The blessed and the damned: ‘SAFC, Crystal Palace and one other for drop’

The Observer asked fans of the bottom seven clubs to say who would go down and who would survive. Perhaps to no great surprise, all seven – our own Pete Sixsmith included – said Sunderland would drop. Pete did allow for another possible great escape but without much confidence. Everyone apart from the Palace supporter thought they were doomed, too, with the votes for the third team divided between Hull, Boro and Leicester .

Here are Pete’s responses. (You can see the article in full at this link.)

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Pop goes Wrinkly Pete again, charting SAFC’s escape even without beating Stoke

Peter Lynn, aka Wrinkly Pete

Peter Lynn dips back into his collection of dodgy old hits for inspiration as he does some back-of-envelope calculations on what David Moyes needs from the second half of the season if Sunderland are yet again to avoid the drop. He even allows for the unthinkable, losing at home to Stoke on Saturday , as he steers us to safety…



I’m sending out an SOS, ‘cos I’m in so much distress

So sang Edwin Starr on his hit Stop Her On Sight and I am hoping that I will not feel the same as I begin my four-hour drive home, post match on Saturday.

If David Moyes, pre-match on Saturday, can get his team to realise that this is War, another of Starr’s hits, then we might get a win and make a further small (?) step towards safety.

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Hutch’s Patch: some grumpy Sunderland ratings from Swansea

Jake: 'normal service is resumed'
Jake: ‘normal service is resumed’

Rob Hutchison dictated his one-word ratings to his daughter Olivia as they returned, subdued, from south-west Wales. ‘He’s rather grumpy,’ she reports. Both worried the poor performanced represented a ‘return to type’ – but both heartily praised supporters of both sides for the Bradley Lowery chant on five minutes: ‘brought tears to my eyes,’ though it’s not clear if those eyes were Rob’s, Olivia’s or from both …

As for the players, only Pickford and Papy picked up decent marks from Rob.

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Sixer’s Sevens: Swansea 3-0 Sunderland. Soundly beaten, a severe setback


Monsieur Salut writes: Still no Pete Sixsmith absent on his reindeer dressed in Santa’s red and white, so it’s another emergency seven-worder, this time from me. It was a drab first half with Jermain Defoe carving out the best chance of the half, but failing to provide a suffciently accurate finish, and even the second best, when Billy Jones had a menacing run on goal only to avoid shooting and try to set up Defoe or Larsson, who seemed to get in each other’s way. But Swansea had greater possession and worried us from set pieces. After the interval, Denayer quickly conceded a wholly unnecessary penalty, raising his arms to a cross, and a few minutes later, it was two when no defender could get to a low corner. Sunderland occasionally huffed and puffed, as they had in short spells before, but more often looked liked conceding more than getting back into the game. To no great surprise, a third Swansea game came. An unimpressive, error-strewn display devoid of sharpness dumps us back in bottom place and the pressure is back on …

Jake: catch Sixer's instant seven-word verdicts throughout the season
Jake: catch Sixer’s instant seven-word verdicts throughout the season

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M’Villain of the piece: (1) do we blame Sunderland, Rubin Kazan or the player?

Lost to Sunderland
Lost to Sunderland

As Salut! Sunderland‘s deputy editor, Malcolm Dawson, put it in a comment on these pages late last night, the end of Sunderland’s hopes of bringing back Yann M’Vila – from Russia with the love of so many of our supporters – represents the loss of a player of known quality.

Martin Bain, SAFC chief executive, explains: “I was contacted this week by M’Vila’s representatives, who advised that the player no longer wishes to join Sunderland.

“There was a three-and-a-half-year agreement in place, however after discussions with the manager we have decided not to enforce the contract. Any player that we bring to Sunderland Football Club must be wholly committed.

“Yann M’Vila will therefore not be joining us in January and we wish him well for the future.”

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Swansea vs Sunderland ‘Who are You?’: on Moyes, Bradley and missing Ashley

Ian James at the final Premier League game at Upton Park, won 4-1 by Swansea: ‘how we could do with a performance or two like that nowadays’

Saturday brings another game of huge importance, a chance for Sunderland to continue the encouraging recent revival but against opponents as desperate as us for points. Ian James is a Swansea City supporter and also the sort of football enthusiast the game needs: ‘profoundly deaf’, as he put it in our e-mail exchanges, he was the co-founder of the club’s Disabled Supporters’ Association, from which he is about to step down as chairman. Ian gives some straight-to- the-point responses to our questions ..

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Swansea City v SAFC Guess the Score: the heat’s on, temperature reduced

Jake: 'four out of five? or is that asking too much?'
Jake: is ‘four out of five’ asking too much?’

Roll up for another prize (see below) Guess the Score, Swansea City versus Sunderland …

Had we lost at Bournemouth, drawn against Hull and failed to beat Leicester, the visit to Swansea would have had “must win” written all over it.

But we didn’t. We won all three and there was even a smidgeon of honour in defeat at Anfield.

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Looking beyond Leicester to SAFC’s Swansea prospects

Source: Wikipedia
Source: Wikipedia


Most of us are currently looking no further than Saturday’s visit from last season’s unexpected (but welcome) champions Leicester City. It is game Sunderland really need to win. But even the mighty boost to morale that a victory would bring would then subside if we went to Swansea a week later and fell to fellow strugglers. With that in mind, a new writer to us, Rachel Johnson*, looks at what the experts are making of that trip to South Wales … 

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Sunderland v Crystal Palace prize Guess the Score. Duck-breaking time?

Jake: 'M Salut is dishing out enough mugs to be sure of going broke'
Jake: ‘M Salut is dishing out enough mugs to be sure of going broke’

Let’s throw another mug into the ring and hope it doesn’t shatter into many pieces.

A prize Salut! Sunderland mug – design to suit the allegiance of the winner so Palace fans can enter – is on offer for the Palace game. No one was correct on the QPR score (except our QPR interviewee, John Crowley, and he didn’t post his prediction in the Guess the Score slot.)

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The ‘Who are You?’ Awards frontrunners: West Brom, Tottenham … and Exeter

Jake: 'with thanks to all opposing fans who participate'
Jake: ‘with thanks to all opposing fans who participate’

It is that time of year. Salut! Sunderland is preparing to make its annual HAWAY awards, honouring the best of our “Who are You?” interviewees among opposing supporters. The interviews ahead of each match often reach the highest standards (the answers, I mean with due modesty, not the questions) and we are delighted to offer awards to the best as voted by our panel of judges.

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