Monsieur Salut writes: since Rob Fielding was kind enough to answer our Who are You? questions we could hardly say no when he asked for a reciprocal gesture.

Pete Sixsmith knows his Potteries and will be at Sunday’s match so it seemed right for him to do the honours for Rob’s highly professional OneValeFan site, where I noticed one Vale fan describing the likely away contingent of around 2,000 as a ‘poor show really … we’d take more than that if the game was at Sunderland’ …

But here’s how Rob presents Sixer’s responses:

About the fan…

‘My name is Pete Sixsmith and I live in a small town in South West Durham called Shildon. I write for Salut! Sunderland which is put together by my very good friend Colin Randall who first enticed me to Roker Park in 1962. I have a childhood background in Rugby League being born a short walk away from Headingley and when my father’s job took him to the North East, I switched to football. I flirted with Darlington for a short while but my first view of Roker Park in 1961 blew my mind and I was hooked. I worked as a history teacher in County Durham, making sure that the Sunderland supporters in the school got good grades in their exams and the Newcastle ones all failed and all my students could recite the 1937 and 1973 FA Cup winning teams and the 1963-64 promotion one…’

How are Sunderland doing this season?

We have done well. After the horrors of last season when we had the worst team I have seen in the 56 years I have been a regular, we look to have stabilised and are looking to get out of League One and back into the Championship where we can hopefully mount a challenge back to the Premier League. That could take time and it may not happen while I am still on this earth but every Sunderland supporter feels that the club should be at the top level.

What are your thoughts on manager Jack Ross?

The manager has done an excellent job so far. After the awful Moyes, the hapless Grayson and the self publicising Coleman, we have a man who has a sound background in football (he played for 12 years in the Scottish system and for a year at Hartlepool), management (he did well at Alloa Athletic and wonderfully well at St Mirren), business (he has a Masters in Business Administration from Heriot-Watt University) and literature (he has written several children’s books based on football).

He’s a bit of a renaissance man in fact. He has brought good players to the club and plays an attractive style. After Moyes and his stultifying tactics, Grayson and his lack of them and Coleman and his bewildering ones, he is a breath of fresh air. He may well go on to bigger and better things.

How are the owners faring?

The new owners have made a very positive impression on Wearside. Stewart Donald bought the club from absentee owner Ellis Short just before the likelihood of administration descended upon us.

He had been involved at Oxford United and Eastleigh and is a football man through and through.
It’s fair to say that Short wasn’t.

Decisions were made quickly; part of the stadium was closed, players were told that they had to move on, the new manager was snapped up before Ipswich Town grabbed him and Donald and his executive director, Charlie Methven, connected with a disillusioned fan base. They have done talk ins in pubs and clubs, phone ins on local radio, have drank with supporters in pubs at home and away games, have supervised the replacement of faded seats in the Stadium and have done all and more that was expected of them.

They know that promotion is a necessity if they are to attract new investment (neither is wealthy, although they are a tad better off than I am) and have made a great start. So we are happy for once.

 

Who are the players to watch?

Ross may shuffle the team for Sunday. Chris Maguire has played well this season and is a fans’ favourite. Aiden McGeady has played recently and scores goals. Lynden Gooch (no relation to Graham) is a tricky winger. The goalkeeper, Jon McLaughlin, is outstanding and had we had him last season instead of the three poor keepers we did employ, we may well have stayed up. Keep an eye out for Swede Benjamin Mbunga-Kimpioka and England Under 18 star Bali Mumba. Both should be involved.


What are your thoughts on the Valiants?

I like Vale principally because they are not Stoke City, a club who irritate me considerably. I have been to Vale Park four of five times and saw us seal promotion there in 1987.

Burslem is an interesting town; as a history teacher, I used to use the Potteries as an example of how the Industrial Revolution happened with regard to Wedgwood and the growing transport links. I also enjoyed reading Arnold Bennett so I am pleased to revisit the town. On a less positive note, I saw you relegated at Fleetwood a couple of years ago in one of the worst games I have seen at professional level.

And finally, a score prediction…

I would expect a tough game but would be very disappointed if we don’t come through it with a win. 1-2…

Tags: , ,

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 “The tables turned: Sixer – ‘happy for once with SAFC’ – answers Port Vale’s questions” Subscribe

  1. wrinkly pete November 8, 2018 at 12:04 pm #

    Excellent. Learned more about Sixer which is no bad thing!

  2. Neil November 8, 2018 at 5:41 pm #

    I don’t recall seeing 2000 Vale supporters up North…ever….never mind for a cup game…..odd comment, though not from the main authors

    • JEL November 9, 2018 at 1:16 am #

      It was probably Brian.

Leave a Reply

The First Time Ever I Saw Your Team: The Chairboys of Wycombe

<a href="http://salutsunderland.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/twitter.jpg"><img title="twitter" src="http://salutsunderland.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/twitter.jpg" alt="" width="16" height="16" /></a>
<a href="https://twitter.com/#!/salutsunderland">
And follow us on Twitter: @salutsunderland ... click along this line</a>

Malcolm Dawson writes………our publication of Pete Sixsmith’s twin series, The First Time Ever I Saw Your Ground (before our away […]

A rocking manager, Martin O’Neill glory days, Luke O’Nien: the Wycombe Wanderers ‘Who are You?’

Click Jake's image to see all Who are You? instalments so far this season

Monsieur Salut writes: I may have said it before but League One is a treasure trove when it comes to […]

SAFC vs Wycombe Wanderers: a prized return for Guess the Score

Wycombe H

Our thanks to Tales From Publishing, the people behind the Tales From the Red and Whites series on books about […]

Sixer’s Soapbox: Morecambe and a little ray of sunshine called Josh

Sixer's Soapbox (featured image)

Pete Sixsmith sent a second seven word text about half an hour after the game last night:  Maja brings us […]

The North Eastern Programme Club: (3) looking on from the sidelines

Sunderland Supporters 1

Hopelessly out of sequence but bit by bit, we are adding the articles written by members of the Salut! Sunderland […]

Sixer’s Soapbox: Porter at Port Vale and a grand day out

Sixer'sSoapbox(featured image)

John McCormick writes: There was something from a Port Vale fan on twitter asking why we had only 2000 there […]

Page generated in 2.577 seconds. Stats plugin by www.blog.ca