?

UPDATE: we saw the poll had grown, improbably, to 11,000+ votes with Coventry way out in front on 26 per cent. Couldn’t blame Jimmy Hill this time but something was clearly up.  For the culprits, go to the Coventry site Sky Blues Talk    … but don’t get too cross as our lot would gladly have done the same to them. The poll, unsurprisingly, is suspended …

After Colin reposted our “who’s going up?” poll (on the left, below) in one of the Question and Answer sessions  with our owners there  was brief flurry of voting, as you might have expected given the number of visitors we had. And then things slowed down until, by the weekend, things were at a trickle, although votes were and are still coming in. Again, this was to be expected as the eyes of the football world were on Russia, where eight or nine ex-Sunderland players were taking part in the World’s most prestigious competition outside the Third Division. We now have over 800 votes cast, which is enough to be going on with, although Colin in his gut feeling poll, had almost as many when only one vote was allowed per person.

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Barnsley drop, Burton and Posh replace Luton and Scunthorpe, Walsall get off the bottom in our promotion poll.

When I first put this poll up, a mere week ago, I wrote

“this is predominantly a Sunderland site and we aren’t claiming results are totally unbiased… …Nevertheless, I think it’s fair to say that SAFC  fans have not been blindly optimistic.”

After only a week I would not able to add a lot to this statement, were it not for two things. The first is that the poll was tagged to promote it to all League One fans for over 24 hours before it was promoted on our facebook page and then on Colin’s subsequent posts on this site. This gave us a small (very small, as it happens) hint of what the whole of the League One fanbase might think. The second was that Colin’s own poll closed, with some findings we can bring to bear on this one.

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The bookies say Sunderland, Barnsley, Charlton, Portsmouth, Luton and Scunthorpe. What about you?

And so we have it: the fixtures are out. You’ll be getting your fill of dates, and conjecture from all over, no doubt, and enjoying the pre-season buzz of anticipation that it brings.

But when you’re tucked up under the sheets, reading Charles Buchan’s “Football Monthly” with a torch and reality bites, do you think you’ll win League One?

Or even get promoted?

If you do, please let us know. If you don’t, let us know who you think will make the grade.

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