Malcolm Dawson writes….Christmas is a time of the year when traditions count for a lot. It has become a tradition for Sunderland managers to tell us how unlucky we were and how we must take the positives out of yet another defeat. After today’s perhaps not unexpected reversal, I was expecting more of the same in Big Sam’s post match e-mail to M Salut but there is a refreshing bout of honesty – disappointment and a admission that the fault may, at least in part, be down to the manager’s selection. But today’s e-mail breaks with tradition in another way – no thanks for the away support which sold out despite the extortionate ticket prices! We notice these things Sam!

Jake's take on Big Sam

Jake’s take on Big Sam


Dear Colin,

I think we made Chelsea look very good today. We conceded through a set-piece and we need to stop things like that happening.

After Chelsea went a goal up we were on the back foot. I don’t think we recovered from conceding that early goal. They were a side under pressure and getting that goal gave them the boost they needed.

In the second half we gave a penalty away and I was hoping to see a response; I got that and the players got into the game, we looked more like ourselves from that point. We created chances and starting putting Chelsea under the pressure we should have put them under in the first half, but it was far too late.

I’m disappointed with the performance up until the last 30 minutes. After that we showed some bottle and some skill and created chances.

Fabio on the score sheet at last today

Fabio on the score sheet at last today

I was buoyed by what I saw after [Fabio] Borini got the goal, we looked more positive and challenged Chelsea; there was fight there.
Maybe I picked the wrong team; I have to take some responsibility. After I brought on a couple of players and changed the system around we looked better, but ultimately there were too many errors in the first half that have cost us the game today.

Sam Allardyce

Jake says "Tell the Lads we kick off at 3.00 pm and not ten past!"

Jake says “Tell the Lads we kick off at 3.00 pm and not ten past!”

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Born in Hetton le Hole, deputy editor Malcolm Dawson's first game at Roker Park was the three all draw with Leicester City at the beginning of the 64-65 season. Having spent more than thirty years living in the East Midlands, he was Chairman and Information Officer of the Heart of England Branch of the Supporters' Association but has now returned to live in County Durham.

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