Villa, Sunderland, Newcastle? Norwich, Swansea or Bournemouth? Not Watford, and ha’way Leicester

John McCormick:
John McCormick: let’s drink to next season

John McCormick writes: there’s no Premier League football this weekend, so it’s another chance to take stock and update my “relegation watch” series. If you’re new to the series and want to see how it began, or if you want to refresh your memory, you can try this link)

By now regulars should be familiar with the first graph. It dates from the close of the summer transfer window and shows our readers’ choices for the relegation spots.  I’m putting it in once more so you can remind yourself how closely it resembles reality or, alternatively, so you can work out just what the clubs have to do to prove our readers right by the end of the season. If that’s too difficult you can jump to the end, where I’ve made it simple for you.

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Swansea City v SAFC Who are You?: ‘we love an in-form Ki’

Unanimity: from the Facebook page of a previous Swansea interviewee, Jim White
Unanimity: we never tire of using this photo of Swansea fans, taken at a Wembley playoff, originally found on Jim White’s Facebook page

Jim White*, vice-chairman of the Swans Trust and the man behind and, is one of Salut! Sunderland‘s established friends. This is not his first visit to the Who are You? chair. But his thoughts are always fresh and always appreciated, even when – as now – he foresees the worst for us. Ahead of Swansea v Sunderland, Jim detects similarities between our clubs and is happy to declare a soft spot for SAFC. There’s some kiss and tell, too: he reveals why Mrs White No 1 is no longer Mrs White. And you can come back tomorrow to see what our own Pete Sixsmith told Jim’s site …

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Swansea v SAFC Guess the Score: and two competitions produced one winner

Jake: 'anything Oxford can do ....'
Jake: ‘anything Oxford can do ….’

Monsieur Salut writes: this is indeed the Swansea City v Sunderland AFC Guess the Score. From this game onwards, temporarily at least, we revert to ‘for fun only’. We will still come up with competitions whenever sponsors appear on the scene and it goes without saying that any reader who knows a potential candidate/business should get in touch. And in the meantime, have a go anyway …

We asked you to Guess the Score in the Arsenal FA Cup match, with a prize at stake for the last time unless and until a new sponsor comes along to replace Personalised Football Gifts, who depart with our thanks for generous past support (see

And before that we asked you to let us know what we are doing well, what we could do better and what we shouldn’t be doing at all at Salut! Sunderland. To mark last week’s milestone – the three millionth hit since the site was launched eight years ago – we persuaded another supplier, Classic Football Shirts, to come up with a prize for the best response.

We have a winner to announce. And without trace of a fix, the same reader has won both prizes.

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Diving for glory. Is blaming foreigners jingoistic piffle, or sadly spot-on?

Tom Webb
Tom Webb

Salut! Sunderland has been banging on for years about diving, the feigning of injury, unprofessional attempts by players to get opponents booked or sent off and other forms of cheating. The issue is raised with every “Who are You?” interviewee and I can think of only one or two who said too much fuss was made of it.

But should we really accept that British players are largely blameless, or that they were until they caught the nasty habits of Johnny Foreigner?

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