No harm in rubbing it in for all it’s worth while the joy from last night is still casting a warm glow over Sunderland’s loyal support, near and far.
David Moyes, a manager in trouble if ever there was one as his team looks more lower mid-table than Champions League, attacks the referee Andre Marriner and his assistants, blaming their calls for Sunderand’s deserved 2-1 win. Ryan Giggs adds to the sourness of Moyes’s grapes by calling the officials’ decisions “laughable”.
If only either of them had a studied the history of Mr Marriner and Sunderland. For this of all refs to be accused of favouring SAFC belongs, as I said at Twitter (@salutsunderland), in the list of Tales of the Unexpected.
The extent of United’s plight is amply demonstrated by the fact their players, officials and supporters now show themselves for once to care a hoot about the little old league cup. They naturally expect to breeze past us in the second leg and, for all we know, may do so. But they’re a barely visible shadow of the team Sir Alex grumpily but expertly built.
As for us, we can savour the moment of a wonderful morale booster ahead of games far more important than a cup visit from Man Utd.
Can’t wait for Pete Sixsmith’s fuller assessment. In the meantime, check out Gus Poyet’s post-match e-mail to Monsieur Salut, copied in to one or two others as it may be, and Sixer’s seven-word verdict.
And as I put it in my instant piece for ESPNFC.com …
The Uruguayan continues to impress in his first Premier season as a manager. If he can build on the emotional lift of passionate cup wins, and lead his team out of danger, he will not only have worked a small miracle but, in all probability, qualify for the freedom of Sunderland, reputedly entitling him among other benefits to drive a flock of sheep across the Wearmouth Bridge.