Sixer’s Sevens: SAFC 1 Wigan Athletic 2. New manager please


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 was a day that brought some ennui, a little shame and lots of despair.

Sunderland’s owner Ellis Short wrote in his debut matchday programme notes that there was no need for panic though “the performances and results on the pitch are our number one concern and we are all looking for improvement there”. After a storming start, one goal and several missed chances, we might at least have expected something resembling that improvement to be visible once we reached 10 to five this evening.

How predictable that we should then concede a daft penalty and, as Gary Bennett put it in radio commentary, “run out of ideas” before letting Wigan win. The October and November’s games – the run M Salut gave Steve Bruce to turn things around – are up. So, with the greatest of respect, is Steve Bruce’s number. Panic or not, the results (which include a quite scandalous three points from home games versus WBA, Villa, Fulham and Wigan) remove any vestige of understanding, patience and support for the manager’s position.

Much more will be said on this in the coming days, days Bruce will surely be extremely fortunate to survive with his job. But in truth, he should not need to be told; he should solemnly recognise his duty and do the professional equivalent of retreating with brandy and revolver to the study.

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 …

Nov 26 2011 SAFC (1) 1 Wigan Athletic (1) 2 *Bruce’s reign surely over after this debacle. That was M Salut’s verdict, followed by these from Mr Sixsmith: “Shambolic defending spells end for Bruce now”, “He must go after another clueless performance”, “Got what we deserved after brainless display”, “Pressed the self destruct button yet again”, “Second half shocker means Bruce’s time’s up” and finally “Print them all”.

Nov 19 2011 SAFC (0) 0 Fulham (0) 0 Truly appalling game lacking pace, creativity, threat

Nov 5 2011 Manchester United (1) 1 SAFC (0) 0 Decent performance but slipshod defending cost us

Oct 29 2011 SAFC 2 (1) Aston Villa 2 (1) … Determination and effort produced a fair result

Oct 22 2011 Bolton Wanderers (0) 0 SAFC (0) 2 … Team selection vindicated in impressive second half

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


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.

33 Responses to “Sixer’s Sevens: SAFC 1 Wigan Athletic 2. New manager please” Subscribe

  1. Alan November 26, 2011 at 4:12 pm #

    Three words to say GET OUT NOW

  2. Derek Scott November 26, 2011 at 4:12 pm #

    Another thoroughly dreadful Saturday at the SoL, I thought his time was up weeks ago – the performance underlined this today. I can’t imagine tonight’s excuses.

  3. vince richardson November 26, 2011 at 4:16 pm #

    No excuses anymore anymore after that result.If he doesnt resign he need to be sacked…..simples.

  4. Georgethemackem November 26, 2011 at 4:18 pm #

    Thats it for me.I’ve came out of the Stadium early for the last 3 games and to be truthful I can’t take anymore heartache.I will not go back under Bruce’s reign!

  5. hilary November 26, 2011 at 4:20 pm #

    If he has any dignity he will fall on his sword. I don’t think he will though.

  6. Rob November 26, 2011 at 4:21 pm #

    What happened to the 9 points from 3 games. This is the worst result for years. Words cannot describe how gutted I feel.

  7. Jason November 26, 2011 at 4:47 pm #

    I feel ill as it is and just saw ellis shorts comments”dont panic” we have been patient we havent panicked but change is needed asap, i for one will not go to the sol untol he has gone, so tired amd sick of safc at the mo!

  8. chatnoir_safc November 26, 2011 at 4:52 pm #

    Would be humourous, if not so tragic.

    Poor show Kevin Friend; didn’t help matters.

    Richo kept giving; no one received. Shame.

    Sess, too, offered a number of crosses.

    Collected Wolves ticket pre-match. Worthwhile? I hope.

  9. Jeremy November 26, 2011 at 5:06 pm #

    I’ll pay for the brandy and load his revolver if required Pete. He has to go now; no question. I have been saying that for countless months however. This is the very lowest that things can go. Here we have the proof, the unequivocal, undiluted bitter and inescapable proof of how bad we have become over the course of the last 11-12 months. To lose at home to a side that has previously scored two goals on their travels this season is the death knell for the most unimaginative, fearful and frankly hopeless excuse for a manager.

    It’s a defeat which hopefully will put an end to this misery. Losing against a decent side would have produced more excuses in his post match emails and further defences from his misguided advocates.

    Metaxa is it Steve? Pour yourself a large one. What calibre’s this thing?

  10. Birflatt Boy November 26, 2011 at 5:13 pm #

    Where’s Davey?

    Surely he hasn’t joined the “minority”?

  11. Friendri November 26, 2011 at 5:49 pm #

    Guys, I am a die hard Newcastle fan. Don’t curse me please. I am here with good intention. Don’t sack Bruce. He has done ok so far since replacing Keane. One thing I can guarantee is that you won’t get relegated this season with Bruce in-charge. There are at least two teams worse than Sunderland this season, say Blackburn and Bolton. You only need to better one more team. I don’t see the reason why you can’t better likes of Wigan and Wolves. Sacking Bruce and replacing him with a new manager may not be the ideal solution since we are fast approaching half of the season. Let him do the job and consider his position at the end of the season. Sunderland have good players but there is no denying that confidence is low now. A few good run of results (draws and wins) will steady the ship. I don’t envy Sunderland to be honest but I hate to see them go down because Tyneside-Wearside derby is one of the fixtures that I am always looking forward to. Keep the faith guys!

  12. Jason November 26, 2011 at 5:59 pm #

    I was wondering about davey, come on davey should we stick or go? The truth please!

  13. Bill Taylor November 26, 2011 at 6:05 pm #

    Davey’s staying very quiet. Like Bruce, I imagine he’s “disappointed.”
    Actually, both of them should be disgusted – Davey with Bruce and Bruce with himself.
    There is, of course, no guarantee that Bruce will depart, either of his own free will (certainly not that, I don’t expect) or lifted out of the stadium on the toe of Ellis Short’s boot.
    I can’t think why Short has allowed this to go on for so long. The writing has been very clearly on the wall for months, right from the end of last season. We’ve been in the mire all that time and now we’re well and truly in the shit. I imagine Wolves and Blackburn are licking their lips.
    This has been no way to treat a good — and they absolutely could be good, very good — squad of players and a legion of dedicated, devoted fans. It must surely end now. But…. will it?

  14. hilary November 26, 2011 at 6:10 pm #

    Bruce on SAFC site, says “it is in my nature never to chuck anything so will be ready to go again on Monday morning”. As I suspected he will have to be pushed. He is deluded. If Short doesn’t act then the fans will have to.

  15. Bill Taylor November 26, 2011 at 6:19 pm #

    Let’s hope that on Monday Bruce discovers that “go” has more than one meaning.

  16. Jason November 26, 2011 at 6:46 pm #

    I going to say this and oh how i hope i am wrong. I dony think brucey will be sacked because i think there is only a small kitty for january and his going would swallow a large chunk, i also think oneill if he was to come in would want a large kitty and i really dont think its there, i think its why he is still here and will be on monday, sorry, oh how i hope i am wrong!

  17. Bill Taylor November 26, 2011 at 6:58 pm #

    It’s Short’s choice: Go into January with less money or keep Bruce and play in the Championship next season.

  18. gaz November 26, 2011 at 7:03 pm #

    Great result wigan till I die

  19. Plan B November 26, 2011 at 7:35 pm #

    There’s the rub Bill and quite a sad one at that. Many warned of this at the end of last season; will Short realise his mistake and act before it’s too late? Where next for us? As the Manic Street Preachers sung, from despair to where?

  20. Bruceout November 26, 2011 at 7:41 pm #

    This is another diabolic performance by Bruce, He has shown over the last two games that when it comes to tactics he is totally clueless, Did we finish the game with a 2.6.2 formation, and wonders why we conceded. Clattermole has started most games and yet we not won one of them, The only consistency with the two victories so far were against lower opposition and Vaughan started both, So why was he on the bench, Bentner is not an out and out big front man, Its not his game, so why is Bruce playing him like one. Clueless,
    There must have been 37,000 fans shouting at Ellis Short to give them a crack at managing the team and I have no doubt anyone of them could have done better than Agent Bruce.
    He just has to go and the sooner the better. This is just getting too hard to take.

  21. Bill Taylor November 26, 2011 at 7:42 pm #

    Interesting that Bruce’s Banter hasn’t shown up yet. It’s usually posted by now. Maybe he’s lost for words. Or maybe, just maybe…

  22. Jeremy November 26, 2011 at 7:55 pm #

    Bill and Hilary, you are both possibly right. He will have to be pushed because beneath the amiable northern lad doing his best (which is not very good at its best) there’s a mercenary cold soul who will be happy to further line his considerably deep pockets.

    Ellis Short is no fool, and regardless of what was planned for January (re Jason’s comments) he knows that relegation is catastrophic financially and will realise that this is no time for faint hearts, despite his apparent patience. There was a rumour that I heard earlier (and I stress only a rumour) that Mark Hughes had been offered the job to replace Bruce and turned us down. I’m not sure what job Hughes is waiting for but these rumours usually have some foundation.

    The fans have turned on him. It’s a shame it if gets nasty and personal but it that’s what it takes to display the now universal dissatisfaction then so be it. It’s perhaps surprising that it hasn’t happened before today. The people who have paid their money all their lives were doing so before Ellis Short could point to Sunderland on a map, and well before Bruce was the manager. They will still be there when both are gone. H’way the lads.

    I’m hoping that he’s already gone, but just in case. Bruce out!

  23. Birflatt Boy November 26, 2011 at 8:08 pm #

    I liked your reference Plan B. I was more inclined to think of another line from the Manic Street Preachers (slightly paraphrased of course), but “if we tolerate this, then our children will be next.”

  24. Plan B November 26, 2011 at 8:34 pm #

    Possibly a better reference BB and, again, we’ve done all this before. Reading this site and hearing about chants directed at Bruce gives me hope; it’s about time we stuck up for ourselves isn’t it? get our of our club….

  25. Birflatt Boy November 26, 2011 at 9:09 pm #

    Plan B; he has brought this on himself with his accusations of overexpecations while dishing out rubbish and excuses every week.

    Long overdue. Patient fans we have. Very patient, and deserve a lot better than this. Our voices are clear. We don’t want you. We want you out and we will get you out. Mark my words.

    I see he is ‘disappointed.’ Well that’s a shame because the rest of us are beyond p****d off with him now.

  26. Bill Taylor November 26, 2011 at 9:12 pm #

    The way he keeps turning on the fans, he clearly doesn’t think it’s our club, he thinks it’s his. I imagine when he does go, he’ll be spitting venom all over the place about how shabbily he’s been treated by the supporters. But I’m hard put to think of another manager who’s been given as much rope to hang himself with.

  27. Tom Lynn November 26, 2011 at 11:08 pm #

    Inept. Very inept.

  28. Birflatt Boy November 26, 2011 at 11:22 pm #

    He has become a complete embarrassment Mr Lynn. His contrivances go beyond the ineptitude of team selection, formations and tactics. His defiance in the wake of the backlash from fans is risable. He has insulted the fans with not only his foolish views on “expectations” etc but even more consistently with the performances and results we’ve endured since the New Year. Regardless of what Mr Short may have had to say about his job being safe in the match day programme the genie is well and truly out of the bottle now for him, and it will not go back in. He is an even bigger fool if he thinks it will. Mrs Doubtfire is a think skinned invidual and will try and sit it out to make sure he gets a big pay off, if Mr Short lacks the testicular requirements to send him down a flight of stairs and out the door before we play again.

    That is a big question now. Will Short pull the trigger and get rid. We may think he has no alternative, and realistically Bruce can not turn results around. Whilst that is apparent to anyone who has been watching events since February, he may not choose to do so unless there is someone waiting in the wings to take over immediately. Bruce’s insistence on continuing is motivated by one thing only; monetary gain, and we all know it.

    He knows that the supporters have had enough and if he is feeling awkward about the chanting today, then he will feel worse should he still be in charge for the next game. The fans want Short to act, and act he must. If not then the fans will get rid of him. That’s no longer a choice, or decision. It’s become their responsibility if the chairman doesn’t stand up to his.

  29. Beth November 27, 2011 at 1:31 am #

    Without any doubt there’s been a massive change today. If the owner doesn’t act fast and sack him there’s going to be a massive backlash from the fans. We’ve had so much to put up with now for such a long time that the fans may start to barrack the owner as well as Bruce if they feel he isn’t listening. There are some choppy waters ahead, but I agree very strongly with Birflatt Boy’s posting. The supporters need to make sure their voice is heard in times like these. Bruce out, and as soon as possible for me.

  30. CSB November 27, 2011 at 5:52 am #

    I actually managed to get back to civilisation (Jeddah) forthe match yesterday. I spent the morning catching up on Saluts blogs over the past month. Excellent two ‘Who are you’ articles which clearly sets this site above the rest.

    Usual arguments appear to be prevailing in my abscence, Davey wants to give Bruce two more months in charge to turn things around. While playing catch up I came across the following Independent article by Mr Bruce:

    Pressure? This isn’t pressure, says Bruce
    Asked whether he felt under pressure, the Sunderland manager responded: “From what? If you do this job you are going to feel – if it’s the right word – pressure. But I don’t feel like that. It’s more ‘disappointed’. We could quite easily be four or five points better off. There are 12 teams separated by four points so every team around us is in a similar situation.

    His statement once and for all convinced me that regardless of this afternoons result this man was so detached from reality that he really had to go. If his ambition was to be four or five points better off then it speaks volumes about Mr Bruces perception of what Sunderland supporters want. Don’t get me wrong I would be delighted to be four or five points better off but for a manager to express this as the bench mark against the other 12 teams is quite clearly ridiculous.

    As fate would have it the internet crashed at 14:50 so I did not get to see the game, but was suitably shocked at the result.

    Mr Bruces latest interviews are revealing that he is not a quitter and will hang on either for the pay-off or the right to say he did not quit to satisfy his own vanity. Either way he is putting his own personal agenda above and before what is good for the Club.

    I am off back to the dust, flies, sand storms and heat of the Arabian Desert, and I truly wish I could take SB with me. Keep up the struggle and we will triumph. If I was a betting man I would say it was Ellis Short in the Boardroom with the revolver.

  31. hilary November 27, 2011 at 8:32 am #

    With regard to your point about mark Hughes, Jeremy-it was mentioned somewhere yesterday that he could be in line for the Chelsea job. Gives credence to the rumour that he turned us down.

  32. chatnoir_safc November 27, 2011 at 12:28 pm #

    Rumour re: Mark Hughes was that he left Fulham this summer believing he was a viable candidate for the Chelsea job. Turns out, he wasn’t on the radar of Abramovich et al.

    Hughes has made it clear that he ‘deserves’ to be at a Champion’s League club– if the offers don’t come, however, (and it’s presently difficult to conceive of any top four or five managers leaving, perhaps apart from Mr Wenger) I wonder if he’d be tempted to take up another mid-table position.

  33. bill barkess November 28, 2011 at 9:53 am #

    How much longer is it going to take ellis to bite the bullet and get rid of bruce. He talks about every thing at the club is going foreward all but the teams results.It is not the fans fault we are in this plight but a manager devoid of knowing how to put things right. Ellis,– bruce is going to take us down —i and most of our fans are shouting this. Save our prem status AND DO IT NOW and let bruce spout his dribble somewhere else.

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