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PDC’s sacking: (4) Wise Man Says ‘no professionalism, no respect, good riddance’

'You decide,' as Jake used to say. But is there a middle ground?

Gareth Barker is half of the dynamic duo that brings you the regular Salut! Sunderland podcast. There is no requirement to go along with a word he now has to say, It is, as he freely acknowledges, a rant. But a rant from the heart … After much stewing and engagement in argument/discussion across social […]

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All change at Stoke, all change at Sunderland – and both for the better

Gareth Barker has been thinking about Mark Hughes’s appointment as replacement for the sacked Tony Pulis at Stoke City and this led him to reflect again on Sunderland’s dramatic change from Martin O’Neill to Paolo Di Canio. In his parallel Sunderland universe, Gareth sees another 1-1 draw. Both clubs, he argues, got it right … […]

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Transformation since Man Utd debacle reveals more to Paolo than ‘passion’

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Gareth Barker imagines what an onlooker from his own parallel universe might have made of the dismal display against Manchester United that was quickly followed by MoN’s exit, looks back on Paolo Di Canio’s mostly winning start and gets reacquainted with enjoying life … (more…)

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Adam Johnson’s post-Man City blues. Now the turn of the defence

When Adam Johnson finally beat the first defender with a corner at Loftus Road, but only by lofting the ball behind the goal, it was a piece of comic cuts football that seemed to encapsulate his season. The expensive move, the high wages and the perception of underachievement have weighed heavily in worrying times for […]

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Meanwhile, in a parallel Sunderland universe…

Jake: 'this is the place where you find true support, unconditional commitment'

Stephen Goldsmith writes, Well I have finally managed to find the log in details that were stashed away in an offline safe, following the site being hacked by our Iraqi friends. In a new monthly feature, the returning and permanent Gareth Barker explains what may well have been if those little game changing-incidents had panned […]

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End of season reviews (6): six charts for a sick season

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I’m glad we can begin to look forward to next season. Although it might seem a grim prospect I’m sure […]

End of season reviews: (5) left with a sense of foreboding

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Like Pete Sixsmith, Malcolm Dawson gets to more matches than most people. He’s well placed to comment on skill, systems, […]

Sunderland’s 10 relegations: The Coventry conundrum (part 2)

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John McCormick writes: I was there, at Goodison, that night. For a long time afterwards I felt cheated but I […]

Things for fans to do until Sunderland’s football season starts in August

Jake: 'would winning the last four games just make us angrier?'

After a season like that, it may seem a stretch of even the most fevered imagination to suppose Sunderland supporters […]

Who ate all the pies? And which club serves the best?

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Monsieur Salut writes: what is it about football and pies? Things many of us rarely eat in normal, civilised settings […]

A daughter writes: amid the grief, a good night for Manchester

Nathalie, left, and team-mates in women's football. They get exasperated watching us play

Nathalie Randall is Monsieur Salut’s younger daughter. She plays football better than he ever did and tries to make up […]