Dodgy award goes Stoke City’s way

Each month, if we remember, we make a modest award to the supporter of another club who has impressed most with his or her answers to the “Who are You?” questionnaire …

Salut! Sunderland likes to cause the odd surprise.

Looking back over the “Who are You?” contributions from opposing supporters in February, we were – as often – spoilt for choice.

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Pity Wolves: from lip-licking predators to howling failures

By now, most of us have probably heard, read and/or written as much about Stoke City v SAFC as we can take. Time to move on, and to spare a thought for our old manager Mick McCarthy. Bill Taylor, pictured with the Germany coach Joachim Low during a recent trip to Stuttgart (surely not a mission to poach Low to Molineux) wonders how poor old Wolves can be languishing at second bottom …

This is far from an original thought but… funny old game, football.

Consider, for instance, the top seven teams in the Premiership: ManU, Arsenal, ManCity, Chelsea, Spurs, Liverpool and Sunderland.

Now consider the position of a club that’s beaten five of those sides so far this season – everyone but Arsenal and Spurs – coming back from a very early goal deficit on Saturday to nail Brandchester United 2-1.

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Stoke Soapbox: blinded by the truth


In common with most parts of the media, and an overwhelming majority of neutral onlookers other blinkered SAFC supporters, Salut! Sunderland may have gained or given the impression that Stoke’s tactics on Saturday were not only ugly but bordered on thuggery of a kind that Mr Lee Probert ought to have noticed and punished. It has now been drawn to our attention that far from being a bunch of ruffians whose priority is to crowd, obstruct, push and restrain the opposing goalkeeper at set pieces, they are standard-bearers for football’s Corinthian spirit and the aesthetic joys of the sport at its best. Sunderland fans, in particular, reek of sour grapes and are just jealous because Rory Delap never put in a menacing long throw in his time at their club. We therefore apologise unreservedly to Mr Tony Pulis and the players, staff and supporters of Stoke City.

Now let Pete Sixsmith embrace the mood of contrition …

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Stoke 3 SAFC 2 Observed: blemishes on the beautiful game

Mark Eltringham, our Stoke City previewer, is indignant. Why, he thunders, didn’t we mention Lee Cattermole’s great escape at the Stadium of Light? We did, Mark; see “Sorry Stoke, for once we carried the luck“. Salut! Sunderland is an honest sort of site. And Pete Sixsmitb gave another burst of honesty when The Observer asked for his thoughts on yesterday’s match. First, though, the verdict from another Stoke fan …

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Steve Bruce: soft Stoke goals, soft officials

The boss has sent me his usual post-match e-mail; he wasn’t impressed with the refereeing either – but he did realise that his own defence needed a rocket for the sloppiness that cost us all the points …

Dear Colin

It’s so disappointing to lose in that manner and it’s a big kick in the teeth considering how well we played.

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Unwise to talk about backing the other side? You bet …

Our shadowy Birflatt Boy is quick to respond to the rotten question of whether it is ever Ok to bet on your team losing …

M Salut’s article on betting against your team – click here – prompted Birflatt to think of other dilemmas that anyone could potentially face by doing nothing worse than supporting their team.

Now Birflatt wouldn’t condone anyone betting against Sunderland in any circumstances other than those where the wager is intended to cover the costs of an away trip down to London, for example, and where the bitter taste of defeat is accentuated by the trip costing half a week’s wages.

A few seasons back when Peter Crouch was playing for Liverpool, they were drawn to play Chelsea in the semi-finals of the Champions League.

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Stoke Who are You?: ‘dirty, negative jibes are just dull’

The disappointment of Chelsea must be put firmly behind us. Saturday’s game at Stoke assumes real importance if we are serious about being a top six sort of club. We didn’t get Fuller and they’re still jam-packed with former Sunderland players (and beginning to whinge about the off-on form of one Kenwyne Jones).

Mark Eltringham* – recommended to us as a “wry, bitter, and cynical” City fan whose thoughts sometimes grace the pages of the Stoke Sentinel – provided answers to surely every question you’d expect a Sunderland supporter to throw at Stoke fan and, having predicted a draw (see below), added after this week’s defeat at Liverpool: “I think after tonight, you’re a must win game for us. Not good and the natives are restless.” …

Salut! Sunderland:
Annoying, dirty, negative are among the adjectives I have seen recently to describe Stoke City. Water off a duck’s back or really quite wounding?

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Soapbox: sorry, Stoke – for once we carried the luck

Pete Sixsmith emerges from a rotten post-derby week to watch our uneasy passage back to winning ways. Before treating the upcoming two games – which would have involved unappealing trips to London – as reason enough for a half-term holiday from his Soapbox, Pete looks back on the good, the bad and the ugly of Saturday’s display – and wonders whether letting Steed take a penalty was someone’s idea of a practical joke …

That has been a bloody awful week and I won’t ever go through another one like it. The repercussions of that humiliation are not over and won’t be until the subject of season ticket renewal comes up in April. A lot needs to be done to convince the likes of me that a regular seat is worth it.

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