As the old Jimmy Greaves saying used to go when talking about football and its supporters – “It’s a funny old game”.
Saturday 4th November 5.00pm and us Sunderland supporters are down in the dumps a bit as another away day defeat at Carrow Road has seen us slump to 17th place in the table and its seemingly looking more unlikely that promotion is going to be on the cards this season via any means other than the play offs and that is going to be reliant on a very strong second half to the season once a bit of much needed squad strengthening is carried out.
But fear not because come 7.15pm on the very same day a lot of us have been perked up significantly after Sheffield United managed to go to fortress St. James (the cliché ridden Sky and BBC pundits would have you believe it is a fortress filled with noise when in reality its far from it) and come away with a well deserved 3 points that dumps the magpies into bottom three and looking at their upcoming fixtures it’s not looking promising for them. Shame.
Of course the simple fact that they are the local rivals means I want to see them struggle, but I’ve got to say that if there’s ever a club that I would love to see come a cropper at present then its them lot. A club who have become synonymous with big name signings, big wages, arrogant players, arrogant supporters and added to the measure a chairman so arrogant he was prepared to mock his own flock. They represent pretty much everything that is wrong with football today in my eyes and like Leeds (made from the same wool) a stark reminder of real football values would be a joy to behold. In the past few days I have heard comments such as “we’ve always spent big” and “they wouldn’t let us get relegated as there’s too much money involved”. If there’s one thing football supporters should never forget it’s that money doesn’t guarantee anything in the game.
Another reason for me hoping that the magpies continue to fall from their perch is that indirectly it will aid our own and Roy Keane’s cause. As I have previously mentioned with regards to our own situation, patience is going to have to be shown in order for our own fortunes to be turned. Rightly or wrongly the attitudes and demands of supporters can swing violently and one of the reasons is because of how well or poorly a local rival is performing so let’s hope that the flock continue their revolt against their Shepherd as the results continue to go as they are.
Finally, what is going on with the managers in the Premiership? Alex Ferguson is currently being congratulated on completing 20 years at Manchester United which is quite a feat in itself and especially when you consider that his first four years at the club brought no visible success as such and his head was on the block (see what patience can do for you). However, during the past week or so we have had Jose Mourinho doing his “Peter Kay” except it wasn’t a shiny floor he was sliding on but the pitch at the Nou Camp and no doubt ruining a suit worth thousands in the process. Gareth Southgate sprinting 20 yards onto the pitch in his suit to get the ball back to a Man City player to hurry them up. Then we’ve had Alan Pardew doing his Brucie impression to which Arsene Wenger took offence and so we had a bit of handbags at dawn with the comedy value of them both appearing to be scared to leave the technical area. Let’s hope Keano gets us into the Premiership as I cannot wait to see how he deals with such antics.