I have had fun all week with the disparate band of people in various lands who post comments to the club-by-club part of the ESPN website – http://espnfc.com/blog/_/name/sunderland/id/1359?cc=5739.
It would not occur to me to ask my readership there how they thought the match would go on Sunday. Most of the time, matters dear to our hearts do not even register with them.
Today’s piece at ESPNFC.com urges PDC to put his words into action, concentrate on football and urge our team on to, at best, a winning surprise or, failing that, a spirited draw. If we must lose, as everyone probably expects to happen, let it be a morale-boosting, close-run thing, with other results going in our favour, that sets us up for St James’ Park and beyond.
Here is an extract:
Without controversy, football is just a game. Bob Newhart would have had the same difficulties explaining it to a Martian as he did when improvising Sir Walter Raleigh’s report on the discovery and uses of tobacco to the East India Company. But I feel this particular controversy has run its course, even if others seek to prolong it. At Salut! Sunderland, I have turned the absence of the F-word into a virtue, welcoming contributions that move on from the politics and concentrate on the footballing aspects, also controversial, of PDC’s arrival.
What matters now, to those who read these pages because they share my passion for Sunderland, is whether Di Canio can overcome his lack of managerial experience in the top flight – I nearly wrote “at the highest level” before remembering I was talking about my club – and secure 17th position or better.
I realise “others” will indeed prolong the controversy. But it shouldn’t affect our passion and desire as supporters. Survival is our aim and achieving it becomes a collective effort,. That is why, without for a second telling contributors they must never again mention or discuss the row over PDC’s appointment, I want to encourage football-related posts as preferable to all others.
Your turn now.
Guess the score from Stamford Bridge. I have no idea what to put on the mug you’ll win if you are first with the correct answer between now and kickoff. I have no more idea what faithful readers will even now be doing with their Martin O’Neill “Team of all Talents – work in progress” mugs already bought or won.
Chelsea and neutral entries welcome; Monsieur Salut’s decision is final.
Just have a go at the contest and we’ll take it from there.