Originally used here to deplore the anti-Steve Bruce sentiments expressed at Salut! Sunderland, while overlooking the strong voices raised in his defence, cauldron of negativity is a phrase that has stuck. The shadier and shadier Birflatt Boy, a fully paid-up member of the “Negativos”, invokes the debuts of Led Zeppelin and long-forgotten German urban terrorists in support of an assault on the loose band of “Positivos” and fencesitters, M Salut among them, holding out with varying degrees of conviction against dismissal …
Over the past four decades it would be hard to find a time when Sunderland’s support has been so sharply divided into two distinct camps.
Variously described as “optimists” or “pessimists,” “”BiBs” or BoBs” (Bruce in Brigade or out depending on your point of view), or just as “Positivos” for those who fail to see the limitations and poor management of Steve Bruce. The last sentence will tell even virgins to the pages of Salut! Sunderland where Birflatt sits.
I’ve been sat there so long in fact that there is a numbness in the buttocks, due to the constant accumulation of evidence in support of the “Negativos” hypothesis seems to have been largely ignored by the club’s owner.
The pro-Bruce brigade will take the flimsiest sign that things are on the up to support their man.
You wouldn’t think that a 2-2 draw at home to West Brom would be a job saving result for Bruce, but so it turned out to be.
“Look at how we fought back” they say. “Yes, and look at how we were 2-0 down at home in six minutes,” I say. “What a great result at Bolton though” they argue, as if inflicting a seventh home defeat (in seven games) on a hapless Trotters team that have endured the worst home run of results in their entire history.
So what? Well, we managed a home draw against Villa which according the to the Positivos was another sign that things are on the up. No, it bloody well isn’t and neither is the 1-0 defeat at Old Trafford. I was talking to a Man Utd fan yesterday thought it funny that they “could play like s*** and still get three points.” He has a point, to add to those three.
We lost, we didn’t score and hence we came back pointless. The opposition don’t take us seriously. And yet still there are those who tell us to be patient. Be patient for what? We’ve been patient with Bruce since February and we seem to have become worse. We’ve been patient all of our lives, for God’s sake!
The Positivos tell us that Sir Alex Ferguson thought we “played well”. Well, isn’t that great news? We should chill the champagne. How magnanimous of him. We could have emailed the points to Old Trafford on Friday afternoon, instead of turning up like some sacrificial goat at a pagan festival. Amusement for someone else but not us.
It would have been more use to us if he had come out and told the media: “We were a poor side today, very jittery after our mauling by City, but we were lucky to be playing such a poor team that pose no real threat, even though Lindergaard looked as if he was a nervous wreck. They seem to be trying to build a team around Bendtner, who doesn’t even belong to them, which is strange.”
Is avoiding defeat at home against the likes of Villa and the Baggies the best that we can hope for? Are we happy because we lost at Old Trafford again? Let’s get some perspective here. We didn’t get murdered, and we didn’t get played off the park, but we never looked like getting anything either.
And we have failed to win at Old Trafford since the year of the Prague and Paris Springs. The Vietnam War was in full swing, Baader Meinhof had just started bombing German department stores, and Martin Luther King was assassinated. If you haven’t got the point yet, this is the year that Mattel’s Hot Wheels were introduced into the shops, and Led Zeppelin gave their first ever public performance at the University of Surrey. Yes, folks it’s a while ago. Too long, but it’s only part of the picture.
We’ve had crumbs to feed off for decades. On occasion there haven’t been crumbs, and we have sunk so low in expectation that we lick and suck at the stains which mark the tablecloth.
There was a debate on the Blackcats list recently where some of our supporters suggested that Newcastle Utd is a bigger club than Sunderland. Have some self respect for goodness sake!
Quite what Steve Bruce has done to hang on to his job is not evident in results or performances. Then he blames the fans for their unrealistic expectations. The only unrealistic expectations that the Negativos have had is that a manager who has squandered millions, whose “improvements” to the squad are invariably inferior to those who he has replaced, and who doesn’t seem to be able to hang on to any of his stars.
So for all of those people who are still sitting on the fence, here’s the word from Birflatt. Get yourselves down to Boots and purchase a good quality set of tweezers and some antiseptic. Take a look down the league table and jump from your perch. Pour yourselves a bowl full of hot water and see if you can get those spelks out of your behinds.