Football fans are not known especially for their powers of measured reflection, that ability to take a realistic view rather than jump in at the first opportunity with both feet raised. Or so says Monsieur Salut.
Accordingly, the Ross Out chorus has begun. We’ve played all of one game. There are 45 to go in the league alone. We played badly by all accounts and questions have been raised about the team selection. All the same, as I said at Twitter while acknowledging that disdain for the manager is not purely a kneejerk reaction to the opening-day failure to beat modest opposition, calling for his head now is the sort of thing that takes us into laughing stock territory.
Mind, we’ll all feel a lot better if we can go to Portman Road and grab three points from what used to be a Premier League fixture. It’s up to the players to make that wish come true but up to you, the reader, to predict the outcome.
Since there was a prize for the first game – and yes, one Sunderland fan (Terry McLoughlin) was pessimistic enough to go for a 1-1 draw – the Ipswich game shall be for fun only. Have a go anyway and dream, if you’re first to be correct, of the life-changing mug you’d have received in a prize Guess the Score.
As for the game, I have never seen us win at Portman Road. Nor did my late friend Graham Noble, who attended once and could not have chosen less wisely.
This is how his experience was described in a piece published in 2017 about the different ways SAFC fans react to rotten performances on the road …
Then there was the experience of my friend Graham at another 5-0 humiliation, the one at Ipswich under Peter Reid in 2001 (they ended up going down; we survived for another season).
Graham, not one of life’s natural football supporters but dragged along to the odd game by his SAFC-supporting partner, absent-mindedly applauded as the teams left the field at the interval. It was almost as if he was at the theatre.
Unfortunately, we were already four down.
“Applaud! Yer f****** applauding, yer stupid f****** twat?” spluttered one of the travelling contingent nearby. “Aah’ve paid half a week’s f****** wages gannin’ doon heeyah to see that heap of f****** sh*** and youse f****** applauding the c****!”
Many or even most of us would probably own up to the occasional expletive aimed at refs or players. But the asterisk-laden quote above, reproduced from memory of Graham’s description, probably does no justice to the true nature and content of the poor man’s rant. Good job things perked up on the field; we only lost the second half 1-0.
Ha’way the Lads on Saturday …