Crusty folk-rocker goads Arsenal whingers and says guess the WBA score

Jake: 'just score more than them'
Jake: ‘just score more than them’

Monsieur Salut’s hibernation is nearly over.

It’s back to France at the weekend – with any luck catching Bennett and Barnes in commentary from the Hawthorns – without even the need to plan a return for the 40th anniversary cup final in which we forlornly hoped Sunderland might feature.

There’s lots of riveting nostalgia to come on the essential part of SAFC history that is May 5 1973 and all that preceded it that year. And you can use this posting to guess the West Brom-Sunderland score – I’ll send a mug to the reader who is first to predict the correct outcome, usual rules applying.

But since I am heading across the Channel, it seemed as good a time as any to have a parting blast at the absurd posturing we’ve seen from Arsene, otherwise admired as man and manager by M Salut, and all the Montys and Ruperts and Pierses who support Arsenal. Arsenal? Global brand and never forget it … they expect to win every game and stamp their feet when they don’t.

It appears at our ESPN pages – – and this is a sample that establishes the link between their club and ours:

Arsenal have won the top-flight championship on 13 occasions, the FA Cup 10 times, the league cup twice and the European Cup-winners’ Cup and Inter-Cities Fairs Cup once apiece.

It is true that the last two of these achievements were the 2004 Premier League title and FA Cup in 2005. But it is also true that at the time Sunderland last won the Premier equivalent, in 1936, Arsenal’s league honours record was inferior: four league titles compared with Sunderland’s six.

Successive generations of Sunderland fans have had a long time to live with a dip in fortunes that has produced one FA Cup triumph, in 1973, as the only significant silverware since the same trophy was won in 1937. There isn’t even the compensating hope that this merely reflects cyclical patterns, with seriously good times bound to return soon. Half the league titles were in the century before last …

… Sunderland supporters get their thrills from staying up, pushing at the top 10 now and again, pulling off unexpected victories over the elite. And they turn up in droves because they share a sense of club and community spirit that all the Ruperts and Montys and Pierses can but dream of.

If I ruffle a few feathers, so much the better. If Piers Morgan is indignant, I’ll shout for joy.

Otherwise, I will continue to edit from afar in the knowledge that Pete Sixsmith, Malcolm Dawson, Steve Goldsmith, John McCormick, Ken Gambles and many other Salut! stalwarts – including my fellow exile, Jake – will ensure the site remains essential reading for Sunderland supporters and also for lovers, SAFC-supporting or not, of good writing on football.

So where does folk-rock come into this?

My three final cultural exploits before boarding the ferry at Dover – much cheaper than the Shuttle – have seen me rub shoulders (OK not quite but they were there, too) with Nicole Kidman and Mia Wasikowska at the premiere of Stoker, pay Arsenal-style prices for Carmen at the Royal Albert Hall – thought it might please the missus – and drive from London to Leeds and back for Fairport Convention, which did please the missus.

fairportIf you’re old enough to care, my report from the City Varieties is here:

And as always, Ha’way the Lads. At the Hawthorns and beyond …

Monsieur Salut, by Matt
Monsieur Salut, by Matt

14 thoughts on “Crusty folk-rocker goads Arsenal whingers and says guess the WBA score”

  1. Keep dreaming we will be lucky to get a draw and I will be happy with that I hope we left a few players in the sun ie colback Larson and oshea 1. 1 the score if we play two up front if not we will get beat because they have a midfield that can score goals and create chances and the bottom line is we have not..

  2. I don’t want to know what your problem is with Wenger, but it seems to me that you’d do well to direct your contempt equally at the likes of Mancini/Fergie/Abromavich/the Mansours/Antonovs/Ashley etc.

    Where I share your ire, however, is the massive confidence trick that the imbecile given human form, Piers Morgan, has perpetrated upon the world to make hundreds of thousands of people believe he has views that will enrich their lives immeasurably. I would like to clarify that Morgan does not speak for Gooners, nor should he boast of his love for the Arsenal since I know not when he deigned to occupy his box at our stadium.

    Equally, while a proportion of Gooners/fans may seek to trouble the airwaves and the internet bemoaning the lack of ‘success’ measured in silverware, I know that supporting your Team is usually unconditional. You take the lows with the highs; sure, I have expectations at the start of every season (and of late, these have been gradually replaced by expectations for every game), but nowhere does it state that we the Team will box every opponent 1-0 and win every trophy going. With ‘kids’.

    It doesn’t mean I’m happy about the situation, far from it, but I’ll continue to support my Team in the manner I believe is positive, and worry about our own affairs, and not subscribe to the thinly-disguised glee at our current malaise and misfortunes fed by outsiders and panditry of the lowest quality.

    • I have a feeling M Salut has posted this reply in the wrong place so I have copied it here. What follows are Colin’s words not mine.

      “You won’t want to know either that I have no “problem with Wenger” beyond disapproving of his recent tantrum. If you did want to know, you’d need to see the full ESPN piece at
      This was just a sample”

      • thanks, Malcolm. Okay, fair enough to Mr C; that was a quite a balanced post but for the pops at Arsene taking issue with impertinent questions those hacks would never show the cajones to ask Fergie.
        I reiterate that Morgan is an embarrassment as an Arsenal ‘fan’, so regret any offence his ignorant quip must have caused that time.

        I just wanted to try and make the point that a lot of Gooners don’t form their views on the basis of what’s broadcasted and published. Winning something is always good, but the last time I looked at my season ticket Ts&Cs, there was no obligation from the club to win everything going.

        It’s also clear that there is a lot of fans who have only known the success that Wenger heralded in his first decade, so they’re possibly not as aware of the grief you would get in the playground from all the Liverpool supporters in the 80s (Anfield ’89 notwithstanding). This is not to suggest that my experience of supporting Arsenal is any more valid, but many Gooners can remember the fallow years in betwen ’89 and ’91, excluding Cup triumphs (and Morrow’s broken arm); just don’t make the mistake of assuming that all Gooners are ‘fans’, toffs, and think that anybody north of the M25 is a prognathous-jawed oaf.

        All the best for the rest of the season.

      • Good measure of agreement, then. It is nevertheless legitimate for the media to ask such questions of Arsene, Sir Alex and anyone else who can properly be seen as a public figure – and their right to answer as they choose. If they answer aggressively, misleadingly or petulantly,they ,ust then expect to attract critical comment. But then, I’m a hack so would say that …

  3. Forgive the cynicism, but just in case no one sees it “Live,” I shall post this here, too:

    I have great memories of seeing Fairport twice at a fairly small club-like venue in Toronto a few years ago — two fantastic nights. Bizarre standouts… Dave Pegg’s T-shirt, which said, “The liver is evil and must be punished…” And Gerry Conway closing off the first set of the first evening with a beat-perfect rendition of Sandy Nelson’s “Let There Be Drums,” acknowledging the surprised but quite rapturous applause with: “And now… let there be drinks.” Pegg had reached the bar already and was into his first pint of Guinness.

    WBA 0 SAFC 10

  4. Ah Fairport. Never the same since Sandy. Last time I saw them was at Derby – with special guest appearance of Dave Swarbrick in wheelchair and attendant saline drip. He could still play a mean fiddle though and joke about his obituary. Good to see him still going even stronger after his lung transplant.

    WBA 0 Sunderland 5

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