Before getting on to Bolton Wanderers and Guess the Score, here is one small piece of unfinished business from the West Ham match.
For my last words on the satisfactory afternoon’s work on Saturday, I shared with readers of the ESPN FC site the thought, already expressed on these pages, that the good, loud contingent Hammers support deserved better than the miserable display their team offered them.
I bumped into a few of them when delivering Mme Salut to the Seaburn, aka Marriott, hotel for her customary leisure club alternative to football or the Bridges. They were a bit miffed at having failed to persuade anyone to perform the simple task of switching the TV over from something unwatched to the early Premier game, but chatted amiably before we made our separate ways to the ground.
This is how I recorded the Hammers’ contribution to Saturday’s atmosphere:
Away fans are now banished to the upper section of the north stand at the Stadium of Light, still a significant improvement on what Sunderland fans routinely put up with at grounds from St James’ Park to Upton Park. On a cold January day, the travelling East Enders gave a heartening level of encouragement despite the wretchedness of their team. I know what it is like to cover hundreds of miles and wonder whether the effort was worth it, so hats off to the Hammers.
Otherwise, as you can see by following this link – http://soccernet.espn.go.com/blog/_/name/sunderland/id/961?cc=5739# – I echo Pete Sixsmith’s warm praise for David Vaughan and offer general thoughts on whether we have now, finally, turned the corner.
Now for the FA Cup. Have a go at guessing the score – which should be the final score at the end of normal and any extra time, not the outcome of a penalty shoot-out.
The winner can either settle for a superiority complex, having entered merely for fun and got it right, or choose the buy one/win one option and become the possessor of two Martin O’Neill “Team of All Talents – work in progress” mugs for the price of one. If delivery is in the UK, that price is £9.50, postage free.
A Bolton winner would receive mugs with a suitably modified design. As mentioned last week, Monsieur Salut could have sworn a Wanderers fan posted a 2-2 prediction for the first game but that the comment then somehow vanished. I am looking back in the system to see if I can locate any such correct but lost forecast and will pass on the applicable prize offer if one can be found.
There may be another Bolton “Who are You?” or there may not. I was not going to bother for the replay but ended up doing a similar Q&A for a Bolton site – Burnden Aces – and will publish my interviewer’s reciprocal responses to my questions if they arrive in time.
Ha’way the Lads.