Sixer’s Sevens: Blackpool prove a rock too hard to crack for 10-man SAFC

Monsieur Salut writes: Pete Sixsmith was doubtless relieved to be on Santa duty and not at the Stadium of Light when, minutes after Barnes and Benno had talked of the first goal being crucial to Sunderland, the mood of the crowd and Phil Parkinson’s future, Blackpool duly took a fourth-minute lead.

Wyke got the equaliser after 37 minutes (Barnes wasn’t sure he knew much about how it went in) and the play, generally, appears to have been less dire than in recent weeks. As most will realise, that is not saying a great deal and there is little to suggest Parky is about to lead SAFC on a charge up the table.

George Dobson managed to get himself sent off, making the search for a winner more challenging. And it didn’t come, though at least we did not succumb at the other end against such mighty opposition. The asterisk preceding the seven-word verdict shows it to be a contingency offering, from me, and not from the absent Sixer Santa …



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The end of an era. Salut! Sunderland’s journey will soon be over

ESSENTIAL UPDATE: please see this link – – to find oiut what . is happening to the site



Monsieur Salut, aka Colin Randall, has a personal message for the valued readers of Salut! Sunderland …

All good things come to an end. Or so it is said.

Whether Salut! Sunderland is seen as a good thing can be left to others to judge. But it looks very much as if it is coming to an end.

After very nearly 13 years, in which time the site has been visited more than 4.2 million times (that’s using a statistical counter installed some time after our launch so the true figure is higher), I have decided I can no longer devote the time I consider necessary to maintain the high standards we have consistently aimed to achieve. Salut! Sunderland will not be regularly updated after Dec 31 2019 and may not be updated at all. Some time is left in the hosting agreement with GoDaddy and the site will still be visible until that ends. A sleeping but doomed beauty is my fanciful description..

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The Chapman Report from Shrewsbury: ‘sort out the lack of clean sheets or else’

Jake: ‘another step backwards’

Salut! Sunderland regrets that it is still not possible to post comments because of a technical problem we are trying to resolve</strong >

Monsieur Salut writes: I was there and may have something to say. Likewise John Marshall. But Sunderland match reports from Bob Chapman, who just cannot ditch that home-and-away habit, are always welcome. Here’s what Bob made of another disappointing SAFC away day …

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Sunderland vs Tranmere Rovers: hoping for that delayed new manager bounce

Jake: ‘no messing this time … please’

NB: our technical problems have not been completely fixed. Readers cannot post comments. We are working on this.

In the meantime, you can always have your say on anything that appears here, or for that matter any SAFC topics which do not, at Salut! Sunderland’s Facebook group.  Click on any of the preceding four words. If you are told that you need to join the group, you can do so easily. Approval is very quick.

In the Premier League, we moaned as Sunderland put in one rotten display after another. In the Championship, it was the same as, far from pushing for immediate promotion, we disintegrated as a side and almost as a club.

Last season, we whinged about all those draws. Yet we reached Wembley twice and nearly got back up again, gifted an own goal in the opening minutes of the playoff final only to devise a way of losing.

And this season, we find ourselves with a new manager rather earlier in the season than appeared in the script. And in 10th place after more rotten displays, most recently a 1-0 defeat at mighty Wycombe Wanderers.

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The Chapman Report from Wycombe: ‘so lacking in threat that with Ross, it would have turned nasty’

Bob Chapman: not a great day out

Monsieur Salut writes: abject apologies to all our readers. A technical issue shut us down for a while but we now appear to be at least on our way back to normality. Bob Chapman once again filled Sixer’s boots in style and ought to have a cheerful match report to offer. But hey, this is – as we well know only took well – Sunderland. Phil Parkinson can hardly be blamed having been in charge for only three days. Where we go from here – a lowly 10th – is anyone’s guess …

With the knowledge that there was a south of Lincoln match embargo in operation, I contacted Pete
to find out who was going to do the match report from Wycombe.

He informed me that he was in Prague with an ex Ferryhill colleague of ours, Peter Malkin and would I mind volunteering for the task.

Thinking that this was the start of a new era I readily confirmed that I would be more than happy to oblige as there would undoubtedly be plenty of positives to report back on.

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Sunderland’s likely new owners. A Premier League return is the aim

Salut! Sunderland, like most supporters, has no special insider knowledge of the reportedly imminent conclusion of negotiations with the would-be new owners of Sunderland AFC, says Monsieur Salut.

I have been too busy to badger my old colleague Charlie Methven and Charlie would have been too busy or too cautious to shed much light if badgered. As my granddaughter would say, “how are we supposed to know?”.

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Salut! Sunderland welcomes Lee Burge, competition for Jon McLaughlin

Conor McLaughlin, courtesy of

Fans, understandably,
look at new signings and, if a player is coming on a free transfer, feel underwhelmed and wonder whether progress is actually being made.

Long experience has taught Monsieur Salut to avoid rash judgements just because July starts without any major new additions. On that wretched but sometimes useful thing that is social media (beware, Trump’s there a lot), there are already early signs of concern, dismay and even panic among Sunderland supporters. Trump hasn’t yet expressed a view.

But Lee Burge, a goalkeeper newly released by Coventry City. arrives at the SoL as stand-in and competition – PLEASE, not as a replacement – for the excellent Jon Mclaughlin. He and Conor McLaughlin, a full back from Millwall, appear to be Jack Ross’s choices and for as long as we keep the faith in Ross, we must trust his judgement.

And come what may, Burge and McLaughlin – their photos appear by courtesy of
deserve and get the traditional Salut! Sunderland welcome.

Lee Burge, courtesy of

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Peterborough United vs Sunderland: the stakes are high

There IS a prize and you know what it is

We did what was necessary against Doncaster Rovers. We are still masters of our own destiny. But that could change if we falter against Posh.

With so few games left, there is no further leeway. The results of others have to be matched. If they are, we go up automatically, without the ordeal of playoffs.

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Hopeless ref, ruffian Wycombe opponents maybe. But should Sunderland stop looking for excuses?

First of all, I was not there. I have no first-hand idea of whether Lee Swabey is a model referee, a man who leaves each game with head rightly held high, or a disgrace, the worst of a bad bunch allowed to officiate the third tier of English football. Or somewhere in between.

There wasn’t even Barnes and Benno to guide me. Sometimes I cannot locate the link and others direct me to it. Yesterday, that “audio commentary” prompt at did not display itself at its usual top left corner spot, whatever screen or browser I tried. The club site was having its own problems and kept apologising for the shortcomings of its text commentary.

But there is powerful consensus among the SAFC fans contributing to social media, and the more measured North-eastern football writers who tweets and report I see, that Mr Swabey was not up to yesterday’s task.

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Ross and McGeady: deserving Sunderland winners

Jack Ross, eyes wide open

We do plenty for each other, SAFC and Salut! Sunderland, so no one will mind if we simply record the EFL League One Player/Manager of the Month awards – both going our way – by reference to the official club site. Jack Ross said the award to Aiden McGeady was a ‘no brainer’ and few who have seen his compelling technique in recent weeks would disagree; Ross himself deserves immense credit for moulding a viable League One squad that is just a whisper away from an automatic promotion place and – sorry to remind our churlish dissenter, ‘Brian’ – has reached a Wembley final for which every ticket will be sold.

As good as it gets it League One?

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