Certain events mark the progress of the year. For instance you know it’s August Bank holiday when Selfridges show off their Christmas display. You know it’s Boxing Day when the TV is swamped with adverts for travel agents and in Peter Sixsmith‘s case he knows it’s only a week or two before the Premier League kicks off when The Observer asks him for his thoughts on the upcoming season. Now that their edited version has been published (you can it read here) we can release his original set of responses, written before the game against Dortmund, before the new change strip was revealed and before we dipped our toes into the transfer market. (You can probably work out their questions.)

Sixer by Jake

Sixer by Jake

OBSERVER SEASON PREVIEW 2016-17 SUNDERLAND AFC

We start the season with a new manager who has done good work with a club that is similar to ours. We have the core of the team that stood up to be counted last season. We are able to look down on our closest rivals as they go to Burton Albion, Barnsley and Brentford.

But we are playing catch up after the FA messed up our pre-season by taking an age to appoint Sam Allardyce. I think that David Moyes is a good fit for the club and I am optimistic that he can drag us into the sanctity of mid table obscurity. But it depends on bolstering a wafer thin squad, keeping influential players fit and hoping that some of our youngsters can push on this season. Tom Robson looks a prospect at left back and Joel Asoro impressed in France.

There are no new faces at the time of writing but it is clear that we need a right back, centre half, forward and wide midfield player – not much to ask there then. We are desperate to sign the outstanding Yann M’Vila on a permanent contract after his successful loan spell last year. The lack of depth and cover is worrying but we have until the end of the month to sort something out.

At the moment the first X1 looks like Mannone; Jones, Kaboul, Kone, Van Aanholt: Lens, Kirchoff, Cattermole, Khazri: Borini: Defoe.

I am looking for a 12th/13th place finish and I suspect that Leicester City will be just above that.

Johnny Crossan - with our usual thanks to www.therokerend.com

Johnny Crossan – with our usual thanks to www.therokerend.com


The best away ground to visit will be Turf Moor – a proper football town with proper fans and a very good pub ten minutes’ walk away. Stamford Bridge is awful – the complete antithesis of Burnley.

I would love to have Johnny Crossan back – he was a wonderful inside forward who could score goals from nowhere. And Dave Watson wouldn’t go amiss either.

Top 4; 1. Manchester City. 2. Liverpool. 3. Manchester United. 4. Chelsea.
Bottom 3; 20.Hull City 19.Swansea City 18.Watford
Promoted from the Championship; Derby County; Sheffield Wednesday; Newcastle United.

First Premier League Manager sacked; whoever has the misfortune to take over at Hull City.

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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.

6 Responses to “Sixer observes – what the new season has in store for Sunderland AFC” Subscribe

  1. Drummer August 7, 2016 at 9:41 am #

    Maybe just maybe Moyes can get a tune out of Rodwell . The pair had a successfull working relationship at Everton and as long as injury’s will allow ,I’m sure Rodwell can improve . Also Jermaine Lens showed signs of waking up under Allardyce and has looked promising in pre season , the pair of them will effectively be new signings if Moyes can get them motoring . A few more signings in and my hopes of a steady , uneventfull , mid table season will have returned to pre Big Sam leaving levels .

  2. Paul August 7, 2016 at 10:14 am #

    Crossan was an enigma but on his day a stylish genius. I remember him showing Best, Charlton, Law etc how to do it in 1964, in the sixth round tie when Sunderland squandered a 3-1 lead.

  3. William C August 7, 2016 at 3:56 pm #

    Yeah, I concur with your expectations Pete. I think it will take David Moyes a bit of time to build a team with the sort of consistency he managed at Everton, but I am confident that he will. In my opinion he is the best British manager in the country [ I have held that opinion for several years ]

    We do need a couple of additions, and Moyes has a very good record in the transfer market. I also agree with Drummer that if he can get a tune out of Rodwell and Lens, he will save us further investment.

    I included both Johnny Crossan and Dave Watson in my all time best SAFC team on this site a couple of years ago.
    Crossan was IMO a vastly under rated player [ not by SAFC fans ] He was an incredible athlete, and could run all day. Plus as noted above, he scored goals.

    Dave Watson was simply a great defender. As good a centre half as any of his generation. What a pity we lost him to Manchester City when he was at the peak of his powers.

  4. Jeremy August 8, 2016 at 1:40 pm #

    Manager arrived late, but that’s no excuse for the inability to secure further deals for M’Villa and Yedlin. Hitherto we have secured the services of a defender who I have never heard of, nor whose name can I spell.

    It’s an appalling performance from the club over the summer and the responsibility can’t be blamed for the same sort of summer that we grown accustomed to. The club never learn, regardless of personnel in the dug out or board room. Ellis Short is no more than a Texan version of Bob Murray. We’ve been eclipsed by both Boro who are newly promoted and the Mags who are newly relegated. I fear that both will be on the up come the end of the season and most likely we are down. The club is being run like a corner shop.

    • John Mac August 8, 2016 at 3:20 pm #

      What is/was so good about Yedlin that people want him back? I can accept he improved over the season but he never filled me with awe or even admiration. How many of his forward runs ended up with the ball lost or given away and him out of position when the counterattack started?

      I wouldn’t argue if he returned but I wouldn’t be worried if Rodwell took his place in the back line.

      • malcolm August 8, 2016 at 3:53 pm #

        Yedlin and M’Vila were both regulars in a well balanced side which battled away and made us into a half decent team where the whole was greater than the sum of the parts. We know what we will be getting if they come back.

        In the past we have brought in loads of players who have contributed little or nothing. Boro fans will need to wait and see whether their new players add quality as well as numbers.

        Think Cabral, N’Diaye, Matthews, Toivonen, Roberge, Coates, Altidore, Graham, Mavrias, Scocco, Alvarez, El-Hadji Ba, the list goes on.

        I’d rather Yedlin, M’Vila and a decent forward than all the above.

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