Monsieur Salut spoke with forked tongue.
The Watford game was not, after all, the last of 2016 to be marked by a prize edition of Guess the Score. I have decided that even if it means the cat goes without food this Christmas, I will stump up for a mug for whoever is first to predict the correct score for Manchester United vs Sunderland on Boxing Day.
That’s my modest Christmas present – and anyone except me can enter. That means all who help keep Salut! Sunderland afloat are eligible for the life-changing prize – a mug with the winner’s choice of name as No 12.
Why so early, you may think. Well for starters, I am off to France for Christmas. Sixer, deputy editor Malcolm Dawson, associate editor John McCormick and our graphics wizard Jake always chip in magnificently, much more than than just easing the load as you will have seen from the match reports they contributed here (Malcolm) and here (John) from the Watford game. But I cannot be certain who will be posting what between now and my return.
There should be a Man Utd “Who are You?” provided it arrives in time or one of my colleagues can deal with it if it does not and there may or may not be other items to publish in the coming days. I may even remember to post a Happy Christmas message.
But let’s make this Guess the Score a bumper one. Man Utd supporters the world over (and even in Manchester) are warmly invited to take part and will have worked out by now that a winner from their ranks would not be expected to make do with a Sunderland mug.
Usual rules: be first with the correct scoreline, post it before kickoff on Monday and have a UK delivery address for the prize if you win.
Whatever happens at Old Trafford, the run of four wins in seven games has set us up for what should be a much better second half of the season. Ha’way the Lads.