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Soapbox: the pleasures of youth

Pete Sixmith, who goes to at least three games a week during the football season, witnesses one of the best at the Stadium of Light. But the players wouldn’t have been celebrating at the Glass Spider afterwards. One of them had to be up for school the next day Those of us who trooped out […]

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Soapbox: the Ofsted inspector reports

Pete Sixsmith is no stranger – it’s oft said – to Ofsted inspections. Here are the findings of one of his own, which he conducted after making an impossible demand for nine points from the last three home games A few weeks ago I said that we needed nine points out of the next three […]

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Soapbox: Premier League, you’re having a laugh

Why is it that whenever the big guns of the Premier League come up with an innovative new idea, proper football fans smell a rat? Pete Sixsmith is our would-be Pied Piper The news that the Premier League is considering exporting its teams for an extra game does not seem to have filled footie fans […]

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Soapbox: a frantic search for excuses

From television coverage in Abu Dhabi, I – along with the commentary team and Dubai-based studio panel – felt Sunderland should have been awarded not one but two penalties. Of the three shouts, the one that Rob Styles gave – surprise, surprise to Liverpool – was the least deserving. Disgraceful refeering, though surely not to […]

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Soapbox: no blues

Perhaps safest to say nothing to Roy Keane’s face, but could it be that our esteemed leader is among the growing band of devoted readers of Pete Sixsmith’s Soapbox? Or was it just great minds thinking alike? Well, I got the team selection right. And more important, so did Roy. He said that we have […]

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Soapbox: no blues for us……please

Pete Sixsmith set his sights admirably high in demanding nine points from the three home games starting with Portsmouth. Then he accepted that a tally of seven might be more realistic. But with Pompey out of the way, we now face a pair of relegation rivals at the SoL and our uselessness on the road […]

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Soapbox: gulfs of difference

Thousands of miles from home, SAFC expats can gawp at every step of the Lads’ up-down-down Premiership progress while ticketless fans at home make do with radio commentary and TV highlights. Pete Sixsmith fears the differences do not end with football viewing rights Ah, the advantages of working in a country which has no restrictive […]

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Soapbox: loony toons

One dictionary definition of magpie is “idle chatterer”. That probably sums up Kevin Keegan quite well. But Pete Sixsmith, writing before news broke that the circus was coming back to toon, found plenty for scope for fun at the expense of KK’s long line of predecessors There’s a classic Fawlty Towers moment when Basil is […]

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Soapbox: happy days are here again

Sing when you’re winning? Win when you’re singing more like. It was a good enough philosophy for FDR and Pete Sixsmith reckons it’s good enough for us The greatest of all US presidents, Franklin D Roosevelt, was also the first to have a campaign song. Because of the Great Depression he wanted it to be […]

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Soapbox: our cup runneth under

Think 3-0 at home to Wigan was bad? Pete Sixsmith has seen worse. But it was enough to dampen his hopes of nine points from the next three Premiership homes games against Portsmouth, Birmingham and – er – Wigan. And if his shopping list (a seven point haul) proves beyond us, we’ll just have to […]

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The First Time Ever I Saw Your Team: Middlesbrough FC

Pete Sixsmith

John McCormick writes: I’d really have to think hard about whether or not I’ve seen us play ‘Boro at Roker. […]

Sunderland’s decline under Short ‘more Accrington Stanley than Leeds’

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Monsieur Salut says: when I said Salut! Sunderland had perhaps been too kind to Ellis Short in the past, I […]

Beyond belief: the football club owner who has never spoken to his manager

Jake: 'you don't talk to the likes of us, Ellis, so how can we be blamed if we get somethign wrong?

Welcome to the strange world of Ellis Short, reluctant and reclusive football boss. In the past, Salut! Sunderland may have […]

A Daughter Speaks: how Wigan and Rochdale restored the FA Cup’s shine

Footy loving Nathalie is second from the left

Amid all Sunderland’s more pressing problems, it seems almost incidental to reflect on how old you now have to be […]

SAFC vs Middlesbrough Who are You?: ‘Coleman’s great but what a mountain to climb’

We were both in the Premier League when Jake came up with this banner for the game (we lost 2-1) that prompted David Moyes's infamous relegation scrap comments

Monsieur Salut writes: having used up virtually the entire Boro-supporting side of my family (my sister has lived there throughout […]

Post-Bolton thoughts: as Brian Clough said…

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By now you’ll have read Pete Sixsmith’s report from Bolton. I can’t find fault with it and there’s no point in […]