Take pity on Hull, Burnley and Sunderland, all doomed before a ball is kicked.

John McCormick: bored
John McCormick. Impartial, as always

As the days went by our  “who’s doomed” poll slipped down the “Salut”front page until it dropped off the bottom like a relegated team.

By then over 3500 votes had been cast. Most came in flurries in the first couple of days and, although I suspect a strong contingent of Sunderland fans cast votes and tried to move us in the general direction of safety, the positions of the eight chosen clubs didn’t change, and nor did the percentages to any significant extent.

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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.

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Pulis coins the word but we want more ‘Cattermoling’ at Manchester United

Jake: 'here's one where 0-0 would just about do'
Jake: ‘here’s one where 0-0 would just about do’

As Sunderland prepare for what Seb Larsson admits will be a “very tough afternoon” at Old Trafford if players do not rise to the occasion, we must acknowledge Tony Pulis’s contribution to the evolution of the English language.

First we should forget the muscular approach to defending that saw, for example, Jermain Defoe flattened twice in the penalty box even before a corner kick was taken. That is Tony Pulis’s way and he has imported the approach he adopted at Stoke City to his new job at WBA.

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Dodgy numbers raise the question: ‘Can we dodge the bullet?’

John McCormick:
John McCormick:
reading between the lines

Before the season started I used some dodgy stats and history to predict this season’s relegated candidates, including a couple of wildcards. From 20th place upwards they were:

QPR – Purely because a promoted team is almost certain to go down and most often it has been the playoff winner. I had to go with this, whatever the bookies said about Burnley.

Hull, on the basis that second season syndrome’s due and as two London teams have never been relegated in the same season QPR’s demise must mean Palace are safe.

Villa, on the grounds of their being the only club to have been in the bottom three for each of the last three seasons without being relegated. That’s scary stuff for a fan.

Southampton were the first wildcard, chosen because of the personnel changes and turbulence the club has experienced this year.

West Brom, because of last season’s iffy form and the way they appointed their manager, were the second.

You can read the whole post here: https://safc.blog/2014/08/good-news-for-burnley-and-leicester-our-stats-man-has-qpr-hull-city-and-aston-villa/

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Sixer’s WBA Soapbox: is this the end of the beginning or the beginning of the end?

Sixer says: grim times haven't gone away
Sixer says: grim times haven’t gone away

John McCormick writes: Some time in the sixties I can remember congratulating a group of Baggies in the Fulwell end after WBA had undergone a terrific cup run. Since then we’ve both experienced the highs and lows that come with supporting also-rans. Most recently we’ve been on the up and they’ve been yo-yos. Are circumstances changing once more? Back from The Hawthorns, Pete Sixsmith gives us his opinion:

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Sixer’s Sevens: West Bromwich Albion 3 (1) – Sunderland 0 (0): Just when you thought it couldn’t get worse…

Jake says Pete is the star man
Jake says Pete is the star man

John McCormick writes:

After last week’s second half I was hopeful of at least a point but on a day when four ex-Sunderland players scored none of the current ones did. Texts from Pete during the match painted a depressing picture, and that was before Fletch smashed his shoulder. Pete’s first “seven” was “Pathetic: a counter revolution may be needed” but I think the second he sent crystallises all our fears:

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West Bromwich Albion v SAFC: beware Dorrans, Brucey

pacific open (274)

Requests from Salut! Sunderland to a couple of Baggie fansites met with a stony silence – shame on you lads! – but one high profile WBA supporter’s response has been good as gold. In the first part – click here – of the BBC tennis commentator David Law‘s* fascinating story of his support for Sunderland’s next opponents, we heard of his success in converting John McEnroe and Goran Ivanisevic to the Albion cause. Now David moves on to Midlands rivalries and West Brom greats …

Salut! Sunderland: how much do you personally enter into or identify with Baggie/Villa or Baggie/Wolves rivalry?

The Villa rivalry was always the big one for me growing up, but then they became too good for us it seemed a bit futile to hate them, which is when Wolves became the big rivalry. Obviously I want us to stuff them every time we play them (and I’d love to finally beat Villa again for the first time in a quarter of a century), but when they are not playing against us I will be supporting Wolves, Blues and Villa because I’m from the area. I’ve lived overseas a lot and I hate it when people assume I’m from London just because I’m British. I’m from the Midlands, and proud of it.

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