Relegation 2016: Bournemouth and Watford, Norwich or Leicester. Not Villa or Newcastle (or SAFC)

John McCormick:
John McCormick: I’m biased. Are you?

Casual visitors to this site might might not be aware that at the start of last season I made a prediction about who would suffer relegation from the Premiership and then tracked those clubs (and SAFC, of course) over the season. At the end of my final post of the series I set up a poll to see who readers thought would be relegated at the end of the coming season.

With almost four hundred votes cast you might think the results bear scrutiny. But think again. The average PL attendance is 36,000. MOTD can attract over 4 million.  More than 26 million viewers watched FA Cup action on TV during last January. So a few hundred’s  really small beer, especially as each reader can have three votes.

Read moreRelegation 2016: Bournemouth and Watford, Norwich or Leicester. Not Villa or Newcastle (or SAFC)

Why do we always play Chelsea at the end of the season?

John McCormick:
John McCormick: Where are all the local teams? Blackburn, Bolton, Burnley, Blackpool, even Wigan? All gone.

John McCormick writes:
So you’ve been onto the SAFC home page, clicked the appropriate icon and found the fixtures. No need for me to do much then, is there? Only, M Salut, who is travelling today, would be delighted to find the site that carries his name has not ignored this (pretty much) inauspicious occasion.

Read moreWhy do we always play Chelsea at the end of the season?

Who went down, who’s going down? Do dodgy numbers have the answer?

John McCormick:
John McCormick: 1×1 is 1, 1×2 is four, 1×38 is 38 and that’s enough for safety.

At the start of last season I chose three relegation candidates  (QPR, Hull and Aston Villa) and two reserves (Southampton and West Brom) on the basis of PL history and some iffy statistics.

As you might expect, I got some stick from fans who didn’t like my forecast:

Mr QPR said “What a rubbish article, how can a Sunderland fan have any view on relegation when they will be one of the teams themselves”

Germany Tiger said Hull had improved significantly as well as: “You are the only one (and I’ve read a lot) who have Hull in a relegation spot, which suggests to me that there is still a bit of disappointment at being put to the sword 3 times last season by the Tigers and I predict a few more this season also….. oh if we could only play Sunderland every week… deep joy!!”

 Bald ugly bloke  was a bit more restrained, and perhaps a bit more optimistic: “Laughable that you have Hull City in the 3! The Tigers will be pushing top half.”

 Having been around for a few seasons, Swallavc was much more measured: “Aston Villa have been relegated in 0% of premier league seasons and therefore will be safe!”

I could go on, but what I’d prefer to say is that many of the readers, SAFC fans and others, were prepared to give their opinions on relegation candidates, as well as of my words . I’ll come back to this at the end.

Read moreWho went down, who’s going down? Do dodgy numbers have the answer?

Nothing changes: Watford, Norwich, Bournemouth plus guess who – already relegation favourites

Jake: 'Emirates heroics leave bookies unmoved'
Jake: ‘Emirates heroics leave bookies unmoved’

Andrew Pink, from the Square in the Air sports marketing firm, was trying to make me feel better.

He’d sent something about Betway cutting the odds on West Ham finishing in the top six from 18/1 to 14/1 after the appointment of Slaven Bilic as team boss. So where, I wondered, did Dick Advocaat’s return leave us? I told him I’d almost bet on them having us down for the drop anyway, on the basis that betting analysts would reckon we cannot keep getting away with it.

“It’s not all bad news,” came Andrew’s response once he’d lowered his eyes to the prognosis for that far down the table. “Sunderland are 4th favourites to go down….”

Read moreNothing changes: Watford, Norwich, Bournemouth plus guess who – already relegation favourites

SAFC: back in the Deloitte list, with plenty after our place

Deloitte's waiting
Deloitte’s waiting

John McCormick writes: back in January various sources ran the news that all of 2013-14’s Premiership clubs were in the world’s top 40 in terms of revenue. While Norwich, Fulham and Cardiff won’t stay there for 2016 I expect Burnley, QPR and Leicester to replace them. Looking ahead to 2017, Burnley, Hull and QPR should drop out with Norwich reappearing, along with Watford and Bournemouth; that’s the power of the Premier …

Read moreSAFC: back in the Deloitte list, with plenty after our place

Dodgy-ng relegation

John McCormick:
John McCormick: History. Is it all bunk?

This post is about relegation, something never far from our minds, and who this season’s three might be. Over the summer I looked over a little bit of history and generated some numbers in order to bring you more of my dodgy predictions. Enjoy them or argue with them as you will. Just don’t nick the family allowance and run off to the bookies.

Read moreDodgy-ng relegation

The History Programme: (3) Sunderland sting Watford Hornets, Blissett and all

Pete Sixsmith‘s stroll through his programme collection pauses to reflect on a good win in a good season. It was also the  year in which the club celebrated its centenary, though the pages of the match day programme for Watford’s visit offers no hint that a telegram from the Queen has been received at Roker Park …

Read moreThe History Programme: (3) Sunderland sting Watford Hornets, Blissett and all

How Dare We? Palace 1 – Watford 0: SuperKev and Justice at Wembley

John McCormick:
John McCormick: looking for justice

When Sir Kevin put that penalty away to give Palace a foothold in the promised land I found myself wondering if justice was being done. I know Sixer isn’t impressed by Palace, according to his post earlier this month, and I can see where he’s coming from but I don’t think Watford, sited inside the M25 and on the Tube’s Metropolitan Line, is much different from Fulham/QPR/Palace.

Read moreHow Dare We? Palace 1 – Watford 0: SuperKev and Justice at Wembley

SuperKev: the reason Crystal Palace beat Watford – and he’s our hero

With thanks to goals442 at YouTube – any clip from today would presumably be short-lived. Enjoy the great man at the height of his career, playing for Sunderland AFC, and for others …

It cannot be allowed to pass without mention. If anything was calculated to bring a broad smile to Monsieur Salut’s all-too-often unsmiling face, it was Kevin Phillips scoring a playoff final winner at Wembley.

Read moreSuperKev: the reason Crystal Palace beat Watford – and he’s our hero

Steve Bruce, racism and journalism for the hard-of-thinking

Image: The View from the Press Box

There are times when I rise up and defend my confrères in the press, and times when they make me despair. Today’s headlines about Steve Bruce being caught “in another race storm” make it a day for despair.

Getting on for 12 years ago, I saw Sunderland beat Watford 3-2 away in the first of Peter Reid’s seventh top seasons. SuperKev grabbed two of the goals, one of them having taken a massive deflection, and Gavin McCann the other.

Read moreSteve Bruce, racism and journalism for the hard-of-thinking