Malcolm Dawson writes: a bit like Jermain Defoe, Salut! Sunderland‘s own Pete Sixsmith is much in demand. Not only is he a regular on the Fans’ Forum section of Radio Newcastle’s “Total Sport”, which despite its title deals almost exclusively with the goings on at Sid James’s Park and the Stadium of Light, he is the man The Observer approach when they want a supporter’s views on all things SAFC related.
The miserable performances of the men on the pitch means, that like Monsieur Salut at ESPN, Peter’s services will not be required in the Premier League section of the paper next season. Rumours that he has been approached to cover the goings on at Crystal Palace, Bournemouth or Watford are greatly exaggerated and even a proposed signing on fee of a year’s supply of Taylor’s pork pies will not tempt the new svelte Sixer to abandon his principles.
Fear not dear readers, he will continue to grace the pages of this very website with his personal insights into all things red and white but for now here are his unedited thoughts on a season about to end, now published in “The Observer” where their version is visible via these links (as are the thoughts of supporters of the others).
OBSERVER SPORT SUNDERLAND.
The season: 0/10
The season was wretched. It reminded me of Blackadder’s critique of Baldrick’s war poem: “It started badly, tailed off in the middle and the least said about the ending the better.”
We went into it hoping to build on the progress made under Sam Allardyce and most fans welcomed the appointment of David Moyes, a pragmatic and safe choice, or so we thought. We didn’t win a game until November and only scraped together five more in the whole season, as owner, manager and players lost contact with a fan base that appears to have had quite enough of them for the foreseeable future.
David Moyes made Eeyore sound like Norman Wisdom on nitrous oxide with his downbeat assessments – saying that we were in a relegation battle two games into the season was a severe miscalculation – and has done nothing to encourage the support that the sojourn in the Championship will be short.
The only players who did themselves justice were Jordan Pickford, a potential England mainstay and Jermain Defoe, whose goals gave us a smidgeon of hope through the winter. The rest were awful, either because they were too old, not good enough or had a negative attitude from day one. Fabio Borini was a particular disappointment while Adnan Januzaj cemented his place in anyone’s worst ever Sunderland XI.
We need to sign at least seven players who will stabilise us in the Championship but I have no idea who. The manager has been working on it, so we can expect a load of former Evertonians pitching up in July.
There was nothing to smile about at all but Jermain Defoe showed the human side of football with his love for Bradley Lowery.
The picture of the two of them on Bradley’s hospital bed showed that Defoe is a fine man as well as a fine footballer.
Team of the season based on what I saw: (N.B. nobody had to play well against us we were so bloody awful)
(Observer criteria – nobody from your own club, a maximum of two from any of the other nineteen, playing in a 4-4-2 line up).
Lloris: Azpilicueta, Bailly, Luiz, Bertrand: De Bruyne, Kante, Erikson, Coutinho: Hazard, Kane.
Manager; David Moyes – let’s see what a shambles he could make of this.