Sixer’s Sevens: SAFC 3 Aston Villa 1. Defoe ends drought, gives hope

Jake: Get in me bonnie lads!'
Jake: Get in me bonnie lads!’

Monsieur Salut writes: most of us were prepared to settle for a win however it came and this one came in an uneven way. The first half was a nerve-jangling affair as Aston Villa tormented Sunderland’s defence and threatened two or three times to take the lead. Patrick van Aanholt’s deflected shot gave us a somewhat undeserved lead. Thereafter we improved, especially after half time when – with the exception of a well taken but sloppily conceded equaliser – we dominated. Jermain Defoe’s classily finished goals made the difference and gave Sunderland the H word we cannot stand. Pete Sixsmith will be back with his measured view; this is his instant seven-word verdict …

Read moreSixer’s Sevens: SAFC 3 Aston Villa 1. Defoe ends drought, gives hope

SAFC v Aston Villa Who are You?: ‘all downhill since Martin O’Neill’

VillaH

First of all, a happy new year to all Salut! Sunderland readers. Kevin Hughes makes* a welcome return to the Who are You? hot seat to talk about his beloved but exasperating Aston Villa …

Kevin Hughes: 'it takes a worried man ...'
Kevin Hughes: ‘it takes a worried man …’

Read moreSAFC v Aston Villa Who are You?: ‘all downhill since Martin O’Neill’

Sunderland v Liverpool, Varga v McAllister: perhaps football’s finest dive

Jake: 'men versus men would be a good start'
Jake: ‘men versus men would be a good start’

Just a spot of fun with a serious subplot. Whenever Liverpool visit the Stadium of Light, it offers an opportunity to recall the most accomplished dive many of us have ever seen. And what is more, it worked, fooling a seasoned ref and gaining Liverpool a draw.

We’ll get on to Gary McAllister in a moment.

Read moreSunderland v Liverpool, Varga v McAllister: perhaps football’s finest dive

Liverpool ‘Who are You?’: Jordan, SAFC defensive woes and Celtic song-stealing

Dave Usher:
Dave Usher: ‘every Saturday night I get texts from my SAFC-supporting brother-in-law ripping into Shearer, Newcastle, Cheryl Cole and Ant & Dec and moaning about whatever crappy result you’ve had

Dave Usher is a Liverpool supporter with a Sunderland family connection, as you shall see. He runs The Liverpool Way fan site and is one of Monsieur Salut’s blogging colleagues at ESPN FC. He quite likes what he has seen of Jeremain Lens, used to rate Steven Fletcher and wants none of our centre backs for Liverpool …

Read moreLiverpool ‘Who are You?’: Jordan, SAFC defensive woes and Celtic song-stealing

Sunderland v Liverpool Guess the Score: can SAFC rise above their limitations?

Jake: 'men versus men would be a good start'
Jake: ‘men versus men would be a good start’

That slice of hopeful humanity known as Sunderland supporters will once again demonstrate monumental patience on Wednesday and troop through the Stadium of Light turnstiles to see what the Lads can muster versus Liverpool.

Perhaps some of us are too hard on them. They are professionals, broadly doing their jobs to the best of their abilities, individually and collectively.

Read moreSunderland v Liverpool Guess the Score: can SAFC rise above their limitations?

Sixer’s 12 Days of Christmas: SAFC’s Ho, Ho, Hos and No, No, Nos

Our star writer. Don't tell the children
Our star writer. Don’t tell the children

Only a few hours to go to Christmas, just over a week of 2015 left and we’re all in festive spirits. Aren’t we? Pete Sixsmith swears he heard someone say the beatings will continue until morale improves. But he’ll be there again on Saturday, and next Wednesday night and the Saturday after, clinging to the hope we cannot stand. For now, it seems fitting that a man who keeps the kiddies happy each year as Father Christmas should offer a seasonal contribution to the older Lads and Lasses who frequent these pages…

Read moreSixer’s 12 Days of Christmas: SAFC’s Ho, Ho, Hos and No, No, Nos

Manchester City v SAFC Who are You?: ‘Touré’s king, Sam gives hope’

David Mooney
David Mooney in the quiet end, March 2014

David Mooney, one of Monsieur Salut’s confrères at ESPN FC and also in the day job (news editor of news editor at Imagine FM), is a lifelong Manchster City fan. He is a published author on City and the creator of the Blue Moon Podcast. Fittingly, after we saw that sensational strike at the Emirates the other night, not to mention the other one against us at Wembley, he names Yaya Touré as the finest player he has seen in sky blue. He likes the success Abu Dhabi gold has brought his club, misses Maine Road a bit, likes Sunderland well enough whe we’re not winning 1-0 and thinks we may just about escape under Big Sam …

Read moreManchester City v SAFC Who are You?: ‘Touré’s king, Sam gives hope’

Is supporting Sunderland a waste of time and space?

M Salut, drawn by Matt, colouring by Jake
M Salut, drawn by Matt, colouring by Jake

Others have hauled me over the coals and I now accept I was probably too kind, as supersub for Pete Sixsmith’s Sixer’s Sevens, in stressing the late efforts to salvage a point at Chelsea.

My seven-worder, “Fought like tigers. Undone by woeful start”, was intended to convey both a spot of praise for the way we played in the last half hour at Stamford Bridge and exasperation at how badly we’d begun the game.

Read moreIs supporting Sunderland a waste of time and space?

Manchester City v SAFC Guess the Score: no cricket variations please

Forget our bleak midwinter .... happy Christmas all
Forget our bleak midwinter …. happy Christmas all


SALUT! SUNDERLAND wishes all readers, contributors, sponsors and advertisers a merry Christmas and a happy, healthy New Year. Thank you for your support …


It is difficult
to raise enough enthusiasm for something so trite as Guess the Score in a game most of us expect to lose and perhaps lose heavily.

But let’s try to keep the faith. There’s not much more Hope to be Unable to Stand and we’re all feeling pretty gloomy about our prospects, five points away from a position of safety already and a gap that seems certain to grow.

Read moreManchester City v SAFC Guess the Score: no cricket variations please

Kaboul stars but slow-start Sunderland fall short in the Chelsea library

Conflicting messages?
Conflicting messages?

ESPN FC has changed the way its Premier League bloggers reflect on each game. Now the post-match musings take the form of player ratings – marks out of 10 followed by descriptions that are a bit longer than Rob Hutchison’s one-worders at Salut! Sunderland.

Monsieur Salut
‘s report from the passionless corner of west London that is Stamford Bridge appears at http://www.espnfc.us/club/sunderland/366/blog/post/2764378/younes-kaboul-solid-for-sunderland-in-loss-at-chelsea. See if you agree with the ratings …

Read moreKaboul stars but slow-start Sunderland fall short in the Chelsea library