The bullish tone of the headline should offend no one.
Monsieur Salut is notoriously unyielding on final games of the season where nothing is any longer at stake. They are, simply, more important than any England game, even ones that dictate qualification or otherwise for the Euros or World Cup. That goes for our reserves, too.
But the Premier League finale also brings the Guess the Score finale. For the last time this season, a mug is offered to the Lad or Lass who correctly predicts, before kickoff, the score in Chelsea vs Sunderland, champions versus survival specialists.
It may be the most honest Guess the Score we’ve seen at Salut! Sunderland. No reader will feel obliged to vote with loyalty and heart as opposed to reality and head.
A few things to bear in mind: we may have thrashed 7-2 in 2010 but were the best of the three teams hit for seven at Stamford Bridge that season in terms of goals scored. We went back to the Bridge 10 months later and walloped them 3-0. Some of us were there for an early 4-2 win. Pete Sixsmith and others remember the moronic Chelsea pitch invasion when we bat them in a League Cup semi in 1985 (a Chelsea-supporting friend cries foul to this day, insisting that at least one police horse was offside).
And we don’t even know what John Terry & Co will face in this mutual party. Will Catts get the day off to ensure no yellow cards record? Is this the moment to throw Duncan Watmore on? Should we give Vito Mannone a last taste of Premier action in Sunderland’s cause?
Have a go, whether you’ve won three mugs this season or none, ever. Chelsea fans are warmly welcomed to enter the competition; a winner of the Blue persuasion would receive a mug with suitably different design.
And Ha’way the Lads, whichever Lads Dick chooses. Oh what fun it would be to win in west London and end the season on an even higher note.