From Arsenal via Hull to Wolves: our honours shortlist

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Who are you? The winners, that is, in Salut! Sunderland‘s grand Who Are You? competition. Could it be Fatima al Shamsi (pictured with reading matter prescribed by us to cure her of supporting Arsenal)? Or the others shown below? The results won’t be known until the season ends. Read on to see if your contribution – or your club if you don’t support Sunderland – made our awards shortlist …

Judging has now begun. The famously half-decent football magazine When Saturday Comes is on board among prize donors. And some time soon, just after the end of the Premier League season, we will announce who has been chosen in first, second and third places for the wit, warmth or wisdom of their replies to the questionnaires we present to at least one opposing fan before each Sunderland game.

Read moreFrom Arsenal via Hull to Wolves: our honours shortlist

SAFC 1 Wigan 1: glass half full?

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With Pete Sixsmith once again missing the action  (and the chance to appear on MOTD2), Malcolm Dawson takes the positives from our match against Wigan.

The journey to the Stadium of Light from my base in the Midlands had a familiar air about it. I have lost count of the number of times fellow exiles and myself have made the trip with the feeling that here was another crucial game. Three points essential.

There have been seasons when we have been pushing for promotion and even two when we harboured hopes of European qualification, but more often it has been the threat of relegation that has been the dark cloud tracking our progress north, emphasising the importance of the win.

Yesterday was no exception. Fortunately, I had missed Monday’s game. I hadn’t been impressed when I watched our game at the Britannia and had no desire to find a pub with ESPN. Reading Sixer’s summing up I was happy to have made the right choice.

Read moreSAFC 1 Wigan 1: glass half full?

Who are you? We’re Wigan Athletic (1)

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Salut! Sunderland respects anyone prepared to fill the shoes of Bernard Ramsdale, whose terrific musings have graced our pages ahead of previous games against Wigan Athletic. Bernard – the Landlord of the WAFC site Ye Olde Tree and Crown – deserved his rest, and Steve Halliwell* has proved himself to be an able stand-in, but – in marked contrast to Barry, our recent Evertonian – at great length. This, then, is the first part of the interview with Steve …

Salut! Sunderland:
Being beaten 9-1 at Spurs seem to set you off on a little run, or certainly didn’t lead to collapse, who gets the credit for that?

Well thank you for reminding me, every flamin shot on target went in didn’t it?

For the two weeks after the game on went my Wigan Athletic tie for work, just to show my support in a small way.

The stick I got especially from Bolton Wanderers fans in particular was horrific but my retort was easy due to us being above them anyway.

As for the PNE, Oldham Athletic, Bury Blackpool (4-1 in the Carling Cup was painful) and other North West supporters I just tended to point out exactly what division they are in relative to us.

I know its smug but while we are still in the Premier League I’m going to enjoy every minute of the fun.

As for the credit it has to be the legend that is Roberto Martinez AND the fans who backed him, the spotty faced nameless keyboard morons on less salubrious boards wanted him sacked.

Allegedly we have professional footballers on the payroll at the DW so why on earth they can’t adapt to a slightly different way of playing is beyond me, the object of the game is the same, as is the pitch, number of players, size of the goals etc.

Roberto tends to favour a more methodical passing game, Steve Bruce ran a tighter ship at the back but its not rocket science or are our players trying to prove themselves stereotypically thick?

After saying all that it is the players themselves who have got us out of the mini slump, it’s a cliché I know but “once over the white line” its all up to them but it was good to have a rant anyway!

Read moreWho are you? We’re Wigan Athletic (1)