John McCormick writes: Some time in the sixties I can remember congratulating a group of Baggies in the Fulwell end after WBA had undergone a terrific cup run. Since then we’ve both experienced the highs and lows that come with supporting also-rans. Most recently we’ve been on the up and they’ve been yo-yos. Are circumstances changing once more? Back from The Hawthorns, Pete Sixsmith gives us his opinion:
Sixer’s Fulham Soapbox: false dawn or just a blip? Let the readers decide
Malcolm Dawson writes: to me yesterday was a microcosm of life as a Sunderland supporter. The mood around the ground was one of excitement and anticipation of a new season ahead. The early signs were positive. It was apparent that the new players had qualities their replacements lacked and the attack minded approach was refreshing after the dross of recent seasons. As the half time whistle blew there was nothing to dampen the optimism, except perhaps that despite the pressure and dominance the Fulham goal was rarely threatened. That those hopes were dashed by an opposition snatch and grab and that the subsequent resignation of those around me that defeat was on the cards summed up my 49 years of following The Lads. But I was encouraged by the approach and what is undoubtedly a stronger squad than the one that finished last season. Peter Sixsmith can appreciate my view but asks the readership whether this is justified or just more false optimism …
Adieu Mignolet, now of Liverpool. Sess and Catts to follow him out of the door?
Salut! Sunderland is famously cautious about transfer speculation. Sometimes, there is no need for caution and absolutely no need to wait for the club’s traditional dawdle towards making a proper announcement.
With Simon Mignolet, the writing was on the wall from the moment the season finished, if not earlier, and we felt perfectly able to comment on his likely departure. His agent did make some ambiguous comments that seemed at odds with the truth, long after Liverpool had quite obviously begun the process of securing our keeper’s services. But then his agent has form, as indeed do most agents. What Is An Agent For? might make a good title for a Lower Sixth essay.
The Newcastle-Sunderland Soapbox: high times, low life
The scoreline bears repeating over and again: Newcastle United 0 Sunderland 3. It was a wonderful team performance and it seems beyond belief that Alan Pardew should place such store by the wrongly disallowed Newcastle goal when Howard Webb had spared his side two, perhaps three first-half penalties, the likelihood of an early Sess goal and a sending off. It also seems beyond belief that in 2013, humanity can still find enough zero-intelligence specimens to beat up a city centre, their own city centre at that though it wouldn’t actually make it seem more civilised had their spite been vented somewhere else, because a football game has been emphatically lost. Pete Sixsmith offers the right mixture of high praise and schoolmasterly scorn …
Paolo’s Pow-Wow: Newcastle Utd 0 SAFC 3 – ‘my perfect warriors’
Not for nearly half a century has there been precisely this scoreline from St James’ Park though we remember or know about the later 4-1 variation. That was Gary Rowell’s game. This was Stephane Sessegnon’s. It was a truly outstanding performance in a team display that had many very good ones. Paolo Di Canio can bound up and down the technical area as much as he wishes when celebrating events such as these. This is his verdict on a mighty and mightily important win …
McCormick’s Craic: putting a value on Steven Fletcher
John McCormick loves his stats. After his theorising on the importance of goal difference in ensuring Premiership survival, he now …
Wishing Sess and teammates Happy Christmas, happier Boxing Day versus Man City
Stéphane Sessegnon had not long joined Sunderland from Paris Saint-Germain when Monsieur Salut first sent him greetings from the home of his club before PSG, Le Mans.
The Lars Word: let’s have some New Year’s resolution lads!
God Jul, Glaedelic Jul, Feliz Navidad, Joyeux Noel, Feliz Natal, Kala Christouyenna, Sawadee Pee Mai, Nollaig Chridheil dhuibh, Nollaig Shona …
Salut’s Week: Rose wants out of Spurs, Steed scores in France
Stephen Goldsmith writes: I was slightly confused when I was asked this morning if I had done the Salut! Sunderland’s week review.The requisition e-mail was always there as it happens, but akin to an opportunity for Titus Bramble to clear the ball sufficiently in the danger area, it must have passed me by. There may be more on Bramble next week in Salut! Reflections, as the gaffer’s (Martin O’Neill, not Colin Randall) newly found confidence in the player is either some sort of delusional utterance or a genius method of motivation. Saturday will begin the judgement of which.
Salut! Reflections: Rose’s desire to leave Spurs, Sessegnon’s form questioned
Stephen Goldsmith writes: Recent discussions between Monsieur Salut and myself concluded that this feature could be a functional way of giving contributors a topical voice. I say discussion, Monsieur may suggest it was more a one-sided pitch akin to Tony Soprano’s boys popping round for a chat. Monday in itself provided plenty of material for debate but I held back to try and maybe do a summary at the week’s end. Since then, it has been reported that James McFadden is training with the club and I’m going to ignore suggestions from Mr O’Neill that he plans to move Craig Gardner back into midfield, in the hope that it was my imagination that I read it in the first place.