Not the most popular statement a Sunderland supporter can make here, and directly at odds with the first line of the song, but it is the season of goodwill …
Masquerading as a Clio-driving visitor from France, not so far from the truth, Monsieur Salut went undercover after the victory over Bolton.
He stayed on Tyneside before braving the A1(M) today – a 300-mile doddle as it turned out – and even went out on the Toon.
There was relatively little of the usual expanse of Geordie Ladette flesh on display, not because the young ladies of Newcastle had suddenly become demure and sensibly dressed for glacial weather but because it was all a bit quiet. Maybe the exertions of Mad Friday were taking their toll.
After a good curry in the Saffron restaurant, it was back to watch the huge portion of Match of the Day given over to Sunderland 1 Bolton 0. It doesn’t take much for the Beeb to shove us down the queue and devote the least possible time to us, but there was precious little else to show of course so we were first and dominated the programme.
And wasn’t Mr Shearer fair?
He may not be the most exciting of football pundits but he is learning that trade and, when it comes to discussing Sunderland, he is pretty even-handed. How does he face his family and friends?
Shearer had us just about edging the game, which coincided with the Salut! Sunderland view, and was as full of praise as Alan Hansen for the three-striker attacking force, for Craig Gordon’s gloriously Montyesque save and for Steve Bruce’s managerial achievements.
And since our honourable mention in the When Saturday Comes fan site awards described us as balanced and articulate, it would be churlish not to say so.
Others around these parts may, of course, prefer to disagree …
* Come back for Pete Sixsmith’s essential verdict on the game