Soccer Magazine

In Praise of Kone and Kabul, Sharing Newcastle’s Grief, Acclaiming Houdini United

By Colin Randall @salutsunderland
Gans doon a treet

Gans doon a treet

Here’s the place to have your fu. Subject to the usual rules of decency and legality, use the Comments facility to post anything you like about the outcome of the relegation scrap …

Now, we did try. No gloating, I thought, would make for a noble all-round instruction to the army of Salut! Sunderland toilers. Sadly, maybe even ignobly, the editor has been flattened by the tidal wave.

The truth is the truth. We feel about them much as they feel about us. We may pay lip service to the notion of the North East being a better place if only all the three top clubs – Sunderland, the Mags, and Shildon – could be in the top flight forever. But we know it won’t happen. And we don’t, or not all of us, actually like the Wear-Tyne-Wear derbies that much; just too much stress and anguish except when we go on six-in-a-row expeditions.

So let’s gloat after all. As they would be doing in spades.

First, though, let our ace illustrator Jake rise emerge from his Spanish Rioja or cerveza lake of celebration to acclaim our brilliant centre-back pairing, both exceptional last night:

Jake: 'two goal hero in a team full of heroes'

Jake: ‘two goal hero in a team full of heroes’

The comparison with Charlie Hurley is unavoidable. A rock in defence, almost unconcerned about what his blocks and tackles may do to his body, and those exhilarating forays upfield. Man mountain, and King Kone indeed.

Jake:solid as a rock and nearly scored

Jake:solid as a rock and nearly scored

For much of the media, our brilliant efforts to ensure survival took second place to the urge to treat the denouement as a Newcastle failure rather than a Sunderland success. Of all people, I can understand the motivations. But let’s turn it around an concentrate first on us.

Congratulations to @SunderlandAFC and well played Big Sam. A job brilliantly done.

— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) May 11, 2016

Cheers Gary. Looking forward to seeing #safc on @BBCMOTD next season. Oh, and you in your undergarments of course…

— Sunderland AFC (@SunderlandAFC) May 12, 2016

feeling brave aren't we today


@paddypower Think this deserves a wider audience…. Sunderland banner from last night

— Tony Carr (@Tonythecarr) May 12, 2016

Want to thank the players/staff for their amazing commitment since I took over! Delighted to be leading #SAFC into yet another PL campaign.

— Sam Allardyce (@OfficialBigSam) May 12, 2016

NUFC Fan Forum (@peter_sutty) May 11, 2016

@salutsunderland Given your allegiances Colin, I'm not sure we want to answer that! 🙂 Ax

— The Unthanks (@TheUnthanks) May 12, 2016

There was also some neanderthal stuff from Mags at Twitter – one cretin even published his mobile number when challenging any Mackem to fight him – but I have drawn a line at reproducing any of it.

This how my copy of the French sports paper L’Equipe covered it. They were more concerned about the “crazy emotional yo-yo” for Moussa Sissoko, who will be in the France squad for the Euros announced tonight but plays in the Championship (or Division 2 as L’Equipe naturally calls it) for a team not that far from Sunderland.



And finally, from my old pal Ed Pickford, Sunderland-supporting songwriter, a few lines written this morning on the club that tears his heart out season after season:

Houdini United is my favourite football team
They make me excited as I live my football dream
But each year in August when the football season starts
My hopes always bite the dust – they play in fits and starts

Hou – Hou – Houdini United
Hou – Hou – Houdini United
It’s my favourite football team but I think they’re blighted
Hou – Hou – Houdini United

Soon the points and games they’ve played are a different number
All the careful plans they made are snoozing in a slumber
Christmas time they sack the boss the fans have all turned manic
Loss on loss makes fans turn cross with panic that’s titanic


April May I’ve got to say that things start looking better
Like a poor old stag at bay the team they cannot fetter
Rises like a phoenix and starts winning for no reason
Ha’way lads the fans all cry – safe for another season!


M Salut, drawn by Matt, colouring by Jake

M Salut, drawn by Matt, colouring by Jake

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