And now we’re five: Villa, Leicester, Hull, True Geordie`s Newcastle and us

So Burnley departed the Premier with great grace, leaving a gift for the other strugglers by dumping Hull right in it. QPR capitulated at the Etihad and there`s just one relegation place left …

Let’s start with controversy. I don’t really want Newcastle United to go down, except if it’s instead of us. And I’ll be hoping for Boro to progress on Friday to the playoff final, followed by victory at Wembley.

Like almost anyone with family members scattered around the North East, I have Newcastle and Middlesbrough supporters among relatives and also friends.

But that’s not the reason; I cannot recall ever seriously sparing a sympathetic thought for my Mag cousin in Whitley Bay, or late uncles and aunts in Byker and Wallsend, or my sister’s Boro-born children when things have gone wrong for their teams.

I just take that boringly sensible North-eastern view and prefer it when all three of the region’s teams are together in the top flight. Simple as that really. It’s a great deal better, of course, when not only are all of them there, but we’re top dogs.

Things can still go horribly wrong for Sunderland. Having hauled ourselves back into as strong a position as we could properly hope for, we can still blow it against Leicester and have to rely on a sensational result at the Emirates or Stamford Bridge.

But for the first time in weeks, with whatever caution needs to be applied, I am moderately optimistic.

As Pete Sixsmith said in a brilliant report of his day out to Goodison: “No room for complacency – but I don’t think Dick Advocaat does complacency.”

The True Geordie’s latest rant, following the Mags’ stuttering 1-1 draw at home to WBA, is not his best but is still sheer class. I am not the only Sunderland fan to think so. Have a look and a laugh, provided industrial language does not offend you.

At one point he says, with expletives thinly disguised: “We deserve to go down without a f***** doubt and if we don’t it’ll just be by pure luck and by the fact that somebody was sh***er than us.”

More elegantly or not, we’ve said the same about own lot often enough, even if now they have restored a lot of pride and fought themselves to the brink or survival.

But see Comments. Some disagree sharply with me. The clip is still here but, to demonstrate the editor’s conciliatory approach, has been relegated to the bottom of the page.

As for the relegation battle, it may yet be close but I have a feeling another Newcastle fan, Steve Bruce, will be the saviour of the Wear-Tyne pair.

Spurs were dire at Stoke but will be expected by their own demanding fans to redeem themselves at White Hart Lane, however hard Hull fight like Tigers to beat them. Then, on the final day, Man Utd visit the KC stadium; this is not the United of old but I still fancy them to win.

I hope it doesn’t matter by then, for us at any rate. A win against Leicester and a draw or defeat the same day for Hull would save us. That’s the outcome I am desperately rooting for.

And let’s have some updating of the two polls: support for our own survival prospects is naturally rising but should now grow whoppingly to reflect our back-to-back wins. And Hull’s position in the new second poll – see above – must become a lot more precarious. The original version drew nearly 900 votes and I am afraid we were still ahead of all except QPR and Burnley before the weekend games. Only six per cent, now unrealistic, had opted for Hull among the three for the drop.

If you are thinking that means fans of the other clubs must be making mischief, you`ll be right.

So if you`re now feeling a lot more optimistic about Sunderland, you know what to do next …

[polldaddy poll=8818549]

Not forgetting the expansion of the survey to find out who Salut! Sunderland readers (who, don’t forget, may well again include supporters of the other six clubs) think will go down.


M Salut, drawn by Matt, colouring by Jake
M Salut, drawn by Matt, colouring by Jake

13 thoughts on “And now we’re five: Villa, Leicester, Hull, True Geordie`s Newcastle and us”

  1. “We will stumble to safety like a drunken pitman coming home from a stoppy back at the Legion.”

    Beautifully put sir!

  2. As with all things SAFC, Drummer, we know that it will not be straightforward. I can see us clawing a late equaliser from the dying embers of the game against Leicester to rescue a point and then going to the Emirates and getting a comfortable draw in a game that everyone is expecting to be an easy three points for Arsenal.

    We will stumble to safety (hopefully). like a drunken pitman coming home from a stoppy back at the Legion.

  3. I honestly couldn’t care less who goes down as long as its not us , whoever gets relegated ( including ourselves ) will have deserved it . Can our newly found fighting spirit get us over the line ? I’m leaning towards yes . 60/40 that we’ll stop up , as I’ve posted elsewhere but like most on here I’d love to get it done on Saturday , sorry Hull , I just can’t face the anxiety of everything riding on our last two games !

  4. You’ll have been expecting us to lose against Southampton and Everton as well, I’m sure Arthur. Most of us didn’t expect a great deal. The difference is that we are now playing a more attacking game and are brimming with confidence.

    I really have a soft spot for your club and as I’ve said many times on here, I’ve never met anyone from Hull that I didn’t like. As for your manager the FGB, most of us have little time or respect for him and tears wouldn’t be shed for him.

  5. The editor stands rebuked. Don’t think I will need to run a poll! But he still makes me laugh.

  6. As a Hull fan I live in hope but expect us to go down and save both Sunderland and Newcastle, good luck to you next season. Sunderland had a great win last Saturday and Newcastle’s draw made it harder for us as well. I don’t think Sunderland will get another point, Newcastle may get a draw at QPR. That leaves us needing 2 draws (unlikely) or a win at Spurs. In other words we are stuffed, but I like the Championship as it is more honest than the PL with all its cheating dives for penalties and feigning injuries. I hope to see my team win a lot more matches and score a lot more goals next season.

    • Pundits are saying thst Tottenham and Man U will not be too fussed about beating Hull. I don’t buy that: Tottenham will not want to lose three on the run and thereby finish as low as 8th or 9th. If Man U beat Arsenal this weekend, they are in for a shout for 3rd place on the final Sunday, regardless of what damage Arsenal inflict on Sunderland.

      • By the same pundit’s logic will Chelsea take it easy against us? I doubt it and expect some of their fringe players to start and want to prove a point or two.

        Meanwhile if I was Ellis Short I’d be asking questions about who checks out a player’s susceptibility to injury before he splashes out the cash.

        With Giach and Alvarez unavailable Dick’s options are limited at a crucial stage of the season. Rodwell, PVA and Billy Jones have had more than their fair share of sickies too.

  7. Yes Malcolm! He’s a loud mouth twit. Your stereo typical Geordie, obsessed with Sunderland and thinks he has a god given right to football.

    • I do find him amusing at times , but they can’t help themselves can they ? ” All eyes are on Newcastle United because they’re the big club at the wrong end of the table !” Give it a rest man , the eyes are on your club because they’re a complete basket case !

  8. Am I alone in thinking we should not be giving True Geordie any publicity. OK we can laugh at a Skunk in distress but he says nothing original and the fact he shouts and swears doesn’t make him any more interesting. I’d feel the same if he was a supporter of any team including North Shields and Sunderland.

    I’ve seen him rant on once before and watched a bit of this one but haven’t changed my opinion and I won’t be wasting any more of my time going back again. If he was a regular in my local I’d go somewhere else for my Workie Ticket.

  9. Good article. Yes things can still go horribly wrong for us, and for the other four teams involved. I just hope that we didn’t use up all our luck at Goodison Park on Saturday. It was a great battling performance but we did get the rub of the green,which I know you need ,but cannot always rely on.
    Nervous times for all involved.

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