An unofficial edition of the series …

This is not really Sixer’s Sevens, much as it relies on Pete Sixsmith’s reflections from Victoria Park, where Sunderland’s pre-season campaign continued with a 2-1 win against Hartlepool – and news of Vito Mannone’s likely departure.

“Pools v SAFC,” Pete wrote at Facebook. “Cold and windy. Is it ever anything else here?” At least he then saw a Sunderland goal, Josh Maja hammering home a penalty. Followed by  a Hartlepool goal early in the second half as our defence fell asleep (surely not – Ed). I will not name and (mildly) shame the North-eastern football writer who tweeted: “Donaldson equalises for Sunderland.” Mind, his first three words were accurate – and the less said about Salut! Sunderland typos and howlers, the better.

Sixer blamed Adam Matthews for the goal but also suspected a missed offside. But right at the end, Jeremain Lens scored yet again, with a free kick after Maja was hauled down. And the game was won.

With thanks to @footballawaydays

As for Vito, Reading – if the reports are true – seems an odd choice unless he has been told he is not really wanted.

Selling him, even for the reported £2m (good business for an honest, often brilliant but also patchy keeper), would be odder still unless Simon Grayson had a replacement lined up. But then, things don’t always work that way at SAFC. “Pickford on loan?” Sixer wondered.

Come back tomorrow when he will doubtless have more to say on his night out.

His seven-word verdict? Just before Lens’s winner, it was: “One for the connoisseur of dreary friendlies.” He then applauded the “brilliant free kick” from Lens that won the game.


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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.

7 Responses to “On Sunderland beating Hartlepool 2-1 and Mannone ‘heading for Reading’” Subscribe

  1. Eric012 July 18, 2017 at 8:46 pm #

    Odd that we should sell Mannone to a team who will be a main rival for top 6 next season. SG must have someone lined up as Mika won’t ever be first choice and Max Whatisface is totally inexperienced.

    • CSB July 19, 2017 at 12:22 pm #

      They won’t be top six if Vito is their first choice keeper!!!

  2. KevS July 18, 2017 at 11:25 pm #

    Top six Eric ? You must be joking. The club remains a complete shambles. Struggle to beat a non-league team. We’ll be lucky to stay out of the bottom six.

    • pault July 19, 2017 at 6:32 am #


      • Eric012 July 19, 2017 at 7:37 am #

        I think we might surprise even ourselves if SG gets it right – but I take your point. What I should have said is I find it odd to sell to a rival for mid table obscurity.

  3. Neil July 19, 2017 at 7:23 am #

    Too soon to make a prediction either way. After a tricky first 5 or 6 games we’ll have a better idea. Grayson knows what is needed at this level…..maybe the Celtic game will be an indicator. I assume they are favourites.

    Sorry to see Vito go if rumours are true. He’d be good enough for the Championship.

  4. malcolm July 19, 2017 at 7:42 am #

    Like Wrinkly Pete I can’t understand why people leave 10 minutes before the end. With a crowd of less than 5,000 and 2,576 Sunderland fans there was no problem getting away after the game yet there was still a constant stream of supporters leaving from 80 minutes onwards. They missed Lens’s goal, the highlight of the game.

    Personally I don’t think we should be getting too excited about the coming season. We will lose more high earners and replace them with hard working, but more limited performers.

    The impression I get is that Grayson is pragmatic and sorting out the playing side within the limitations he has been set. It looks as if he is starting with the attitude and togetherness of the squad which is a start.

    But no way will we be top six this season. He’ll be looking to stay in the Division and priority number one has to be to deal with the mess that years of maladministration has left us with.

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