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8-0 post-mortem...
by eve sayers

So after a drumming 8-0 at the hands of Southampton, where do we go from here? Do the fans deserve a refund? After nigh on 2,600 Mackems made the 650 mile round trip, you'd think so. But would docking the players' wages be more appropriate? Not one player who played a part in that absolute atrocity on Saturday can argue they deserve paying so if there is to be a refund, it has to be from their pocket, a gesture from the players to the fans. Many fans who made the trip have said they don't want a refund. Should the Southampton fans pay extra because they won 8-0?

I'm sure every Sunderland fan would rather they repay us with a decent performance vs Arsenal. They must prove that they're fit to wear the shirt and deserve the incredible backing they get week in, week out. The video of Sunderland fans at full-time is remarkable, and many Saints fans said they had an admiration for us, saying we were the best fans they'd seen at St.Mary's this season. If only the players were as half as good as the fans…

Poyet is good at man-management and I hope he can spark a reaction from the players in training. There is no-where for the players to hide after the humiliation they endured on Saturday and what I find bizarre, is that we started the game on top.

Then one clanger from Vergini set the tone for the whole game. It was an excellent goal, unfortunately in the wrong net. From then on, the game was a freak-show. 11 shots on target for Southampton and six of them hit the net. We need to stop gifting teams goals, the amount of hapless own goals we give away is ridiculous. It was a problem last season and it is one that hasn't been addressed.

It is inevitable that the line-up will be very different vs Arsenal, with a number of players being dropped. But what is important is that we get behind the lads and spur them on to get the reaction which is needed. Our next five home games include Arsenal, City, Chelsea and Everton and we have tough away games coming up, so we need to start picking up points sharpish. Football is a funny old game. Before Saturday we had the second best defensive record in the league, only conceding a total of seven goals. We play one game and all of sudden we've conceded a total of fifteen. From what we've seen this season, we can play good football and we can defend. Every player is guilty of not trying on Saturday and to show they are genuinely sorry, they need to give their all in every game.

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mannone wants to refund fans...
pdc and de fanti at war

Vito Mannone has sensationally called for himself and the rest of the team to pay for the tickets and travel of all Sunderland fans at the Southampton match. He said: "It was a difficult afternoon but we need to react. We have to do it for ourselves, for the club and for our great fans as well that came all that way. I will personally talk to the team to see if it is possible to pay their tickets and their trip. It is difficult for us but it's very difficult for them as well. I take all the responsibility I can take for each goal, I will try to work on it and try to improve. Each one of us should do the same. To try to defend and be in a game properly as a unit. Each one of us knows there were mistakes on the field.

"I really mean that we should pay their tickets and travel. I will do everything possible. We should do it because we didn't work hard. We started the game well but after we conceded we threw in the towel – and I include myself."

It remains to be seen whether this will actually happen, however if Mannone has went through the club to make these comments then I doubt they would have let him do this interview without them considering it an option.

In the background of all the 8-0 craic, Paolo Di Canio was on Goals on Sunday, he offered up a few bits of insight into what happened at Sunderland for him. Paolo said: "It was a fantastic experience if I'm honest. When I signed the contract the team in their last eight games had six defeats and two draws, and were in free-fall, many said already relegated. In seven games we made eight points – two fantastic wins – in the middle of difficulty because we had six players out for the rest of the season. The players were very good with my philosophy and then we came out of that difficult situation."

"The season later, it didn't start from my point of view because my big mistake was to accept to work in the way I did. For the clarity of the situation, the 14 players that arrived at Sunderland during my time there – not one was brought by me. So that was clear the philosophy was changing. De Fanti (Roberto, director of football) and Angeloni (Valentino, chief scout) were the two responsible with maximum support from the chairman which is Ellis Short. It is public I asked them to bring in 80 per cent British footballers to avoid relegation. I really believe bringing eight or nien players who know how to play, how to win and how to fight in this league, would be better.

'We signed not one British footballer. The only two who put on my stamp – I put in my determination where after two weeks we started the season and there were three days to go of the transfer market – I said 'OK if you can't bring in two British footballers in the middle of the field, or maybe one attacker one midfield player, then bring in two players who have already had Premier League experience.' They told me one could be Ki from Swansea and one Borini. I said I knew them because I used to follow Ki from Celtic so I said bring them straight away because, they are not British, but they have been here three or four years and have British football on their brain, in their legs and in their heart. That was fantastic and it is no coincidence that they were two crucial players who helped keep the club up."

As for the 0-3, PDC offered this up: "It was fantastic. I'm a guy who can straight away feel the cause. I can understand because when I was younger I was a supporter for my team, so I understand what every supporter feels for his club. Up there we all know how much passion they've got, both Sunderland and Newcastle fans. I arrive at this game in a difficult situation and we win in style. If I'm not wrong I think it was nearly 35 years that we didn't win by three goals away from home. In front of 50,000 people and more importantly 2,800 people. They seemed proud, I put out all my passion and my heart because it was important specifically for this team. The derby there is like a sort of religious moment, it's crucial. And for the three points as well they were important to maintain the club in the Premier League. It's obvious that it was a magic moment."

"I analyse myself but we focus more on some things rather than other things. When you arrive at this club in the Premier League you have to make the revolution because my idea was to make a revolution, not only for the players. I wanted to change the habit because in a big club like that it's not easy. To be honest the problem was different because there wasn't a clear idea where to go. We had a project but at the end of the day I was sacked after five games. If I'm not wrong the two Italians who brought all the players in walked out in January (following Di Canio's dismissal in September 2013). There was no clear idea. Before me three managers were changed in two or three years so if every time you've got a problem you're going to change everything, it's difficult to be something potent. It's obvious in terms of mistakes I made there are a few for sure, not only off the field but also how to lead my players but it's all experience to improve for the future group that you are going to approach."

Our former Director of Football Roberto De Fanti however believes that Paolo blames everybody but himself: "Paolo had the final decision on every player. He always blames everybody else but himself. The biggest mistake of the club's board was not to listen to me and Valentino's suggestion not to confirm Paolo at the beginning of last season. Paolo was fundamental in saving the team from relegation, but not the right manager to lead what would have been a new group. Cracks inside the locker room were evident already then. Luckily, our suggestion to take Gus (Poyet) was not unheard and he was able to achieve results with exactly the same team as the beginning of the season. He will also save the club also this year, if he is allowed to work properly." This is getting juicy!

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poyet issues apology...
broken man

I don't need to remind you of the score yesterday, it's everywhere. Gus Poyet has issued an apology to the fans for his team's performance: "I'm so sorry for the fans, it's one hell of a trip to make and they were outstanding. They got right behind the team throughout and there are no words I can use that will say sorry to them. I've never felt as bad on a football pitch, as a player or as a coach, as I do today. Even as a fan I've never felt this way, it's embarrassing and unacceptable; I'm really hurt."

"We started off well, we were aggressive - we passed the ball well and then we conceded one of the most difficult goals to try and explain, and then the second goal we let in was just as unlucky. At that time I though we couldn't get any worse luck; but I was wrong. We had the penalty claim, which the referee turned down, and from there I think we knew the game was not going to go in our favour. Nothing went right, but there is another side in football. We needed to be stronger and not give up; there is no place to hide out on the pitch and I am very disappointed with what I saw today.


"But the fans were magnificent. After all their support I wanted to give them something back but we just couldn't, it was not the day for that. It was a terrible feeling, we ask them for their support and we couldn't give them anything back. It's going to be a difficult week. We need to reassess things and make sure we don't have another day like today. It's unfortunate we have to wait a week to try and put it right but that's all we can do." I think it's great that he's apologised and I appreciate it, but as far as Poyet's culpability for the defeat; bad tactics can account for a 3 or 4-0 defeat, but a defeat of this magnitude lies with the players.

Santiago Vergini has also apologised for yesterday's events, in particular for his own goal: "I take full responsibility for this and after my error the game really did change. The account we gave of ourselves was embarrassing. We have to look forward now and try to improve for the following game."

"I thank the fans for their excellent support as always and I would really like to say sorry to them for the very poor account we have given of ourselves. The first step is to accept the errors we committed and we have to be aware that we are responsible for what happened here. We have to look towards the next game and approach it in the best possible condition."

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fans are fickle...
By melanie dudley

Well, one thing I took from yesterday was, a number of our fans are fickle! Yesterday morning, my son and I set off for Southampton, the usual excitement and nervousness, but, looking forward for a day of all things Mackem! For me, I hoped for a point, but, reality told me, we'd lose, however, I never expected the humiliating thrashing that unfolded before my very eyes!

Now, don't get me wrong, I have seen many thrashings over the years, but, yesterday seemed to take things to a new level. I sat with my 8 year old son one side, who was just happy to be there and enjoy the day with a charming older gentleman on the other side who had been watching SAFC for 60 plus years and summed it up for me, the defence simply had not arrived at St Marys.

Every SAFC forum mocks the skunks about their fans, the "Pardew protests", however, yesterday, the number of fans walking out when the 4th goal went in left me dismayed, disappointed and underwhelmed by the commitment as a fan! For the love of gawd, if it is awesome, sexy world class footie you were hoping for, why the feck did you buy a ticket to watch Sunderland?!

Yes, we were shocking, lacklustre, and seriously lacking backbone, however, comments about "walking out in protest" does not have any impact, other than make us as fans look weak and fickle. Without wanting to sound like a broken record, where did all the fans who went to Wembley for the League Cup final go?!

I have just endured watching MOTD with a bit of a fuzzy head, have been abused on Facebook by "know it all" arms chair fans (otherwise known as friends)! However, I'll spend the day licking my wounds and prepare myself for a trip to the SOL next Saturday for the Arsenal game!

I shall wear my stripes with pride, things can only get better, right?!

In Gus, I Trust...

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ALS BloG...
By Chris Henry

I'm on my way back from Southampton. On a bus too. It was a long journey down and no doubt will be a bastard long journey back.

A football card has just come round, I've took Southampton. They've piled on misery today so surely they can give a little back? I've been on this earth 33 years in January, the last 23 of them have been as a season ticket holder of Sunderland AFC, I go to home matches with me dad who is also me best mate, he's been watching Sunderland far too long and still puts up with it.

Away games I go with mates or by mesel, but I'm never by mesel when I'm with fellow Sunderland fans. After an away match I always ring me da to talk about the match, I do this religiously win, lose or draw. I dreaded making that call today, what can I say after that? I'm in a state of shock. The first half was atrocious, gifted Southampton three goals. The second half was even worse. What can you say? I've just watched my team, the love of my life, the mutual bond that binds me and dad together, the bloke who told me on Easter Sunday 1997 that Sunderland AFC would break my heart after a few too many cans of Visborg, the bloke I shared tears with walking down Wembley Way with in March, the bloke who put me arm around me when all I could do was cry when Navas scored, how could I talk about Sunderland getting beat 8-0 today with me da?

I watched all 8 goals go in with ease, I watched a team who almost went bus a few years ago turn us over with ease, a team who sacked Alan Pardew, a team who only a few seasons ago won the Johnsons Paint Trophy beat us 8-0. 8-0, that kind of score is a rarity unless you're Real Madrid or Barcelona, it doesn't happen in the Premier league that often, but it happened today. So many questions and thoughts have gone through me head, is Poyet the man for the job? Why are we leaving two players we spent £10 million pound on each on the bench? Brown off and Bridcutt at right back? Has this result been coming? Why aren't the fans more pissed off? Why are we singing Sunderland's going to be alright and things can only get better instead of shouting we want our money back telling the players they aren't fit to wear the shirt?

I'm not happy today, I got up at 4am to wash me shit hair in time to catch a bus at 5:30am. I'm not trying to sound like a martyr but I and the rest of the fans deserve better, far better. We've struggled to progress since we got promoted under Keane, needing regular overhauls and developing loan players we have no chance of signing. We're continually obsessed with them up the road struggling whilst not doing too good ourselves. Anyway, what did me da say when I rang him? 'You were gonna miss your best mate's wedding for the Mags at home next year, dickhead'. Cheers da! Oh and Southampton came out on the football card. Me 25 Southampton 8.

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post southampton craic…
REACTION

Sunderland lost 8-0 away at Southampton. Yes, eight. The worst display I can remember seeing. Two goals from Pelle and singles from Tardic, Cork, Mane and Wanyama added to an own goal each from Bridcutt and Vergini to ruin my weekend and possibly my life. Cheers Sunderland, you bunch of tarts.

Gus Poyet was suitably livid with the performance and admitted his embarassment: "I think its the most embarrassing time I've had on a football pitch. You think you will never get these situations but unfortunately it is sometimes your turn. I feel very sorry for the fans, they came a long way to see a very difficult game today. At the start we played very well. We conceded an own goal whish is unique. We paid the price for everything that went wrong today because it was a difficult day. The only thing we knew is we needed to not throw the game away as 3-0 was enough. I learned a lot about the players today - the bad side as some gave up and I know who they are for the future. I cannot watch it again because it's not a lot to analyse. We were a difficult team to play before today but it was totally the opposite. As a group we didn't show the character to be on the pitch. We were really poor and unacceptable in the second half."

Meanwhile Gus has given his two cents on 'tell all' books in the wake of Roy Keane's latest effort. The Uruguayan admitted: "I am not a fan of people writing books. I hate books. I think they are going out of what you learn from football. You can't say one day that what happens in the dressing room stays in the dressing room then write a book. I don't like it. It doesn't matter who you are, I don't like it. Although mine would make a good one! I enjoy telling stories when I am having dinner, or at a barbeque, but not going public like that. It also involves so many other people and I would not like to be involved in writing books. That's me. I don't like it. I don't read books. I used to. I like to know what is going on so I watch the news in the evening. If I get criticised I take it. I don't like it, but I take it, as long as it is not personal. But I like to keep informed. Books at the moment, no. I have not read Roy Keane's book. I have read a few comments about it in the press, because I like to keep myself informed. I'm sorry Roy, I won't be buying your book. Maybe he can send me a copy."

Roy Keane touched upon pre-match music in the Sunderland dressing room during his time at the club, and while we no longer listen to ABBA, Gus reckons there's still plenty of music on: "We still have music. The boys decide between themselves. It is normal. I didn't hear anything I didn't like. Me? I adapt. I try to adapt to the new society. I like to talk, so as long as I can talk, Okay. I think the music can hide the silence in the dressing room. If there is silence in the dressing room, are the players concentrating? Music can bring a bit of atmosphere into the dressing room and I don't mind that. I went to see Mamma Mia, but no I don't have a CD of ABBA."

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