It’s been a few years since I’ve done a timely review of Deloitte’s “Money League”, which usually comes out in January or February (it was January this year).
But when there’s a battle to be fought there’s not much room, time or inclination to give some thought to a little piece of meaningless self-publicity, which is what the Deloitte Money League is, entertaining though it may be.
Another international weekend, another look at the bottom of the table. And, yes, we’re still there. In fact, looking at the numbers, it looks very much as if we’ll be there until the bitter end.
We didn’t want supporters of any of the shortlisted clubs to feel left out. They were omitted from the heading of today’s earlier announcement of the start of the process for Salut! Sunderland‘s annual HAWAY awards for the opposing fans who gave us the best interviews this season. This second bite at the cherry completes the shortlist: 13 interviews, 12 clubs (there are two Man Utd nominees).
And we have our first prize sponsor lined up: our pals at the half-decent football magazine When Saturday Comes are putting up a year’s subscription, for which we are very grateful as will be its recipient. With just two more ‘Who are You?’ interviews to be published, the final results should be available soon after the season ends – with SAFC, we hope, still in the Premier League…
Salut! Sunderland announces the annual HAWAY awards for the opposing fans who gave us the best interviews this season. Only two to publish, so results should be available soon after the season ends. The first sponsorship comes from our old friends at the half-decent football magazine When Saturday Comes – a year’s subscription – for which we are very grateful …
It’s the bit that makes all the effort involved tracking down Who are You? interviewees worthwhile.
The Haway awards – made each season for the best of our Highly Articulate Who are You? features – are back.
John McCormick writes: How did we do at Swansea last season? I, and everyone here, will no doubt have forgotten, or will no doubt want to. So, with today providing a measure of our progress how do you feel? Personally, I’m happy. But is our manager?
Let’s see what he says as M Salut shares with us the e-mail Gus crafted specially for him, and perhaps a few chosen others, with the hope there’s nothing lost in translation:
If you want confirmation of the popular view that Cabral’s exclusion from PDC, Bally and now Poyet teams is a scandal, this is not the place to be. Pete Sixsmith caught him, and Modibo Diakité, in an Under 21s game at the Stadium of Light on Saturday. And body language told him they must be ruing the day their agents mentioned the word Sunderland …
The inquest goes on. Andy Nichol* regularly offers his wise, challenging thoughts on all matters SAFC at the Blackcats e-mail loop. Monsieur Salut invited him to share with Salut! Sunderland readers his assessment of the Swansea debacle and the appalling mess in which the club finds itself. He urges Gus Poyet to make a radical shift in team selection, starting with more use of the famous 14 summer recruits and some overdue Gardner leave for our talkative but error-prone midfielder …
I think it goes without saying that we all just KNEW that Q.P.R would have an appointment sorted in time for our game. But, at the old cliche goes, one game at a time n all that! let’s see how many go for the tactic of predicting Sunderland to win and Newcastle to lose this week.
It certainly would have bagged people points last week, adopting such methods. Dinner time kick off (not lunchtime as I’m Northern and working class) and the Sky cameras for the lads today. And it’s coooold. My toes are numb and spirits surprisingly high, despite watching the horror show that was Plains Farm Under 9’s losing to a far inferior opposition. Oops, I’m not allowed to speak like that in junior football, as it’s the sole reason England are crap at senior level. Apparently.
The predictions are:
Sunderland v West Brom
Bill:The Baggies have been playing above themselves and look rather like a square peg in a fourth place round hole. It can’t last. The Cats have a bit of momentum going, have rediscovered where the net is and should knock them off their Chelski-beating pedestal. There are half a dozen of our guys capable of scoring the goals. 3-1.
Colin: Wins back-to-back are not something we tend to do but if we want to be taken seriously, we must build on the Fulham result and show we can beat 11 men as well as 10. I’ll not be as bold as I’d like to by predicting goals galore for us, coming from midfield as well as Fletcher, and will suggest an edgy but just about deserved 1-0.
Goldy: If we hadn’t had grabbed that win at Fulham on Sunday, I’d be bricking it about this fixture. West Brom are having the season we were supposed to be having – keep an eye on Steve Clarke. I love a good theory based on law of averages, and that’s what I’m going on here. Only whipping boys and top four side are normally good/bad enough to break the wonderful concept of law of averages and I’m hoping we are above the whipping boys level. West Brom shouldn’t win two consecutive Premier League games away against mid table sides and we shouldn’t lose two at home. That’s my rationale. A nervous 1-0.
The rest: Jake 2-0. Malcolm 3-1. John Mac 2-1. Jeremy 2-1. Robert 1-1. Sixer 2-0.
Southampton v Newcastle
John Mac:Nufc’s lack of form continues and they struggle to contain Southampton’s attack. 1-1, with at least one red card
Robert: A draw against Swansea and a win against QPR will have Southampton
full of confidence. Newcastle will be short on confidence as results
haven’t been going their way and Cabaye just had surgery which will
rule him out for awhile. All that adds up to a 2-2 draw.
The rest: Jake 1-0. Malcolm 2-1. Bill 2-2. Jeremy 2-0. Colin 1-2. Sixer 2-1. Goldy 1-1.
Swansea v Liverpool
Jake: After Swansea’s great, nae, magnificent win against the enemy last week, they will keep up the good work and win 1-0.
Malcolm: You’ve picked another toughie here. Both sides are playing reasonably well but for the Scousers it will all depend upon whether Suarez fires or not. I’ll sit on the fence 1-1.
Jeremy: Liverpool are anything but predictable it seems. I do foresee and away win here at Rogers returns to his short lived stomping ground in the west of Wales. Two nout to the Scousers in this one. 0-2.
The rest: John Mac 1-1. Bill 2-1. Robert 2-3. Colin 2-1. Sizer 1-1. Goldy 1–1.
Stephen Goldsmith writes: You can all stop laughing. It’s quite expected really that this whole thing is my idea and I currently prop up the table. In fact it’s inevitable; I’m destined to finish there too. I might just start copying John Mac’s predictions every week as I have the power to do so.
A little family history from Lars Knutsen, a lifelong Sunderland supporter whose Scandinavian roots were already known but who now declares the Swansea connection …