Jake’s imagination

Malcolm Dawson (who gets a copy of M Salut’s personal e-mail) writes…
Another away sell out (and home sell out to be fair) and another disappointing day out for the travelling contingent. The manager continues to find a positive spin, but the faithful are getting fed up with the same old excuses. “The opposition were buoyant after a win, we had to deal with the home crowd, we had players out of position and though we bossed the game we still lost.” Well questions are being asked. We had two full backs named as substitutes and two midfielders playing at fullback. We didn’t have a single forward on the bench as three started and you decided to allow the only other one we had at the end of January to go out on loan. We assume that you don’t rate our young players. So who decides to play people out of position? At least we had a full quota of players this week but we are looking a poor side Martin and looking at the teams below us. Next Sunday is a must win. Better get the spin doctors working overtime just in case.


Jake: harsh but fair

Jake: harsh but fair


Dear Colin,

We put ourselves in front and it’s a wonder-goal from them to take the game to 2-1.

We have to give QPR credit, but having said that it’s extremely disappointing to lose the game.

From the second half onwards we looked as though we were in control of the game and that’s the frustrating aspect of it; when times are tough you’re never in control until you see it on the scoreboard.

It was always going to be a difficult game for us.

QPR were buoyed by their win over Southampton last week and we had to counteract that and deal with the swell of euphoria from the crowd, which I thought we did well.
QPRvSAFC(FT)
We got ourselves in front and then they grabbed an equaliser.

I thought they caused us problems and it was difficult for us. Craig Gardner stuck to the task admirably, as a midfielder playing at full-back – and the same at the other side of the field.

It’s a tough old set of fixtures for us between now and the end of the season and we need to get some points on the board.

The players in the dressing room are disappointed, but we’re looking to respond as we have done before.

It’s a big game next week.

All the best,

Beware of forgeries


Martin O’Neill

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Born in Hetton le Hole, deputy editor Malcolm Dawson's first game at Roker Park was the three all draw with Leicester City at the beginning of the 64-65 season. Having spent more than thirty years living in the East Midlands, he was Chairman and Information Officer of the Heart of England Branch of the Supporters' Association but has now returned to live in County Durham.

18 Responses to “Martin’s Musings on QPR 3 Sunderland 1: change the record Martin” Subscribe

  1. Bill Taylor March 9, 2013 at 6:23 pm #

    Oh, sorry, not just disappointed, EXTREMELY disappointed. That’s still an understatement. How come we never seemed to be buoyed by a win? Or is that too far back for O’Neill to remember?
    They’re all big games, Mr Manager, and getting bigger every week. Let’s hope we can get to the end of the season without them proving TOO bloody big.

  2. Alan March 9, 2013 at 7:07 pm #

    Like I said 6 weeks ago the championship awaits for championship players time has run out for oneil time for him to go now we all said Bruce had no plan b but neither has oneil we take graham off at 1 1 to put. Rose on then they score to make it 2. 1 we look to the bench and we have no forward there just at the same time WICKHAM scores to make it 1. 0 for Sheffield we’d at Leicester there’s a taxi for oneil outside get in it and pxxs off coz you said once before Sunderland had to be in the premiership for you to manage us well go now while we still have a chance to stay in it tho midfielders playing right and left back and a right back and left back on the bench you can not be serious as Jhon McEnroe would have said if we don’t beat Norwich next game we are doomed I can’t believe the fans staying loyal after watching the shit your team has played this year Oneil out now ….

    • William C March 10, 2013 at 12:00 am #

      This is the man who recently said that not only is he the best man to manage Sunderland, he’s the ONLY man. Absolutely breath-taking arrogance, combined with a total lack of insight.

  3. Eric March 9, 2013 at 8:18 pm #

    Just got in from QPR and I was honestly hoping O’Neill had either resigned or been sacked. This man will take us down this season. This was surely one of Sunderland’s worst displays in a long long time. We were outplayed, outfought, and totally outpassed by a team currently sitting at the bottom of the table. However, at least QPR look as though they care, and they have a good chance of staying up, especially if they meet any teams as inept as we currently are. Graham may as well have stayed home today. N’Diaye is totally clueless. Johnson looks unfit and disinterested. Bramble…is Bramble. No-one on the bench to come on and change things. A shambles. Or, as the prat in the yellow hat sitting behind me would say “a f***ing shambles”. He spent 90 minutes treating everyone in earshot to his whole vocabulary – “f***ing useless c***, c***ing w***er etc” mainly aimed at Johnson and Larsson. Why do these idiots go? Take your own advice and F*** Off.

    • malcolm March 9, 2013 at 11:47 pm #

      Must be the bloke who sits behind me at home games.

      • Eric March 10, 2013 at 8:40 am #

        I was wondering if the “thumbs down” were from the prat in the hat, but I doubt he can read.

  4. Bill Taylor March 9, 2013 at 9:25 pm #

    I don’t understand managers who see this kind of crap happening week after week but do nothing – or, at best, not nearly enough – to change the situation. Steve Bruce was exactly the same; simply marking time and hoping, presumably, that the team would turn itself around. Can these guys, who have years of experience and are making (if not exactly earning) top money, really be so lacking in ideas? What about O’Neill’s coaching staff? Are they all so afraid of him or in awe of his divine inspiration that no one ever speaks up and says, “This is bullshit. We need to do something right now.” If that’s the case then, come the end of the season (I don’t see any good coming of a managerial change at this late stage), perhaps Ellis Short needs to clean house, top to bottom. Let’s just hope that by then we’re not ON the bottom.

    • William C March 9, 2013 at 11:56 pm #

      Your quite right. Something srange happens to certain managers in situations like this – rabbit in the headlight syndrome maybe? Listening to O’Neill’s post match interviews is excruciating. He appears to be in a state of denial, very much as Bruce was toward the end of his tenure. He MUST go at the end of the season, if not before.

  5. Bill Taylor March 9, 2013 at 9:52 pm #

    Is that a thumbs-down from MON, I wonder…

  6. Alan March 9, 2013 at 11:00 pm #

    Well bill if you enjoy watching this shit every week you keep supporting him as for me I can honestly say I have watched two good performances this season witch was the west ham game and the reading game apart from them the rest of the games they have been terrible I certainly won’t be renewing my season ticket next season bearing in mind it cost me nearly 2000£ for me and my 3 sons to watch that crap again so he can stick his tactics and his strategy where the sun doesn’t shine do you get it now MON out out out now now now before its too late ..

  7. Eric March 10, 2013 at 8:26 am #

    Do the players and management staff feel the pain like we do, on their over inflated salaries? I very much doubt it. I can normally shrug off an indifferent performance or result, but I just can’t get this QPR debacle out of my system. The club I love and have supported for over 50 years, the club I have brought my son up to support (even though we live amongst Arsenal/Spurs/Chelsea and Man Utd fans), just seem content to coast along in a sea of mediocrity from season to season. BIG changes are necessary at the end of this season. The whole playing staff needs to be overhauled. Young, hungry players need to be brought in and the old guard ditched, even if it means paying off some huge contracts. Sess will be away at the end of the season probably, and who can blame him? Mignolet could follow. The rest? Well who, apart from Fletcher, would you want to keep? A new manager will be needed to oversee this radical overhaul, because if O’Neill is given the funds, he will surely waste them.

  8. CSB March 10, 2013 at 10:30 am #

    In Martin O’Neils defence I must admit he is guilty as charged, it is difficult to defend the indefensible. The performance was utterly abject but really if you think about it was not suprising. QPR struggling for survival, desperate for points, and along come SAFC to kick start their season.

    O’Neil I am afraid is out of his depth in the modern game, we have a squad of mediocracy, with the exception of Mig, Fletch, Sess and Rose. He has singularly failed to overturn the malaise left over by the previous manager or to alter the defeatist mentality that stalk the corridors of the SOL.

    Mr Short has to act by bringing in someone young with tactical nous to replace/control the efforts of the backroom staff and bring a fresh emphasis to a vert stale and lame set-up, or get John Robertson on board. If Martin doesen’t like it well so be it that’s his choice and will offer him a route out while still saving some face.

    I predicted two weeks ago that we would get nothing from the next five games without radical changes, the changes are not happening. Norwich will be up for the match on Sunday, if we lose I expect Mr O’Neil to do the decent thing.

    • Plan B March 10, 2013 at 10:50 am #

      The ‘defeatist mentality’ has plagued us for a good few years now, it could be changed but a manager would quickly need to see which players shrink the most in our shirt, and move quickly to bring in players that won’t. Buying too many players from relegated sides doesn’t help this. Niall Quinn and Roy Keane spoke of this a lot but here we are still suffering with it.

      O’Neill came and knew he had dross but has done nothing to revamp our squad. In fact he’s just added to it. It’s interesting that the things Villa fans criticised him most for seem to be manifesting with a vengeance. Buys over-priced british players, check. Doesn’t rotate much and runs his players into the ground, check. Doesn’t like bringing youngsters through, check and then some, naming six subs I ask you. Awful football, well we didn’t think it would be quite this awful did we?

  9. Eric March 10, 2013 at 12:05 pm #

    If the “thumbs down” are from O’Neill supporters then their thumbs are going to be busy in the coming weeks.

  10. Villa Mike March 10, 2013 at 12:32 pm #

    Good morning Sunderland fans.

    Just read your thread with interest re. MON and I must say that it is just like turning the clock back and reading Villa threads on the same subject towards the last 18 months of his tenure here.

    MON is very much a first XI kind of manager rather than the manager of the a squad. He will always have his favourites and they will always play, regardless of position and whether someone else would be better suited…….midfielders at full back have always been a particular favourite of his.

    MON’s favs will always play, even if unfit or injured (noting your Adam Johnson comments) and he will never give outsiders a chance to stake a claim.

    It was no coincidence that we rarely (quite possibly never) won a league game during the month of March under his management……players were always dead this time of year.

    That said, and speaking from lower down the table, I’m sure you will be fine this season but once you have survived it’s maybe time to reassess your manager.

    • William C March 10, 2013 at 7:56 pm #

      Thanks for the confidence in your final sentence Mike, although I’m not sure many SAFC fans share it.

      A month or two ago a number of Villa fans came on this site and almost all confirmed the points you outline about O’Neill’s management style.

      Clearly, at his age, he will not change the habits of so long a career now, which does not bode well for Sunderland.

      I think Mr Short should act now and bring in an interim coach. It would be a financial disaster to be relegated this season, and sticking with O’Neill is increasingly looking suicidal.

  11. Bill Taylor March 10, 2013 at 12:33 pm #

    Enjoy it, Alan? It’s excruciating! Week after week, you try to be an optimist think it’s not gonna be quite so bad this time. And it almost always is.

  12. Eric March 10, 2013 at 5:16 pm #

    Next week’s game has suddenly taken on humungous proportions. Although today’s revised table means 11 teams will be glancing over their shoulders for some time to come. 6 points from relegation yet only 3 from 10th.

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