SAFC 2 Stoke City 0: winning points outrageously

Image: addick.tedKevin

On top but wobbly. That was the essence of the text messages from the Stadium of Light. Great to secure three points, but television replays show just how wobbly it was …

Salut! Sunderland rattles on week after week about cheating and is among the first to whinge when appalling decisions cost Sunderland points.

Arsenal fans, some of them, came here in self-righteous indignation when, week after week, we asked opposing fans in our Who Are You? feature the Eduardo Question – essentially are you ashamed when one of yours cheats? Our questionnaire before each game still includes a question on the same subject.

But we cannot have it both ways, and we don’t.

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Stoke City’s man of letters: ‘Kenwyne was always one of ours’

Time, as we said, to move on. There’s another important game looming: SAFC v Stoke City on Saturday. Stephen Foster*, the author of two classics among “my club” football books (buy them at the best prices by clicking here), is another great capture for the Who Are You? series. Stoke through and through, he writes with the passion and wit that appeals to fans of other teams: look at the acclaim he won for She Stood There Laughing and the follow-up, on City’s first year back in the top flight, … And She Laughed No More. Welcome to Salut! Sunderland, Stephen (or Steve as he was for the first of those books thanks to a publisher’s error) …

Salut! Sunderland: you wrote our first question for us, Stephen: “What’s it like having half a side made out of Sunderland cast-offs representing Stoke City?” Apart from – or even including – Tommy and Kenwyne, is that how you see them?

No, not really, once you’ve got players they become yours, don’t they (unless you actively loathe them). But sometimes getting on for half our starting eleven have migrated from one set of red and white stripes to another which is a bit much: Tommy, Collins/Higginbotham, Deano, Rory, Kenwyne. The greatest contribution has come from Delap, no question, he was the key unit of the Pulis Method in the first Premier League season, at the outset of which, to be fair, everyone was predicting we’d ‘do a Derby’. The full backs are fine, the ‘keeper is solid, Whitehead is one of those players I just can’t see the point of. I think of Kenwyne a bit more as “one of ours” anyway since we had him on loan (from Southampton) for a couple of months in the Championship. He was the archetypal Bambi on Ice then; living up on Wearside certainly put some beef on him. He’s started off brilliantly, scoring in four consecutive games with his head, though he did have a muted and subdued match against Man United. We’ve been warned about that tendency from both your fans and your manager and I have to say he didn’t look up for it when he was confronted by the best centre back pairing he’s encountered so far in Ferdinand and Vidic. Vidic knocked him about which he didn’t seem to like. I wonder if he’ll do the curse of the ex against you…

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Life after Stoke-bound Kenwyne?


So the speculation – now confirmed by the club – is that Kenwyne Jones is on his way out of the Stadium of Light. Good thing, bad thing? We’ve promoted the story back to the top of the site because of the interest it has generated …

Looking back, we can allow ourselves to say what a shame we didn’t accept silly money from Spurs for Kenwyne Jones. The papers said £20m was offered. That may have been an exaggeration but certainly a great deal of money was at stake.

And odd flashes aside, what has he done for us since then?

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Who are you? Calling all Premier League clubs

Wigan wh hires

Before each Sunderland game, a fan of the opposing side previews the match. Sometimes it is an uphill struggle to find one supporter willing to do it; other weeks we end up with two or three and feel dutybound to use them all. Now for the limited payback: our annual awards for the best of them (and read on if you want to take part in the 2010-11 season) …

Salut! Sunderland announces its second annual Who Are You? competition, in which we honour fans of other clubs who have contributed the best answers to the questions we set ahead of each game.

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Sympathy for Aaron Ramsey

Salut! Sunderland joins all real football fans – including the Stoke City supporters who showed their own decency tonight – in wishing Aaron Ramsey the strongest, fullest and fastest recovery possible from the horrible injury he suffered in Arsenal’s victory at the Britannia stadium.

It was a really bad challenge by Ryan Shawcross, who was rightly shown a straight red card.

But I am not convinced there was a shred of malice in that challenge. There was clearly a lot of recklessness, however. Shawcross himself seemed to acknowledge this, pausing on his tearful way from the field to offer apologies to Ramsey.

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Who are you? We’re Stoke City


Sunderland fans take heart. Since we lost at Stoke – and many, many other places since – Simon Northwood, a City fan also known as Northy* of the Rip Roaring Potters website and lead singer of Sounds of an Asylum, has altered his view of where his club will finish (132th instead of 12th) but still thinks we’ll be 11th. Sorry, pal, but we’ll need to do better than draw with you (your prediction) on Monday if that is still on the cards …

Salut! Sunderland:
You’re having another decent season, better – as I write – than ours. Explain!

It’s funny because there has been plenty of discontent throughout the support regarding the way we have been going at things but as usual Pulis and the lads are doing the business and the table doesn’t lie. I think there is plenty more to come from these boys so I expect a decent run in as well.

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As Stoke’s SAFC “rejects” shine, the message is clear: cheer us Stevie Bruce


Very well, reject is a harsh word.

But take a good look at the line-up fielded by Stoke City yesterday before the excellent 3-1 FA Cup win over Arsenal:

Thomas Sorensen, Danny Higginbotham, Robert Huth, Ryan Shawcross, Danny Collins, Glenn Whelan, Dean Whitehead, Rory Delap (Salif Diao, 85), Matthew Etherington (Danny Pugh, 90), Ricardo Fuller (Sanli Tuncay, 85), Mamady Sidibe

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