We have got used to fantasy entries in Guess the Score. You know, the ones that predict a Sunderland win (especially if there’s already been one in living memory).
So let our imaginations run riot once again.
Mighty Leeds succumbed to lowly (by comparison) Sunderland in a certain Wembley encounter on May 5 1973. It was only 1-0, the first-half goal scored by Ian Porterfield, but that was enough.
Porterfield, alas, is no longer with us.
But without being too unkind on our current keepers, wouldn’t Monty do as decent a job as any of them in goal?
Can’t Bobby Kerr, Billy Hughes, Vic Halom, Dick Malone, Ron Guthrie, Micky Horswill, Dave Watson, Richie Pitt and Dennis Tueart turn out at Elland Road? Then we beat Norwich, Reading, Burton, Fulham and Wolves to stay up …
You see what I mean about fantasy.
Black Monday reduces us to the resigned pessimists we were until Good Friday evening. With what I called – in electronic communication – doomladen eloquence, Pete Sixsmith declared the fight against relegation over and it is difficult to quarrel with that.
Birmingham’s win at Bolton tonight removes any lingering glimmer of hope. They are now eight points clear and even Barnsley, a game in hand, are three points ahead with a much better goal difference.
Chris Coleman retains a lot of goodwill, as I found myself saying earlier today to a Norwich fan site. But it has started to slip away, a function of his failures – as a former defender – to persuade grown men to do their defensive jobs properly and – as a seasoned international manager – to play to his squad’s few strengths by way of substitutions capable of making an impact.
Almost no one any longer expects us to pull clear. It looks beyond doubt that the remaining issues are which of Sunderland or Burton finish bottom and then who joins them out of Barnley, Birmingham, Bolton and Reading.
So we could be forgiven for making Guess the Score just for fun again. We won’t. A mug goes to the reader who is first before kickoff to predict the correct score. You can be a supporter of either or neither team to enter, but you must have a UK delivery address.
Have a go. And Ha’way, academic as it now feels, the Lads.