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Oppo view from the Blackcats

sam-allardyce-sunderland-manager-first-press-conference_3363279This week I caught up with Sunderland fan Pete Sixsmith from www.salutsunderland.com to complete a Q&A for ClaretandHugh

1) What are your expectations for Sunderland this season? Where will you finish in the league?
We have greater expectations than Charles Dickens and like Pip’s they never quite come to fruition. This year could be the year where we fail to dodge the rocky road to Reading and Rotherham. Hope for 17th; fear 20th.

2) Which three teams do you think will suffer relegation and who will lift the title this season?
When I am feeling optimistic (2% of the time) I say Hull City, Middlesbrough and Swansea City. For the other 98%, insert Sunderland for Swansea. I think Tottenham Hotspur have a very good chance of winning the league. Excellent manager and some very good players.

3) How do you rate West Ham’s manager Slaven Bilic first season in charge, how will he fare in his tricky second season after such a bad start?
I thought that Bilic did very well last season and you played some really good football. Not sure about the players he brought in during the summer though. At Sunderland, we don’t know very much about “tricky second seasons”, partly because we never have a good first one and partly because the manager tends to leave halfway through.

4) What league position can West Ham realistically achieve this season?
West Ham look like a top half side and should certainly be clear of any relegation trouble.

5) If you could have any current West Ham player in your first team who would you choose and why?
Payet is the obvious one, although I do think that he may find the standards that he set last year difficult to maintain. He has vision and can change a game – not many like that. But he could be another Cabaye or Ben Arfa; one good season and he thinks that he has done it. We shall see.

6) Which Sunderland player will be key to your hopes this season?
Jermain Defoe. If he scores, we have a chance of winning. Nobody else can. He is the only forward we have who is fit.

7) What is Sunderland’s achilles heel? Where will they need to improve on this season?
How many heels can we have? How long have you got? Our greatest problem is a terrible lack of concentration. How can Joe Allan be left unmarked in the box to head home a goal? He was last week. How can Romelu Lukaku be allowed to stroll through and score unhindered? He was when we played Everton. How can Christian Benteke be left unmarked in the 93rd minute to head a winner. You get the picture?

8) What is your view on Jermain Defoe? Has he still got his magic boots?
He is a very popular figure in the club with a great attitude. He has bought into the club almost as much as Niall Quinn did. We may see him as Chairman in five or six years time. He misses a few but you have to be there to do that. We would be utterly lost without him.

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9) How do you expect Sunderland to setup against West Ham on Saturday/ Team/formation prediction?
We will play 4-5-1 with Defoe up front and will try to push the full backs forward. Pickford; Manquilli, Djilibodji, O’Shea, Van Aanholt (Jones if unfit); Watmore, Rodwell, Pienaar, Ndong,Khazri; Defoe.

10) What is your score Prediction for Saturday?
We need a win – so 2-0 to you.

My thanks Pete Sixsmith who has been following Sunderland since 1962 and writes for www.salutsunderland.com

I am more than happy to agree with his prediction of 2-0 to us



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About Sean Whetstone

I am Season Ticket Holder in West stand lower at the London Stadium and before that, I used to stand in the Sir Trevor Brooking Lower Row R seat 159 in the Boleyn Ground and in the Eighties I stood on the terraces of the old South Bank. I am a presenter on the West Ham Podcast called MooreThanJustaPodcast.co.uk. A Blogger on WestHamTillIdie.com a member of the West Ham Supporters Advisory Board (SAB), Founder of a Youtube channel called Mr West Ham Football at http://www.youtube.com/MrWestHamFootball, I am also the associate editor here at Claret and Hugh. Life Long singer of bubbles! Come on you Irons! Follow me at @Westhamfootball on twitter

12 comments on “Oppo view from the Blackcats

  1. Seems like a good lad,some funny answers.I guess you need a sense of humour supporting the mackems these days lol
    Whats with the bloody hippo head picture Sean.Did no one tell you he aint their manager anymore 😉

  2. At first glance, I read “Hippo view from the Blackcats” … I thought he was still Sunderland manager… then good for them lol

  3. Poor Pete the Mackem he has had a bad few years.Imagine if some of our moaning fans supported Sunderland,they would have had nervous breakdowns by now lool

  4. Some of our fans couldn’t handle being a Sunderland supporter Rick.They get themslves in a big enough flap about popcorn being sold at the LS.
    Btw Barcelona sell popcorn at the Nou Camp.If its good enough for them its good enough for us hehe

  5. one of their main problems is they keep sacking the manager after a dodgy start (every 12 months) and no one has a chance to build a squad. they panic every season and scrape through at the last minute, buy a load of duds and wonder why they are crap again.
    maybe the best thing for them would be to go down and completely rebuild from nothing.
    ps why are C&H doing a whtid q&a ? not a problem just wonder why.. 🙂

  6. Probably because Sir Sean of Stratford does theirs as well Essex.He gives us a shorter version though because he knows we are illiterate (allegedly) lol 😉

    • oh I see, actually I noticed Sean did both but with different fans.
      my Mrs must have finally got fed up with me swearing about my stupid tablet & gave me a nice shiny laptop for my birthday… It’s even got speel cheek on it lol

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