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, our new manager Martin O’Neill sat in the directors’ box and watched as Eric Black led the team on the eve of his certain departure from SAFC. Eric knows the score and will probably find work whenever Steve Bruce does, too. Martin knows the score: he has his work cut out to turn a promising if incomplete bunch of players into a team that can build on or defend a lead. OK, the penalty was fortunate but Larsson should have converted it; instead of 2-0, it was 1-1 less than a minute later, and 1-2 soon afterwards as Fletcher returned from an offside position to blast home when set up by O’Hara (who had blatantly handled). Phil Dowd’s way of evening things out; our way, however, of defending appallingly.

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 …

Dec 4 2011 Wolverhampton Wanderers (0) 2 SAFC (0) 1 More points sacrificed through weak, sloppy defending

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


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.

14 Responses to “Sixer’s Sevens: Wolves 2 SAFC 1 – O’Neill’s reality check” Subscribe

  1. CSB December 4, 2011 at 4:59 pm #

    Eric Blacks revenge maybe, inspired substitution in bringing on the Egyptian, gave Noble no chance and left Vaugh and Gardner on the bench.

    Black was the ideas man for Bruce, say no more.

    Good riddence to him.

  2. CSB December 4, 2011 at 5:03 pm #

    That performance being a sharp reminder to everyone why Bruce, Black et al had to go.

  3. Bill Taylor December 4, 2011 at 5:08 pm #

    O’Neill must be raring to go. I think it’ll be an interesting week for the squad.

  4. Alan December 4, 2011 at 5:51 pm #

    The squad is not good enough why o why did Larson take that penalty it was one of the worst I’ve ever seen why try to place it when it’s raining cats and dogs surely you have to blast it straight down the middle nine times out of ten the keeper dives left or right we were told that at school maybe some of these players need to go there in stead of on the pitch these players need sorting out they are so poor can’t wait to see what rubish martin clears out of this club I hope he has a big BIN

  5. Rob December 4, 2011 at 6:10 pm #

    Exactly the kind of result we have been getting all season.

    Things must change. I thought Ryan Noble was cover for Ji, so when he took a knock why bring on Elmo??? Elmo was cover for Seb or Sess surely.

    O’Neill has seen the task ahead Please Please Please Martin, Stop the rot!!!

    I only saw from Singapore text highlights. Getting up during the night was not a great idea.

    Overjoyed when Keiran scored, dismayed that we let in a goal when we had a penalty and even more typical of our current team to fashion a defeat when a win was very possible.

  6. ifos December 4, 2011 at 6:14 pm #

    The ghost of Steve Bruce clearly in evidence today with a stark lesson in how poor management can throw away a football match: take off Ji, bring on Elmohamady, Larsson goes left and Sess in the middle; completely disrupting our 4-4-2 shape, a gaping hole on our left and a right wing suddenly bereft of everything. Wolves take control and win. Cheers Eric!

  7. Ken Gambles December 4, 2011 at 8:28 pm #

    Surely that is now thankfully the end of an era.Exactly the same sort of performance,substitutes,tactics that have got us into this awful position.Certainly Bruce and Black must have seldom disagreed on anything.Very very disappointing yet paradoxically it came as no surprise.Let’s hope O’Neill is fully aware of what we have had to put up with during the whole of 2011.

  8. Eric December 4, 2011 at 9:41 pm #

    Sixer…As if the result wasn’t bad enough SKY chose to plaster your ugly mug all over my TV screen midway through the second half. Fair put me off my tea. LOL

    • salutsunderland December 4, 2011 at 9:45 pm #

      I saw him too, Eric, and texted him. He told me he had every right to be caught shaking his head. That was 1-1. soon it was 1-2 so he was right.

  9. Pete Sixsmith December 4, 2011 at 9:51 pm #

    I’m just a media whore. Hope it didn’t spoil the tea too much Eric.

  10. Jeremy December 4, 2011 at 10:13 pm #

    I saw you aswell mate. Highlight of the second half I thought.

    I’d rather watch you and try to lip read from thousands of miles away than watch another minute of Fabelmo.

  11. Phil Johnson December 5, 2011 at 10:03 am #

    An odd question, if I may, Mr. Sixsmith.

    Were you wearing a green wooly type hat, at the game yesterday?

  12. Phil Johnson December 5, 2011 at 10:08 am #

    Please forget the above question – it seems that you were!

    I should learn to read the comments, as well as the article, before I post!

  13. Rob December 5, 2011 at 1:16 pm #

    Neither Soccernet or Sunderland AFC commentary mentioned this highlight. It is really frustrating being 7,000 miles from home.

    Now, I have no choice but to download the .avi of this, a game we lost (that would be a first).

    Team Viewer comes into action and I too will be able to examine the ONLY tactical genious in the Sunderland squad this weekend.

    Lighthearted fun is all we have left at the moment.

    By the way Team Viewer can also access your home PC via an Android Phone.

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