We’ve had our own last game celebrations and it would be churlish to deny Southend theirs today. In a game that lacked quality they deserved as much as Sunderland and on this showing they’ll have a  chance to repeat this feat next season.

Yet, I feel the team that started today won’t be the one Jack Ross puts out in our next game. At least, I hope not, because this was a shadow of what I saw on the opening day. Drive, passion, creativity all seem to have gone.

Pete Sixsmith has seven words to explain today. We might only need the first two:

4 May 2019 Southend United 2 (1) Sunderland 1 (0) Deserved nothing. Southend kept going. We didn’t.

Jake: ‘So why did Monsieur Salut post the Fleetwood one instead? I know they tell the same sorry story but get a grip’


30 April 2019 Fleetwood Town 2 (0) Sunderland 1 (1) Lost any semblance of control after leading/More points dropped to an average team/Lost – worst league finish in our history

27 April 2019 Sunderland 1 (1) Portsmouth 1 (1) A frustrating result against unpleasant opponents

22 April Peterborough United 1(0) Sunderland 1 (0) Bitterly disappointed at the end. Automatic gone

19 April 2019 Sunderland 2 (2) Doncaster Rovers 0 (0) The manager gambled and it came off

13 April 2019 Sunderland 4 (3) Coventry City 5 (3) Incredible but for all the wrong reasons

09 April Sunderland 1 (1) Burton Albion 1 (1) Looked a tired side against sprightly opposition

06 April Rochdale 1 (1) Sunderland 2 (0) Had to battle for a huge win.

April 2 Accrington Stanley 0 (0) Sunderland 3 ( 2 ) Comfortable win with some excellent individual performances

March 31 EFL Checkatrade Trophy final: Sunderland 2 (1) Portsmouth 2 (0) (AET. Portsmouth win on penalties.)

*Penalties gloom as Lads fade after interval.

March 16 Sunderland 2 (1) Walsall 1 (1) Nervy and edgy but it’s three points

March 12 Barnsley 0 (0) Sunderland 0 (0) Difficult opponents, difficult conditions: a good point

March 9 Wycombe Wanderers 1 (1) Sunderland 1 (0) We’ll take the point and move on

March 5 Checkatrade trophy semifinal: Bristol Rovers 0 (0) Sunderland 2 (1) Controlled performance means we’re off to Wembley

March 2 Sunderland 2 (1) Plymouth Argyle 0 (0) Great first half followed by competent second

February 23 Bristol Rovers 0 (0) Sunderland 2 (1) Rather a good day at the office

February 19 Sunderland 4 (2) Gillingham 2 (2) Not entirely convincing but it’s a win

February 15 Sunderland (0) 2 Accrington Stanley (1) 2 Two points dropped but grateful for one

February 12 Sunderland (0) 1 Blackpool (1) 1 Two chances missed equals two lost points

February 9 Oxford United (0) 1 Sunderland (1) 1 Scunthorpe all over again. Two points wasted

February 2 2019 Sunderland 1 (0) AFC Wimbledon 0 (0) A welcome win but hard to watch

Checkatrade Trophy quarterfinals: January 22 Sunderland 2 (1) Manchester City Under 21s 0 (0) Clean sheet, two goals and a semifinal

January 19 Scunthorpe United 1 (0) Sunderland 1 (o) Same old story. One goal rarely enough

January 12 Sunderland 1 (1) Luton 1 (0) Failure to build on lead costs us

January 5 Charlton (0) 1 Sunderland (1) 1 * Sunderland weather storm to earn useful point

January 1 Blackpool (0) 0 Sunderland (1) 1 Outstanding performance by Maja earns the points

December 29 Sunderland (1) 1 Shrewsbury Town (1) 1 A very frustrating afternoon. Never got going

December 26 Sunderland (1) Bradford City (0) 0 Hard fought win and thanks to linesman

December 22 Portsmouth (0) 3 Sunderland (0) 1 Better side until Loovens’s idiocy turned game

December 15 Sunderland 2 (1) Bristol Rovers 1 (1) * Just enough quality snuffs out the gas and Gas pressure tests us at the end

December 11 FA Cup 2nd Round replay Sunderland 0 (0) Walsall 1 (0) Pedestrian performance that raises some serious doubts

December 8 Accrington Stanley A (0) Match Abandoned Sunderland (0) Wet, wet, wet and to do again

December 1 Walsall 1 (0) strong>Sunderland 1 (0) *Fifteen minutes of Walsall pressure means replay

Nov 27 Sunderland 4 (3) Barnsley 2 (1) An important win with some shaky moments

Nov 24 Walsall 2 (2) Sunderland 2 (2) Even more heroic than Thermopylae and Agincourt

Nov 17 Sunderland 1 (0) Wycombe Wanderers 1 (0) A fair result after a disappointing performanceI

Nov 13 Morecambe 0 (0) Sunderland 1 (0) Left it late but the run continues

Nov 11 Port Vale 1 (1) Sunderland 2 (2) Negotiated a tricky tie successfully. Southport next?

Nov 3 Plymouth Argyle (0) 0 Sunderland (0) 2* Solid team performance earns another away win*

Oct 27 Sunderland 3 (1) Southend United 0 (0) Three goals and another clean sheet. Great

Oct 23 Doncaster Rovers 0 Sunderland 1 (0) Winning ugly is just fine by me.

Oct 20 Shrewsbury Town 0 (0) Sunderland 2 (0) A comfortable win that just oozed professionalism

Oct 6 Bradford City 1 (0) Sunderland 2 (1) Great win but Power made it difficult

Oct 2 Sunderland 2 (1) Peterborough 2 (0) Good point but spoiled by woeful refereeing

Sept 29 Coventry City (0) 1 Sunderland (0) 1 Fair result that could have been worse

Sept 22 Sunderland 4 (3) Rochdale 1 (0) Fifteen minute purple patch wrapped this up

Sept 15 Burton Albion 2 (2) Sunderland 1 (o) Weaknesses horribly exposed in a deserved defeat

Sept 8 Sunderland 1 (1) Fleetwood Town 1 (1) Huffed and puffed against very difficult opponents

Sept 4 Sunderland 0 (0) [4] Stoke City U21s 0 (0) [2] *Decent workout for young guns and recoverees

Sept 1 Sunderland 1 (0) Oxford United 1 (1 ) Poor first half, dug in well second

Aug 19 Sunderland 3 (3) Scunthorpe United 0 (0) Iron pummeled as three lusty blows delivered

Aug 16 Carabao Cup: Sunderland (0) 0 Sheffield Wednesday (1) 2 Result disappointing but plenty to enthuse about

Aug 11 Luton Town (0) 1 Sunderland (1) 1 Played well in patches against solid opposition

Aug 4 Sunderland (0) 2 Charlton Athletic (1) 1 A great day for club and academy

July 21 St Mirren (0) 0 Sunderland (2) 6 * Cracking results like this will suit fine

July 17 Grimsby Town (0) Sunderland (1) 1 *Gooch’s header from Maguire’s cross settles matters

July 14 Hartlepool United (1) 1 Sunderland (0) 1 Yet to see anything to inspire confidence

July 10 Darlington (1) 1 Sunderland (0) 0 Embarrassing


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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.

9 Responses to “Sixer’s Sevens: Southend survive. Sunderland slump. Some season!” Subscribe

  1. malcolm May 4, 2019 at 7:00 pm #

    For the past few games we have looked tired, lacking in creativity and have been conceding possession far too easily.

    Despite making the playoffs this is the lowest position we have ever finished since entering the Football League in 1890.

    Strangely enough I think finishing 5th and having to face Portsmouth over two legs gives us the best chance of going up but I suspect we will be going back to Rochdale, Southend, Accrington and Fleetwood again and God forbid facing a trip to Milton Keynes next season.

  2. YSYL May 4, 2019 at 8:38 pm #

    Its hard to believe such a positive season has come to this. I can’t even bring myself to criticise the doom and gloom knee jerk reactions on other forums. I just hope, hope, hope, the players are saving themselves for the play-offs.

    Still, apart from one half at Wembley SAFC have been by far the better team compared to Portsmouth, Charlton or Doncaster.

    I still have hope…..

    • malcolm May 4, 2019 at 8:50 pm #

      Charlton have all the momentum at the moment which is why I feel we have a better chance by avoiding them over two legs.

      Over the whole season I would agree with you but we are not playing well for 90 minutes at the moment.

      Having to fit in rearranged games post Wembley hasn’t helped but any of the four teams involved could win the play off lottery. While my heart says we can go up, my head says we are in the poorest form of the qualifiers and will struggle to get to Wembley but Portsmouth give us the best chance. Then anything could happen.

  3. Neil May 4, 2019 at 10:59 pm #

    That said in recent games, say against Portsmouyh, Posh and Donnie, we have played well. We seem to raise our game. No disrespect to Fleetwood or Southend but both games suggested players not wanting to pick up injuries or bookings. Look at Bamford for Leeds.

    We now have a week to reenergise and surely we’ll be up for Portsmouth…..we owe them one

    I’d rather go there than to Charlton…..clearly there are no easy games now.

  4. BRIAN May 5, 2019 at 1:07 am #

    Reading some of the above I am reminded of the unwarranted bravado of the black knight in monty python’s holy grail.
    Truth is we have been bloody awful since xmas .
    When maja went we lost the ability to score goals and more so to conjure up goals. Ross is a Pulis pupil so hoofball is always on the menu. When maja was there he was instinctive enough to make something from nothing. He must be delighted to be playing in a team that plays modern proper football.
    Griggs and wyke..what can I say? Plucky, hard working but my god goal shy doesnt begin to describe them. What a criminal waste of money.
    Mcgeady a mf has twice as many goals as our 2 very costly ( overpriced ) strikers.
    We have got worse in all departments especially defending and particularly at cb..
    The ball is like kryptonite to our cb’s. What a shambles.
    Ross needs peddling

    • malcolm May 5, 2019 at 9:42 am #

      Before Maja left our goals per game ratio was 1.67 in league games and since he’s gone 1.63.

      We had played 29 games before the end of January and 19 since. Before he left we had dropped points at home to Shrewsbury, Wycombe, Peterborough, Fleetwood, and Oxford (all games we might have expected to win and Luton who at the time were just starting to hit form. We also drew away at Scunthorpe and Coventry and lost 3-1 away to Portsmouth.

      It is not as simplistic as saying that because Maja left we have failed to go up. Those home draws while he was still at the club were as costly as any dropped points and defeats since his move. Had we won five of those draws we would have been Champions on 95 points. Had we won nine and lost nine of the 19 drawn games we would have had 93 points and gone up in second place.

      There is plenty for Jack Ross to reflect on and the truth is we have only failed to score once in the league all season, so it would seem fairly obvious that the problems lie in defence, BUT all too often we haven’t been able to score multiple goals. Only eight times did we find the net more than twice and one of those was that 5-4 defeat to Coventry.

      For the first time this season I didn’t feel the team gave 100% yesterday and maybe with another three games ahead there were thoughts of saving themselves. We never looked like scoring from open play either. They have looked a tired side recently and a couple of days rest before next Saturday’s game might help. The positive news is that Pompey also look like a tired side.

      Let’s hope they leave their flair and flares on the south coast next weekend.

  5. Ifos May 5, 2019 at 5:45 am #

    Biggest issue is the failure to get the best out of Grigg. His goal record at this level is fantastic, yet he has looked anything but a goalscorer at Sunderland, Ross just doesn’t seem to know how to set up the team to get him to succeed.

  6. salutsunderland May 5, 2019 at 7:26 am #

    Benno was saying he hasn’t been able to shake off a persistent injury – foot or ankle, I think. – think it was which makes you wonder why Ross has kept on playing him.

  7. Eric012 May 5, 2019 at 9:54 am #

    I think the catalyst for the end of season “collapse” was not seeing out the game at Peterborough. An extra 2 points there would have set us up nicely to win our final 3 games and claim automatic promotion. Still, we don’t need to win any more games. 3 1 – 1 draws and 2 penalty shoot out wins will suffice. HA’WAY THE LADS.

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