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Ken’s Kategories: Your chance to rate the ref at Walsall

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John McCormick writes: Ken Gambles posed an interesting problem on Thursday. How do we rate refereeing? More explicitly, How do we rate refereeing in League One? A few of our readers liked his idea and the 10 point scale he suggested so we’ve decided to give it a go. (more…)

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League One referees: ‘they don’t all know what they’re doing’

Ken Gambles: 'would a Gooner rhyme my surname with stumbles?'

Monsieur Salut writes: ‘you’re not fit to referee’, ‘you don’t know what you’re doing’, ‘the referee’s a w*****’. How often have we heard and/or joined in such chants? I even recall my brother piping up once in the Sunderland away end and he’s a qualified ref (albeit in rugby). It hardly seems to matter that […]

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From the archives: as John O’Shea departs, let’s look back at looking at Paolo

John O'Shea not at SAFC

Monsieur Salut writes: Pete Sixsmith’s piece on the departures of John O’Shea, Robbie Stockdale and Adrian Tucker – a fond farewell but measured and excellently argued – got one or two talking about Paolo Di Canio. ‘JoS stood up to the ridiculous bullying of Di Canio,’ Pete wrote. Jeff, in response, felt PDC went ‘because […]

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Season End Reviews: (8) from the shambles of 2018 to 1988-style Sunderland fun

Ken Gambles: 'would a Gooner rhyme my surname with stumbles?'

One of the perils of responding promptly to Salut! Sunderland‘s annual appela for end-of-season reviews is that Monsieur Salut may succumb to pressures of other demands on this time and forget ever receiving it. Another is that ensuing events may render the most incisive thoughts out-of-date/ Ken Gambles fell into the first trap. As for […]

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A whinge and a prayer. From Blunderland defending to Alice in Sunderland finance

Ken Gambles: 'would a Gooner rhyme my surname with stumbles?'

Ken Gambles makes a welcome return to writing action with some thoughts he wish he didn’t feel the need to express …     Following Saturday’s abject defeat with yet two more worthy entries for the Bumper Book of Comic Defending, a number of questions raised themselves.  First up * what is the point of going to […]

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Crystal Palace fan commissioned by Hibernian to design a Lego Stadium of Light

With thanks to

Salut! Sunderland is awash with people who have taught the nation’s young (to which may be added those, like Monsieur Salut, who proved impossible to teach). And today is a day for former pupils. Pete Sixsmith, away watching this and that in Tenby, promises one of his will be submitting  a report from last night’s […]

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Gambles’ Rambles: Hi Ho Silver Lining, the one breaking through the clouds

Hide the  back. Please!

A calamitous season was followed by the calculated torpor of close-season inactivity at SAFC. Suddenly, we moved forward a little, the would-be German takeover collapsing and Simon Grayson arriving as manager. Ken Gambles  isn’t getting carried away but sees reason for cautious optimism and offers a proud comparison with the (presumaby pre-Chinese, pre-Russian sponsorship) Bundesliga […]

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End of season reviews: (7) A Sunderland sequence … 6-6-3-5-5-2-2-1

Ken Gambles: 'would a Gooner rhyme my surname with stumbles?'

Ken Gambles has paid the price of being too conscientious. Ken’s end-of-season review arrived so quickly that by the time we got round to publishing the series, Monsieur Salut had completely forgotten it. Apologies to Ken. But now sit back and appreciate, later than intended, his thoughts – and a heartening conclusion even if one […]

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Gambles Rambles: time to punish timewasters and ban late substitutions

Ken Gambles: let's hear t for - and against = the man with the whistle

One minor regret of our 10 seasons in the Premier League is that this spell ends without the authorities taking up the ingenious suggestions from our own Ken Gambles of making shirt-pullers wear bright pink knitted mittens and divers pull on goggles. Undeterred, Ken has come up with other thoughts on rule changes, this time […]

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Season reviews (6): one bound and free

Jake: 'when will we next see sunny times for Sunderland AFC?'

Malcolm Dawson writes…..in the sixth of our end of season reviews Ken Gambles brings back memories of Saturday mornings at the Houghton Essoldo, when no matter which end of the packet of Smith’s crisps you opened, the little blue bag was always at the other and you had to rummage through the contents before you […]

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Sixer’s Substitute’s Bristol Rovers Soapbox: Black Cats do just enough to snuff out the Gas

Bristol R H FT

Pete Sixsmith’s festive commitments means he has only one more game to miss before he returns to these pages after […]

Salut! Sunderland – Day 16 of advent and Pete Sixsmith turns back the clock

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In the run up to Christmas Day, behind each door of the Salut! Sunderland advent calendar is an article written […]

Rate the ref: Thomas Bramall – Bristol Rovers at home

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Our first home league game since the series started, meaning this is our first opportunity to get the opinion of […]

Sixer’s Sevens: heavy weather against Bristol Rovers

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Pete Sixsmith remains busy on the Saturdays before Christmas so it’s a substitute performance over the weekend. Our deputy editor […]

The First Time Ever I Saw Your Team: Bristol Rovers

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John McCormick writes: I won’t be in the North East for the home game but I have my eye on […]

Bristol Rovers Who are You?: ‘only one team in Bristol, isn’t there?’

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

The curse of Who are You? A frantic call from Doug tells M Salut the manager has left today ‘by […]

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