Sixer’s Sevens: Arsenal 2 SAFC 1. Expected defeat, dignity intact


This is where Pete Sixsmith captures the glory and shame, hope and despair, excitement and ennui of the Sunderland matchday experience. When, rarely, Pete is absent or delayed, a supersub does it for him and the seven-word verdict is preceded by an asterisk. Pete’s full analysis of the game will usually appear within a day or two.

Today? Going one down in 28 seconds was not quite was we expected. Nor was the distinct possibility that Van Persie might have had three more in the first 15 minutes. Starting without a forward – sorry, Steve, Sessegnon is a great little player, but he is not an out-and-out forward – seemed another wrong decision. And what happened then? Larsson struck a sublime free kick to equalise and Sunderland finished the second half on top. But despite dogged resistance in the second half, Van Persie replicated Larsson’s skill as a taker of free kicks. 2-1. Pete Sixsmith’s verdict is the one that counts: he was there. From the most unpromising of starts, and a selection decision I deplore, I thought we did produce the decent, heads-held-high performance Pete had demanded (though his judgement may be harsher). Oh, and had a certain Song been called Cattermole instead, his three yellow card offences would undoubtedly have turned to red.

The full Sixer’s Sevens archive – see link below – sums up what all Sunderland supporters feel, from darkest gloom to sublime elation, in the words one who is usually there …

Oct 16 2011 Arsenal (1) 2 SAFC (1) 1 Defended bravely but attacking options barely existed

Oct 1 2011 SAFC (2) 2 West Bromwich Albion (2) 2 Deserved point after a truly horrendous start

Sept 26 2011 Norwich City (1) 2 SAFC (0) 1 Absolutely no positives to take from this

Sept 18 2011 SAFC 4 (3) Stoke City (0) 0 What a difference the right selection makes

Sept 10 2011 SAFC (0) 1 Chelsea (1) 2 Comical defending hands Chelsea their regulation win

Aug 27 2011 Swansea City (0) 0 SAFC (0) 0 Uninspiring game. Both teams look like strugglers

Aug 23 2011 Carling Cup 2nd Round: Brighton & Hove Albion (0) 1 SAFC (0) 0 Abysmal team selection got what it deserved

Aug 20 2011 SAFC (0) 0 Newcastle United (0) 1 Totally outfought in dismal second half display

Aug 13 2011 Liverpool (1) 1 SAFC (0) 1 Came back well, better side second half

To see Sixer’s Sevens in full, click here. If an asterisk precedes the comment, the words that follow are the work of someone else because Pete is for once absent from the game or his verdict has been delayed …

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Salut! Sunderland is written, illustrated and edited by - and principally for - supporters of Sunderland AFC. The site aims to be sufficiently literate and entertaining to appeal to people who do not follow SAFC but enjoy good football writing.

3 Responses to “Sixer’s Sevens: Arsenal 2 SAFC 1. Expected defeat, dignity intact” Subscribe

  1. Dave October 16, 2011 at 3:11 pm #

    I appreciate it was a better performance, but at the end of the day we were playing an under performing Arsenal, and still lost! The team selection and subsequent substitutions still leave me baffled, we start the game without a recognised striker, and the smallest guy in the team leads the line, then we take off the goal scorer and best deliverer of the ball whilst still drawing, then he takes off Sess and leaves on Elmo? In other words what was in SB’s mind was how can I shut up shop and hold onto the draw, the outcome being we take on more pressure and lose. SB is in need of inspiration and I doubt he will find it!!

  2. CSB October 16, 2011 at 5:41 pm #

    We came off third best against a second class Arsenal, where’s the dignity in that especially after conceding a very soft goal after 29 seconds.

    Same problems persist, same limp excuses, same promise of jam tomorrow. Well Stevie boy tomorrow never comes and neither will any inspired managerial action from you.

    This is all getting shockingly tedious, we are one spot of a relegation place and deservedly so because we ae no better than that and that’s the honest truth, so all Brucie apologists just tell me will you see the light when we are third botton, second bottom, bottom or perhaps the Championship, because under his stewardship that’s where we are heading.

  3. Bill Taylor October 16, 2011 at 8:53 pm #

    How sad that the headline on this today should begin, “Expected defeat…”

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