I was listening to the phone in after the Arsenal game last night and a fair proportion of callers happened to be requesting the heads of the "mercenaries" they claimed had just bottled it after conceding the second goal. Now some of them also happened to mention how they resented the fact that Viera, or his agent, had used the offer of an alleged £120,000 a week from Barca as a bargaining tool in his negotiations with their board. As the claims and counter claims developed it became apparent that a fair proportion of the fans wanted to see Ray Parlour in the side even if it were at the expense of one of their superstars. This got me to thinking how pleased I am to be a Sunderland supporter at present. Think about it, no gutless superstars hiding on Saturday afternoons but all too visible in post and pre match interviews spouting the tired old excuses for yet another "inexplicable" defeat. Nobody on wages that are so ridiculously out of step with performance they generate the sort of resentment that became apparent over our last 2 seasons. Having pre and post match drinks and banter with real fans who have stuck with their team through everything despite being taunted and ridiculed by johnny come lately glory hunting tosspots that wouldn't know a footballer if he were stood in their living room wearing his strip. Even the blood and thunder style of football suits me fine. Error driven the excitement may be but at least it gets the old juices flowing. I'm not saying our club shouldn't show ambition, don't get me wrong, winning the Premier or Champs League would be something special, and if by some miracle it could be done with a smattering of home produced talent in the side even more so, but as things stand in the game at present I couldn't give a toss about the Champions League. Look at it like this, if you were a Chelsea fan and over the next few years you won every honour in the game what would it really mean to you? Would you feel a sense of acheivement? Would you feel proud?. IMO it says a lot about the modern game and some of it's supporters that some fans would celebrate the fact that a guy with no connection to the club whatsoever has appeared out of the blue and bought them some trophies. Hand on heart it would mean nothing to me. By the way, this isn't sour grapes and it's nothing to do with past seasons or recent results, it's about my love for the game and what it means to me and it's just that for the first time in a long while I'm looking forward to games and enjoying feeling proud to be a Sunderland fan again.